In the summer, a typical family’s water usage increases by 25% to 50%; combined with added heat and other summer-specific issues, this time of year can be hard on your home’s plumbing. Here are some tips that will give your plumbing and water bill a break.
- Re-use pool towels. You’ll save water by not washing them each time they’re used. Hanging them to dry instead of using the dryer saves energy as well.
- A summer cookout is full of foods that don’t belong down your kitchen’s garbage disposal: corn husks, fruit and vegetable peels, and bones, just to name a few.
- Turning down your water heater if you’ll be gone on vacation more than a day or two saves energy.
- New tree growth in the spring can cause roots to make their way to the best water source: your sewer line. If you suspect any damage, have a plumber check your lines.
- The best time to water is between midnight and nine in the morning to reduce evaporation. Don’t water between noon and nine p.m. – you’re wasting money as about half of the water you’re paying for will evaporate and never make it to the ground. If you have one, put your sprinkler system on a timer to water during this time period. Install a sensor that will turn off your sprinkler if there has been adequate rainfall or if it is raining when it's supposed to turn on.
- Aim sprinklers away from sidewalks, driveways, and roads.
- Water your lawn deeply once a week instead of a little bit every few days. It promotes deep root growth, which leads to less watering.
- Wash your car at a car wash that recycles water. Or, if you must wash your car at home, move your car to the lawn and you’ll water the lawn as you wash—just be sure the soap you’re using won’t harm the grass. Turn off the water at the tap or using a nozzle when you’re not rinsing.
- Apply three to five inches of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch holds in moisture, allowing your plants to hold water longer and you to water less often. Water plants by hand using the hose instead of with the sprinkler to save water.
- Replace showerheads and faucets with low-flow fixtures or install aerators. You’ll save water and money, without any difference in water pressure.
- Check for leaks in faucets, toilets, and showerheads indoors, as well as any outdoor faucets or water fixtures. The easiest way to determine if you have a leak is to check your water meter at the beginning of a period of time when no water is being used, such as overnight or when everyone is out of the house for the day. Then, check the meter again several hours later to see if it has moved. If so, call a plumber to fix your leak.
Everyone loves to play in the water and have a beautiful yard in summer. There are ways to have both of those things without also having a plumbing emergency as well.