Ask Mr. Careful

Watching out for your safety.

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Tips: Saving Water Indoors
 
  • Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant, or for cleaning.
  • Retrofit all household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors.
  • If the toilet flush handle frequently sticks in the flush position replace it or adjust it.
  • Take shorter showers. Replace your existing shower head with an ultra-low-flow version.
  • Operate automatic dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are fully loaded. Set the water level for the size load you are using.
  • When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or a basin with soapy water. Quickly rinse under a slow-moving stream from the faucet.
  • Do not use running water to thaw meat or frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
  • Insulate your water pipes. You’ll get hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
  • Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
Tips: Saving Water Outdoors
 
  • Water lawns during the early morning hours when the temperatures and wind speed are the lowest. This reduces losses from evaporation.
  • Avoid over-fertilizing your lawn. Fertilizer applications increase need for water. Apply fertilizers that contain slow release, water-insoluble forms of nitrogen.
  • Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Mulch also helps control weeds that compete with landscape plants for water.
  • Plant native and / or drought resistant grasses, ground covers, shrubs, and trees. Once established, they do not need water as frequently and usually will survive a dry period without watering.
  • Do not hose down your driveway or sidewalk. Use a broom or blower to clean leaves and other debris from these areas.
  • Use a shut-off nozzle on your hose, which can be adjusted down to a fine spray so that water flows only as needed.
  • Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water. If you wash your own car, park on the grass and use a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
Tips: General
 
  • Get involved in water management issues. Voice your questions and concerns at public meetings conducted by your local government or water management district.
  • Report all significant water losses (broken pipes, open hydrants, errant sprinklers, abandoned free-flowing wells, etc.) to the property owner, local authorities or your water management district.
  • Encourage your school system and local government to help develop and promote a water conservation ethic among children and adults.
  • Promote water conservation in community newsletters, on bulletin boards and by example. Encourage your friends, neighbors and coworkers to "do their part."
  • Conserve water because it is the right thing to do. Don''t waste water just because someone else is footing the bill, such as when you are staying at a hotel.
Did you know....
 
  • If your faucet is dripping at a rate of one drop per second, you can expect to waste up to 15 gallons a day.
  • Don’t let water run while shaving, washing, or brushing teeth. Up to 30 gallons per use, per day may be saved.
  • Garbage disposals also can add 50 percent to the volume of solids in a septic tank, which can lead to malfunctions and maintenance problems.
  • When purchasing new/replacement toilets, consider low-volume units that use less than half the water of older models.
  • Generally, lawns only need watering every five to seven days in the summer and every 10-14 days in the winter.
  • Most of the year, lawns only need one inch of water per week.
  • When mowing the lawn, a higher cut encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system and holds soil moisture better than a closely clipped lawn.
  • A garden hose can pour out 600 gallons or more in only a few hours - do not leave those sprinklers or hoses unattended!
  • Doing just one of these tips each day will result in saving water. Don''t worry if the savings are minimal. Every drop counts You can make a difference.

Water Chart

 
Reprinted by permission of Southwest Florida Water Management District