Smart Ways Round Hill Residents Can Save Water At Home
By Jane Sandwood
Although the Round Hill Utility Staff work hard to keep our system running efficiently, residents are still encouraged to save water around the home as much as possible. Not only can water-saving methods save valuable money, but it also help the environment by diverting less water from estuaries, rivers, and bays. Sustainable water use also works to decrease water and wastewater treatment costs, as well as reduce energy demand and, in turn, prevent air pollution.
Check your water bill regularly
The average Virginia resident uses 75 gallons of water every day in and around their home, according to the National Environmental Education Foundation. How does your daily water consumption compare? You can find out simply by checking your water bill which shows the amount of water consumed during every billing cycle (visit our Water Department page to Understand Your Bill). Fortunately, by adopting smart, water-saving strategies, you can effectively lower your water bill and save money no matter how high or low it currently is. In most cases, sudden or unexpectedly high water bills usually mean you have a leak, which, if left unnoticed and unrepaired, can end up wasting thousands of gallons of water per year.
Off-grid water sourcing
Off-grid water sourcing guarantees a fresh and clean water supply without having to rely on urban infrastructure. For example, rainwater is sustainable option; it’s completely free and simple to collect. A rain harvesting system can collect and store rainwater that lands on your roof before you filter it, so it’s safe to drink. Rainwater harvesting reduces stormwater runoff, which can cause erosion and water pollution and it reduces demand on local wells and municipal supplies. Harvested rain water can be used to water your plants, pressure wash your home, or to wash your cars. The Round Hill Community Garden and the Round Hill Town Office both implement rainwater harvesting systems.
Use energy-efficient, water-saving devices
Ideally, showers are best limited to just 2-5 minutes at a time. However, if you don’t feel ready to give up long showers, consider using energy-efficient, water-saving devices to help cut down on water use. For example, low-flow shower heads can provide water savings of as much as 25%-60%. In the past, low-flow shows heads typically offered less water pressure, which some people didn’t like. Newer models, however, have successfully improved water pressure to create a pleasant shower experience while still saving water effectively. Additionally, ultra-low flush (ULF) toilets can further improve water efficiency while being just as effective as regular toilets. They use a maximum of 1.6 gallons of water per flush instead of the usual (and wasteful) 3.5-7 gallons.
By implementing smart water-saving techniques around the home, Round Hill residents can slash their water use, help the environment, and save valuable money. Checking your water bill regularly, considering off-grid water sourcing, and switching to energy-efficient, water-saving devices are key ways you can save water at home.
Here are some additional ways you can conserve water...
- One of the best ways to save water inside the home is by replacing the parts inside your toilet tanks every few years. Leaking toilets can send over 100 gallons of water down the drain in a single day.
- Test for toilet leaks by adding food coloring to the water tank. Don’t flush for 15 minutes. If there is color in the bowl after 15 minutes, you may have a leak.
- Install water saving low-flow showerheads.
- Don’t use the toilet to dispose of tissues or other trash. Every flush uses three and one half to seven gallons of water.
- When replacing fixtures, install water saving models.
- A bathtub filled half full holds about 50 gallons of water. Consider showering instead.
- Limit the length of showers to two or three minutes.
- Avoid excessive watering. Most lawns need only an inch of water per week to stay healthy. Measure the amount of time it takes your sprinkler to deliver that much water, and do not exceed the total time for the week. A shallow container, such as a tuna can, can be used to measure the water.
- Use short cycles (5 minutes) at least an hour apart to reduce runoff.
- Reduce evaporation by watering in the evening or early in the morning.
- Set sprinklers carefully to avoid watering paved areas.
- Avoid sprinklers that spray a fine mist, which increases evaporation.
- Aerate the soil in the spring and fall to reduce runoff.
- Keep the grass 2-3″ long to enhance root development with minimal watering.
- When washing dishes by hand, use the least amount of detergent possible. This minimizes rinse water needed. Saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.
Learn more by visiting Water - Use it Wisely, a conservation campaign committed to sharing highly effective water saving tips!