You won’t be surprised to hear that the Central Coast of California, and all of the Southwest are in a pretty bad drought right now. Lake levels are plummeting, and cities have already begun enacting water-usage limits on residents. There’s no question, that water conservation is on a lot of our minds right now, so our friendly Santa Maria plumbers have some water-saving tips for summer that will help preserve this precious resource.
Change Your Outdoor Watering Habits
More water evaporates when watering your yard mid-day, so watering in the morning or evening is most effective. The most efficient is a drip irrigation system that you can set to water right before sunrise and target the exact areas you want to be watered.
Even better, switching out a traditional lawn for drought-tolerant, native plants is better for the environment, less maintenance, cuts emissions from not having to use a gas mower, and – of course – saves water.
Not to mention, the aesthetics of a carefully landscaped yard can be so much more inviting than a plain old yard.
Check for Leaks
A drippy faucet can waste more water than you think. A faucet that drips at a rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, according to the EPA, which equates to more than 180 showers!
You can also check your toilets for leaks by using the food-coloring test. Just put a few drops of food dye into the toilet tank; if the color shows up in the bowl, your tank is leaking, which could silently waste up to 100 gallons of water a day. Replacing the rubber flapper may be all you need to fix it. If that doesn’t do the trick, you might need to call the pros.
Shorten Your Showers
The tried-and-true method of water conservation. Sure, those long, hot showers are nice, but trimming just two minutes off your shower can save up to 1,750 gallons of water per person in your household per year. In other words, it makes a difference.
Also, don’t let the water run while you’re shaving or brushing your teeth.
Another way to cut down on water usage in the bathroom is by installing low-flow shower heads, faucets, and toilets.Leave Cleaning to the Machines
Here’s one you may not have thought of, but using a dishwasher instead of hand washing or taking the car to the car wash rather than hand washing can really save water. Hand-washing dishes can use up to 27 gallons of water compared to just three in a new energy-efficient washer.
Washing your car in the driveway takes about 100 gallons of water, not to mention the time and effort wasted, compared to around 40 gallons at a car wash – and just a couple of minutes out of your day.
A Few More Water-saving Tips
Cover your pool: This prevents evaporation, not to mention the time saved fishing out all those bugs and leaves.
Get a rain barrel: Collecting rain for use in the yard is a good water-saver and also prevents runoff from gathering pollutants like pet waste and motor oil as it runs into the city sewer system.
Don’t dump that pasta water: Instead, let it cool off and use it for watering house plants or the garden.
For more water-saving tips or to help upgrade your plumbing to conserve year-round, our professional Santa Maria plumbers are a call or click away. Contact us online or simply by calling (805) 934-1949.