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During the Metro Atlanta area's exceptional drought, many people asked for tips on water conservation. The American Red Cross has provided the following tips, which were developed by a coalition of specialists on water conservation in Florida, and are also consistent with the recommendations that were developed through the National Disaster Education Coalition's "Drought Forum.
Think Green and Install Rain Barrels
Rain barrels not only benefit the environment - they have household benefits as well. By capturing and storing the stormwater runoff generated by the roof, a homeowner can reduce the erosion and soil loss commonly found near gutter downspouts. Storing the stormwater runoff generated by rainfall falling on a hot roof can also reduce thermal stormwater pollution by allowing the runoff to cool before it reaches a stream or lake. Rain barrels can also help to reduce a home owners water bill by providing a natural source of water to use for watering landscaping and gardens. Some rain barrel systems are capable of providing enough water to wash vehicles. By installing rain barrels, a home owner may also be eligible for a stormwater utility bill credit.
Indoor Use - General
Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it. Use it to water your indoor plants or garden.
Make sure your home is leak-free. When you are certain that no water is being used in your home, take a reading of the water meter. Wait 30 minutes and then take a second reading. If the meter reading changes, you have a leak!
Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. One drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons of water per year!
Indoor Use - Bathroom
Check for toilet leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If you have a leak, the color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. (Flush immediately to avoid stains.)
If the toilet handle frequently sticks in the flush position letting water run constantly, replace or adjust it.
Leaky toilets usually can be fixed inexpensively by replacing the flapper.
Install a toilet displacement device to cut down on the amount of water needed for each flush. (Contrary to popular opinion a brick should not be used because it can dissolve and the loose pieces can cause damage to the internal parts. Instead, place a one-gallon plastic jug of water into the tank to displace toilet flow or purchase a device available at most hardware and home centers designed for this purpose.) Be sure installation does not interfere with the operating parts.
Consider purchasing a low-volume toilet that uses less than half the water of older models. NOTE: In many areas, low volume units are required by law.
Take shorter showers.
Replace your shower head with an ultra-low-flow version.
Place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water for watering plants.
In the shower, turn the water on to get wet; turn off to lather up; then turn the water back on to rinse. Repeat when washing your hair.
Don't let the water run while brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving.
Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects, and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
Indoor Use - Kitchen
Operate automatic dishwashers only when they are fully loaded. Use the "light wash" feature if available to use less water.
When hand washing dishes, save water by filling two containers – one with soapy water and the other with rinse water containing a small amount of chlorine bleach.
Most dishwashers can clean soiled dishes very well, so dishes do not have to be rinsed before washing. Just remove large particles of food, and put the soiled dishes in the
Store drinking water in the refrigerator. Don’t let the tap run while you are waiting for water to cool.
Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator, or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
Do not waste water waiting for it to get hot. Capture it for other uses such as plant watering or heat it on the stove or in a microwave.
Clean vegetables in a pan filled with water rather than running water from the tap. Re-use the water that vegetables are washed in for cleaning or watering plants.
Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing of food waste, or simply dispose of food in the garbage.
Indoor Use - Laundry
Operate automatic clothes washers only when they are fully loaded or set the water level for the size of your load.
Long-Term Indoor Water Conservation
Retrofit all household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictives.
Consider installing an instant hot water heater on your sink.
Insulate your water pipes to reduce heat loss and prevent them from breaking if you have a sudden and unexpected spell of freezing weather.
If you are considering installing a new heat pump or air conditioning system, the new air-to-air models are just as efficient as the water-to-air type and do not waste water.
Install a water-softening systems only when the minerals in the water would damage your pipes. Turn the softener off while on vacation.
When purchasing a new appliance, choose one that is more energy and water efficient.
For more information...
Please contact Fayette County Water at 770-461-1146 for more information about water conservation.
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Peachtree City GA
• 151 Willowbend Rd • Peachtree City, GA 30269 • Ph: 770-487-7657