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Water Ask Arvada

Water Conservation

The largest indoor water use in most homes is toilet flushing.  Showers and baths consume the next largest volume of water, and household laundry is the third largest consumer in most homes. To conserve water indoors the following tips are suggested:

• Fix leaky faucets and toilets.  To check your toilet for leaks, place a couple of drops of food coloring in the tank.  After a few minutes, if you see color in the bowl then you have a leak, possibly caused by a faulty stopper.
• Fill a small plastic bottle (for example, a one-liter soda container) with water and put it in the corner of the toilet tank to displace water so that less water is used with each flush.  Do not use a brick that might disintegrate and cause problems. 
• Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. 
• Retrofit all wasteful household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors.
• Use the trash can to dispose of trash instead of the toilet.
• Operate washing machines and dishwashers only when full.
• Shorten the length of your showers.  A full bath can use even more water.  In the shower, consider turning off the water after getting wet; turning on after lathering up; and back off again after rinsing.  Repeat when rinsing your hair.
• Turn off the faucet when you are not using the water.  Don’t leave the water running when brushing your teeth, washing and shaving. 
• When cooking most foods, use less water and put a lid on the pot.  Plug the drain or use a pan of water when washing vegetables or dishes by hand.  Wash dishes in a basin of soapy water, then quickly rinse under a slow-moving stream from the faucet.
• Do not use running water to thaw frozen foods or for drinking water.  Instead, defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or before preparation in the microwave.
• Do not rinse dishes before washing.  Just remove large particles of food into the trash then put the dishes in the dishwasher.
• Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly.  Compost the food waste instead, or simply dispose of food in the garbage.
• Reuse clean household water.  Collect water wasted while waiting for hot water to reach the faucet or shower head.  Use this water for your household plants or outdoor planters.  Do the same with water that is used to boil eggs or steam vegetables.
• Instead of running the faucet to get cold water, fill a pitcher with water and place it in the refrigerator.
• Insulate water pipes; you’ll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.

Half of the water used by Arvada citizens is for landscaping.  The following tips are suggested to help conserve outdoor water usage:

• Water your lawn only when necessary and do not overwater it. 
• Adjust automatic timers as necessary to put the minimum amount of water on your lawn.
• Your lawn needs less water in the spring and fall and after rain events.
• Irrigate your landscape at night when wind and evaporation losses are lowest.
• Consider the cycle and soak watering method.  Our soils contain a large amount of clay, making it tough for water to soak in very fast.  The cycle and soak technique can be an efficient method for irrigating lawns.  If you water your grass three times for four minutes each time, with an hour in between cycles, your lawn will actually absorb more water than if you let the sprinklers run for twelve minutes straight.
• Refrain from irrigating during windy periods.
• Raise your mower so that it cuts to a 2½ to 3 inch height, and keep the mower blades sharp.
• Aerate your soil at least once a year.  This will improve water penetration and help prevent runoff in the soils typical to our area.
• Don’t water your street, driveway or sidewalk.  Use a broom to clean leaves and other debris from these areas.  Position your sprinklers so water lands on your lawn and shrubs, not paved surfaces.
• Avoid over-fertilizing your lawn.  The application of fertilizers increases the need for water. 
• Avoid the installation of ornamental water features (such as fountains) unless the water is recycled.
• Mulch to retain moisture in the soil.  Mulching also helps to control weeds that complete with plants for water.
• Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.  If you wash your own car, park on the grass to do so.

For further tips or to submit tips to share with the public, please submit a service request.

This information was brought to you by Utilities Department.


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