Columbus City Utilities
1111 McClure Road
P.O. Box 1987
Here are some tips for water conservation:
Don't over water your lawn. As a general rule, lawns
only need watering every 5 to 7 days in the summer and
every 10 to 14 days in the winter. A hearty rain eliminates
the need for watering for up to two weeks. Buy a rain gauge
and use it to determine how much rain your yard has received.
Most of the year, lawns only need one inch of water per week.
Plant it smart. Xeriscape landscaping is a great way to
design, install and maintain both your plants and irrigation
system. More importantly, it will save time, money and water.
Water lawns during the early
morning hours when temperatures and wind speed are the
lowest. This reduces losses from evaporation.
Don't allow sprinklers to water
your street, driveway or sidewalk. Position them so water
lands on the lawn and shrubs... not the paved areas.
Install irrigation devices that are the most water
efficient for each use. Micro and drip irrigation and
soaker hoses are examples of water efficient irrigation methods.
Check sprinkler systems and timing devices regularly to
be sure they operate properly and do not leave sprinklers
or hoses unattended. A garden hose can pour out 600 gallons
or more in only a few hours. Use a kitchen timer to remind
yourself to turn sprinklers off.
Raise the lawn mower blade to
at least three inches or to its highest level. A higher cut
encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root
system and holds soil moisture better than a closely-clipped
Avoid over fertilizing your
lawn. Fertilizer applications increase the need for water.
Apply fertilizers that contain slow-release,
water-insoluble forms of nitrogen.
Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Mulch also
helps control weeds that compete with landscape plants for water.
Plant native and/or
drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees.
Once established, they do not need water as frequently and
usually will survive a dry period without watering. Group
plants together based on similar water needs.
Do not hose down your driveway
or sidewalk. Use a broom to clean leaves and other debris
from these areas.
Use a shut-off nozzle on your hose which can be adjusted
down to a fine spray so that water flows only as needed. When
finished, turn it off at the faucet instead of at the nozzle
to avoid leaks. Check hose connectors to make sure plastic or
rubber washers are in place. Repair dripping faucets by
replacing washers. If your faucet is dripping at a rate of one
drop per second, you can expect to waste 2,700 gallons per year.
This adds to the cost of water and sewer utilities, or can
strain your septic system.
Avoid purchasing recreational
water toys which require a constant stream of water.
If you have a swimming pool,
consider a new water-saving pool filter. A single
backflushing with a traditional filter uses 180 to 250
gallons of water.
Never pour water down the drain when there may be
another use for it such as watering a plant or garden,
or for cleaning. Place a bucket in the shower to catch
excess water and use this to water plants. The same
technique can be used when washing dishes or vegetables
in the sink. Avoid the installation of ornamental water
features (such as fountains) unless the water is recycled.
Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.
If you wash your own car, park on the grass and use a hose
with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
Verify that your home is leak
free. Many homes have hidden water leaks. Read your water
meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is
being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same,
there is a leak.
Check for toilet tank leaks by
adding three drops of food coloring or a dye tablet to the
tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the
toilet bowl within 30 minutes. Check the toilet for worn
out, corroded or bent parts. Most replacement parts are
inexpensive, readily available and easily installed. (Flush
as soon as the test is complete, since food coloring may
stain the tank.)
If the toilet handle frequently sticks in the flush
position letting water run constantly, replace or adjust it.
Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues,
insects and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
Install a toilet dam or
displacement device such as a bag or bottle to cut down on
the amount of water needed for each flush. Be sure
installation does not interfere with the operating parts.
When purchasing new or replacement toilets, consider
low-volume units which use less than half the water of older
models. In many areas, low-volume units are required by law.
Take shorter showers. Replace your showerhead with an ultra-low-flow
version. Some units are available that allow you to cut off the flow
without adjusting the water temperature knobs. Retrofit all household
faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors.
Don't let water run while shaving or washing your face. Brush your
teeth first while waiting for water to get hot, then wash or shave
after filling the basin. In the shower, turn the water on to get wet;
turn it off to lather up; then turn it back on to rinse off. Repeat
this procedure when washing your hair.
Operate automatic dishwashers and clothes washers only when they
are fully loaded. Set the water level for the size of load you are
using. When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or basin with
soapy water. Quickly rinse under a slow-moving stream from the faucet.
Store drinking water in the refrigerator so you won’t need to
let the tap run while you are waiting for cool water to flow. Additionally,
consider installing an instant water heater on your kitchen sink so you
don't have to let the water run while it heats up. By insulating your water
pipes, you will also get hot water faster which will reduce water heating
costs for your household.
Do not use running water to
thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in
the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on your
Kitchen sink disposals require
lots of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile as
an alternate method of disposing of food waste, instead of
using a garbage disposal. Garbage disposals also can add 50
percent to the volume of solids in a septic tank, which can
lead to malfunctions and maintenance problems.
Never install a water-to-air
heat pump or air-conditioning system. Newer air-to-air
models are just as efficient and do not waste water.
Install water softening systems
only when necessary. Save water and salt by running the
minimum amount of regenerations necessary to maintain water
softness. Turn softeners off while on vacation.
If you have a well at home,
check your pump periodically. Listen to hear if the pump
kicks on and off while water is not being used. If it does,
you have a leak.