Summer is the peak of water consumption in the United States. In fact, according to the EPA, the average home’s usage can spike to as much as 1,000 gallons each day in the summer, compared to just 260 gallons during the ‘off’ seasons.
While it is important to use your water efficiently all year long, the timing of water usage in the summer can a big difference for both your community’s water supply and your water bill. Use (and share) these tips to improve water conservation this summer.
Summer Water Conservation Tips
- Summer’s rising temperatures often mean your lawn needs extra water. Make sure you water only when your lawn really needs it. There’s an easy test to tell if your lawn needs water: simply walk across the grass. If the lawn springs right back up, it doesn’t need water. If you leave footprints, it may be time to water. And remember, if your irrigation system is on a timer, check the weather. There may be days when you don’t need to water at all due to rain.
- Water your lawn early in the morning. You can lose as much as 30 percent of your water if you water during the middle of the day.
- Love to keep your car clean? Instead of the water hose, use a bucket and sponge to clean your vehicle. When you leave a hose running, you can waste as much as six gallons per minute. A bucket and sponge will only use a few gallons to do the job.
- Only run your dishwasher and washer when they are full. When you wash clothes, make sure to adjust the water level to match the load size. Have a water saving cycle on either machine? Use it! And if you handwash your dishes, make sure not to leave the water flowing continuously. Wash dishes in a partially filled sink and rinse using your spray attachment.
- Take showers! A full bathtub may hold up to 70 gallons of water; a shower typically uses just 10 to 25 gallons. And if you are one who is prone to long showers, shorten it up. Play music to time yourself, or simply set a timer. Listen to just 2 or 3 songs to keep your shower at around 6 minutes, or set the time for 5 or 6 minutes
- Make sure to turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth. This can save you as much as 8 gallons of water per day.
- Make sure to regularly check for leaks. To test your toilet for a leak, you can simply add a drop of food coloring to the tank. If the water in the bowl turns that color without flushing, you have a leak. Fix any leaks you find. A single leak can waste several thousands of gallons each year.
- Add an aerator or a water flow-reducer attachment to your faucets and switch to low flow shower heads.