summer conservation tips

Summertime Water Conservation Tips

Usually, summer in Colorado Springs means using more water and having higher sewer and water bills. Even if your water comes from a well, using more water for irrigation can result in higher electricity bills and additional wear on your well pump. And, even though we’ve had an unusually wet Spring in Colorado Springs, you’ll still appreciate our water conservation tips! However, for many people this summer, they are not just concerned about higher bills. Some areas of the country are suffering long periods of drought and dry spells, so water use restrictions have been implemented which have made water conservation a summertime necessity these days. Summer is looking pretty good with no big drought issues, but we all know how quickly a drought can resume, so it’s best to develop good water habits while we have plenty of water.

Small Changes Can Equal Big Savings

Fortunately, making a few of small changes to your regular water use routine and a few quick fixes around your home can save you both money and water – this summer as well as all year long!

Water Savings Inside your home

Turn off the faucet. That is, when you are brushing your teeth. That can save you around 2 gallons per minute. If you do that each time you brush your teeth it will save you an additional 240 gallons of water per month. To save even more, turn off the faucet when you are shaving!

Shower Instead of Bath

Take a shower instead of a bath. You might think it would be the opposite. However, typically, a five-minute shower uses just 10-25 gallons of water, and a full tub uses around 70 gallons. In order to minimize your shower time, don’t run your shower while you are shaving. If you enjoy a leisurely soak in the tub, stop up the drain immediately and adjust the temperature as it is filling up.

Full Loads Of Wash & Repair

Only wash full loads of clothing. The average washer uses around 41 gallons per load, so the more loads that you wash, the more water you will use. To reduce your water usage, wait to do laundry until you have a full load. Repair your leaky toilet. Do you hear a sudden hissing sound of water when the tank is filling itself up again even though you didn’t just flush? Or is there a damp spot on the floor under the tank on a regular basis? About 2000 gallons of water per day can be wasted from a leaking toilet. Repair leaky shower heads and faucet. A small drip may not seem like a lot but 2,080 gallons per year is wasted by a faucet that drips 1 drop per second.

Outside The House Water Conservation

The EPA reports that around 30 percent of a typical single-family household’s water use it spend outdoors, on gardens, landscaping, and lawns. p to 50 percent of this water gets wasted through runoff or evaporation. In order to avoid this type of waste and to reduce your water bill, make use of these tips: Do you have any leaking outdoor faucets? Those small drips can be expensive.
  • Water late or early in the day, when the air is cooler and the sun is lower so that less water gets wasted through the evaporation process. However, be aware, since your community might have watering restrictions in place that you have to adhere to.
  • If you water by hand, aim the water at the base of the plants, at the roots. The entire plant doesn’t need to be watered.
  • Set your sprinklers (the droplet type preferably instead of the mist type) so that only your vegetation is watered and not the street, sidewalk, or driveway.
  • Time your sprinkler so that you don’t overwater (it can be just as damaging to your landscape to overwater as not watering enough). There are basic timers that cost less than $15 that can be hooked right onto the faucet.

Other Things That Can Be Done To Save Water

The following steps take a bit more money and/or effort but can provide a timely payback as well as long-term savings by having lower water bills on a regular basis.

A Water Saving Toilet For Water Conservation

Consider getting a new toilet. Any toilet that was made prior to 1992 uses on average 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush. New models use less than 2 gallons of water per flush on average. About 1.3 gallons of water per flush is used by a high-efficiency toilet which can result in a savings of around $1,000 over 10-years for a four-person family – without any compromises to performance. However, if you are concerned about whether everything will be flushed away, less water is used by a dual-flush toilet for removing liquid waster and more water is used to remove solid waste.

Get A Sprinkler System

Consider using an automatic irrigation system. If you spend a lot of time moving your sprinkler around or hand-watering, an automatic irrigation system for your landscaping can be a great investment. A system that waters even when it is raining will not save you a lot, but self-adjusting and PC programmable systems are available these days that offer an 8-60 percent reduced water uses (depending on your climate) and are able to pay for themselves in as few as 8 months to a few years depending on your climate. Use drip irrigation or a soaker hose. If you cannot use an irrigation system for your whole yard, you still may want to consider using drip irrigation or a soaker hose around your garden and landscaping. Water is emitted gently by a soaker hose directly along the length of the hose to the base of the plants so very little water is lost through evaporation or runoff. You can even make your own soak hose from part of an old garden hose. The same thing is accomplished by a drip irrigation system. Emitters, or drip holes, are spaced at certain intervals along the length of the hose. A drip system is a bit more expensive. With either of the methods, you won’t have to water as often and when you do you will use less water. You can save more when you attach a basic hose timer.