Watertight Tips in the Bathroom
- Check your toilets for leaks. Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately.
- Stop using the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, you waste five to seven gallons of water.
- Install a low-flush device in your toilet to reduce the amount of water needed for each flush, or replace your older toilet with a newer low-flush toilet.
- Take shorter showers. Long showers can waste five to ten gallons every unnecessary minute.
- Take baths. A bath in a partially filled tub uses less water than all but the shortest showers.
- Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors. Your local hardware or plumbing supply store stocks inexpensive water-saving shower heads or restrictors that are easy to install.
- Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush. There is no need to keep water pouring down the drain.
- Rinse your razor in the sink. Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of warm water. This will rinse your blade just as well as running water. And far less wastefully.
- Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Even the smallest drip from a worn washer can waste 20 or more gallons a day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds.
Watertight Tips in the Kitchen & Laundry
- Use your automatic dishwasher only for full loads.
- Use your automatic washing machine only for full loads.
- If you wash dishes by hand, do not leave the water running for rinsing.
- Do not let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water.
- Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. Running tap water to cool it off for drinking is wasteful.
Watertight Tips for Outside
- Water your lawn only when it needs it. A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If it springs back up when you move, it doesn't need water. If it stays flat, water wisely. Under normal conditions, once a week is sufficient.
- Water an inch deep. Water long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots where it will do the most good - about one inch. A light sprinkling evaporates quickly and encourages shallow root systems. If you use a lawn service, follow their instructions.
- Sod and seed in late fall. By sodding your yard or seeding in the fall, it will require less watering and will develop a stronger root system through the winter.
- Plant sturdy grass. Turf-type tall fescue varieties of grass and sod have a stronger root system than other varieties and require less water to remain healthy.
- Plant drought-resistant trees and plants and water wisely. Many beautiful trees and plants thrive with far less watering than other species. A general rule of thumb is the smaller the leaf, the more Watertight the tree. Deep-soak trees to a depth of one and half inches under the canopy. This will encourage a deep root system and help make them more drought resistant.
- Water during the cool parts of the day. Early morning generally is better than dusk since it helps prevent growth of fungus.
- Do not water the gutter. Position your sprinklers so water lands on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas. Also avoid watering on windy days.
- Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture and discourage weed growth, too.
- Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.
- Do not run the hose while washing your car. Clean the car with a pail of soapy water. Use the hose just to rinse it off.
- Cover your swimming pool. Covering your pool during the winter and at night during the summer will reduce evaporation and save on heating and chemical costs.
- Tell your children not to play with the hose and sprinklers.
- Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings. Leaks outside are not as visible as inside the house, but they can be just as wasteful.
Disposal of Grease & Oils
Improper disposal of grease and oils (i.e. down the kitchen sink drain) is a huge problem for your sewer lines and our collection system. Ordinary cooking grease (vegetable oil, bacon grease, shortening, butter, margarine, and etc.) has been identified as one of the leading causes of dry weather sanitary sewer overflow.
Preventative Maintenance / Household Tips:
- Be very careful handling hot grease.
- Do not dump cooking grease and oils down sinks or toilets. This practice will cause house laterals and sanitary sewer mains to develop a build up and eventually cause a stoppage. Also, female sanitary products and disposable diapers should not be flushed. They should be securely wrapped and placed in a trash receptacle
- Pour water in floor drains and sinks on a regular basis to keep traps full of water. This will help to prevent foul sewer odors from entering your home.
- Make sure that you run gutters and downspouts about 10 feet away from your house to eliminate surface water running into your basement and foundation walls.