How to Use Water Wisely: Guidelines for being water wise
Water use can more than double during the summer due to lawn and garden watering, and increasing your water usage can dramatically affect your utility bill.
Since Puyallup’s water rate structure is designed to encourage conservation, higher water usage can elevate customers into the second tier of water rates. Because the second tier of water rates results in a higher charge of about 35% more per gallon, using more water can result in a bill higher than you might expect. The recommendation is one inch of water per week. If you have an automated sprinkler system, you may want to use a rain gauge to prevent overwatering.
One way to conserve water is to turn on your sprinklers early in the morning, but how early? Answer: Between 4 and 8 a.m., because less water will evaporate in the cooler air and more will soak into the ground.
Other ways to help reduce the amount of water your lawn needs include keeping the grass cut no lower than three to 3.5 inches (so mow high rather than low) and leaving the clippings in place.
Would you believe that oftentimes, the best time to water can be AFTER it rains? It's true, and Cliff Mass can tell you why. To learn more about how to conserve water while using sprinklers, check out his blog where he explains hydrophobicity, the advantage of large vs. small droplets, and other considerations involving vapor pressure deficits, outdoor air convections and diurnal winds.
More Easy Water Saving Tips
- Use a water flow restrictor shower attachment: Shower head flow restrictor attachments prevent as much water waste as possible. These devices are designed to use pressure as opposed to water.
- Take the seven-minute challenge: Taking shorter showers is a great way to cut down on water consumption.
- In the bathroom: Turn off the tap while brushing teeth or shaving.
- Fill it up first: Ensure your dishwasher is full before running it. Washing fewer loads saves water since every cycle takes about 15 gallons, regardless of how many dishes are being washed. Plus, most dishwashers have their own rinse cycle, eliminating the need for pre-rinsing.
- Take a load off: Set your clothes washer to use as little water as possible. If available, choose an economical setting or "quick wash" option.
- Zap it: Save water by microwaving vegetables in a steamer as opposed to boiling. The vegetables will retain more vitamins and minerals.
- Check for leaks: Check your indoor and outdoor taps for leaks and drips. If you have a problem you can’t fix on your own, call a plumber.
- Under the light of the moon: The sun rapidly evaporates moisture. When you water your plants by the light of the moon, the ground stays moistened longer, which is better for both your plants and your water preservation statistics.