Water conservation will not only reduce the cost of your utility bill, but it will also extend the life of your septic system and help to prevent water pollution in nearby lakes and rivers. Below are a few tips to help you conserve water and save on your Austin water costs this summer.
Be mindful of water consumption
The first step to water conservation in your Austin home is to stay mindful about your daily water usage. One way to cut back is to simply take shorter showers. A 15-minute shower uses, on average, 75 gallons of water. If taking shorter showers is out of the question for you, then look into installing water-saving showerheads and low-flow faucet aerators. These are easy for the homeowner to install himself or herself and are usually inexpensive. Regular showerheads pump out about 5 gallons of water per minute, while water-saving low-flow showerheads only pump out 2.5 gallons of water. Every little bit helps. Therefore, turn the water off while you’re brushing your teeth or washing your face. There is no need to turn the water back on until you are ready to rinse. Also, instead of turning the water on each time you rinse your razor while shaving, go ahead and fill up the sink with water and just rinse your razor in the sink. This will rinse your razor just as well as running water, but will waste far less water. Lastly, don’t use your toilet as a waste bucket. Every time you flush your toilet 5-7 gallons of water is used. Thus, use your real waste bucket for facial tissue and small bits of trash.
Check faucets, pipes, toilets, and hoses for leaks
A small drip from a sink or bath faucet wastes about 20 gallons of water a day. Make sure to completely turn off all faucets, showers, and hoses when finished using. A good way to check for a toilet leak is to add a couple of drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If the color begins to appear in the bowl without flushing, then you have a leak and it should be repaired as soon as possible. If you do have a toilet leak, do not fear, most replacement parts are inexpensive and quick and easy to install.
Water your lawn during early parts of the day and avoid watering when it’s windy
In Austin, early morning watering is generally the best time to water your yard. It helps prevent the growth of fungus and is the best protection from slugs and other garden pests. Not only does early morning watering help your lawn, it also prevents water waste because water is not lost in evaporation. It is also important to note that watering while it’s windy outside can cause your sprinklers to water sidewalks and gutters, and can speed up the evaporation process.
Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants
Mulch prevents weed growth and slows down evaporation. Just 2-4 inches of bark mulch or an organic compost material around your trees and plants will help the soil retain moisture, thus requiring less watering.
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