Canby Utility is committed to helping customers take an active role to conserve water. When it comes to water use both inside and outside the home, most families tend to use a lot of water – for the lawn and garden, washing the car, showers, laundry, and more. Learning to use less water makes a big impact on your bills. You can save hundreds of gallons by taking simple steps around your home.
Tips to Conserve Water Outside your Home
- Let your grass grow. Longer grass loses less water to evaporation than short grass. Mowing too frequently means your yard will need more water. Wait until your grass reaches at least three inches before mowing. Then, set your mower to its highest setting. This encourages deep roots and effective use of moisture already in the soil.
- Water your lawn when absolutely necessary and during cool parts of the day. This reduces evaporation and gives plants a chance to absorb the water. Also, for problem areas, use a watering can instead of watering your entire lawn or garden. The best time to water is before 10 am and after 6 pm.
- Make sure sprinklers only water the lawn. Adjust all sprinkler heads so water does not hit sidewalks or driveways. Also, avoid watering your lawn and garden on windy days.
- Use a shut-off nozzle when watering. This saves water when you use a hose to water plants.
- Choose xeriscape plants. A landscape of drought-resistant and native plants will use less than half the water of a traditional yard if maintained properly. Ask your local gardening center about xeriscape plants.
- Use a broom to clean driveways and sidewalks instead of the hose.
- Don’t leave your hose running while washing your car. Use a bucket of water, put a non-drip nozzle on your hose, and rinse quickly when finished. This can save up to 150 gallons each time you wash.
- Place mulch or bark around trees and plants. This retains moisture, slows evaporation, and may save 750 to 1500 gallons of water per month.
- Use a rain gauge, or empty can, to track rainfall on your lawn. Then reduce your watering accordingly.
- Be careful where you plant. Avoid planting in areas that are hard to water such as steep inclines and isolated strips along sidewalks and driveways. This prevents losing water to runoff and watering areas that do not need it.
Tips to Conserve Water Inside your Home
- Reuse water. Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water, and then reuse the water for watering houseplants. You can also water plants with fish tank water, rainwater collected from downspouts, or by using leftover melted ice.
- Do not use the garbage disposal. Garbage disposals require electricity and water running through them to flush away food waste. Consider composting your food or just scrape leftovers in the garbage to save water and energy.
- When washing dishes by hand, do not leave the water running. If you have two sinks, fill one sink with soapy water and the other with rinse water. If you have one sink, use a spray device and short blasts when rinsing. This can save 200 to 500 gallons per month.
- Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator. This provides cold drinking water at all times without having to run the faucet while waiting for water to get cold. It ensures every drop is for drinking instead of going down the drain.
- Only run laundry and dishwasher when full. This saves up to 1,000 gallons per month.
- When brushing teeth, washing hands, or shaving, do not leave water running. Turning the water off during these activities can save 25 to 300 gallons per month.
- Buy a water heater that fits your needs. Make sure you are buying the right size water heater. Buying a heater that is too big will cost you extra money because you will be heating water that you do not need. This is a waste of energy and money.
- Replace old toilets with high-efficiency models. Or, simply place a plastic bag or container filled with pebbles and water in your tank. Water displacement will reduce the amount of water per flush.
- Do not defrost food with running water. Either place in the refrigerator in advance or defrost food in the microwave. This saves 50 to 150 gallons per month.
- Install low flow showerheads and shorten your showers. Reducing shower time even one or two minutes can save up to 150 gallons per month while a low-flow showerhead can save up to 20,000 gallons of water a year.
Water is a resource worth saving because there is no equivalent on earth. We all share the same water so we must each do our part to conserve and protect this precious resource. Every Drop Counts!
We are working to bring you new information on water conservation tips. Please check back soon for updates. For more information about water conservation or water rates, please contact Canby Utility at (503) 266-1156. You can receive additional helpful tips online at the Regional Water Providers Consortium website.