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Simple habit changes could save thousands of gallons of water

RBC | It’s always a good idea to conserve water when you can, but with ongoing drought conditions in the county water conservation may become more of a requirement than an option. In June, Meeker’s Public Works Superintendent Russell Overton said water consumption was extremely high for this time of year, and in the Town of Rangely water restrictions may be considered later this summer. The following are simple options for homes and businesses to save water this summer and beyond.

  • Always turn taps off tightly so they do not drip.
  • Promptly repair any leaks in and around your taps. (One leak can waste several thousand gallons of water per year.)
  • Use an aerator and/or a water flow-reducer attachment on your tap to reduce your water usage.
  • When hand-washing dishes, never run water continuously. Wash dishes in a partially filled sink and then rinse them using the spray attachment on your tap.
  • If you have an electric dishwasher, use it only to wash full loads, and use the shortest cycle possible. Many dishwashers have a conserver/water-miser cycle.
  • When brushing your teeth, turn the water off while you are actually brushing. Use short bursts of water for cleaning your brush. (This saves about 80% of the water normally used.)
  • When washing or shaving, partially fill the sink and use that water rather than running the tap continuously. (This saves about 60% of the water normally used.) Use short bursts of water to clean razors.
  • Use either low-flow shower heads or adjustable flow-reducer devices on your shower heads. (They reduce flow by at least 25%.)
  • You can reduce water usage by 40% to 50% by installing low-flush toilets.
  • Wash only full loads in your washing machine.
  • Use the shortest cycle possible for washing clothes, and use the “suds-saver” feature if your machine has one.
  • Use only cleaning products that will not harm the environment when they are washed away after use. Look for “environmentally friendly” products when shopping.
  • Lawns and gardens require only 0.2 inches of water per day during warm weather. Less is needed during spring, fall, or cool weather.
  • Water lawns every three to five days, rather than for a short period every day. In warm weather, apply 0.2 inches of water for each day since the last watering.
  • Water during the cool part of the day, in the morning or evening. Do not water on windy days.
  • Do not over-water in anticipation of a shortage. Soil cannot store extra water.
  • Use shut-off timers or on-off timers, if possible. Do not turn on sprinklers and leave for the day.
  • Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the coloring begins to appear in the bowl, you have a leak that may be wasting more than 100 gallons of water a day.
  • Stop using your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Every cigarette butt or tissue you flush away also flushes away five to seven gallons of water.
  • Put an inch or two of sand or pebbles in the bottom of a plastic bottle to weigh it down. Fill the rest of the bottle with water and put it in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanism. In an average home, the bottle may save five gallons or more of water every day without harming the efficiency of the toilet. If your tank is big enough, you may even be able to put in two bottles.
  • Take shorter showers. A typical shower uses five to 10 gallons of water a minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rise off.

By NIKI TURNER – editor@ht1885.com