Conserve Water

By: Melissa Reynolds
By: Melissa Reynolds

A local community is being asked to cut back on its water use.

Residents of the Lilly Garden subdivision in Rockingham County received a letter asking them to voluntarily conserve water.

The well serving that area is limited and residents are using more than it can produce. So, the county is forced to buy water from other areas.

It's getting expensive and leaves the Board of Supervisors with three options.

  • They can continue buying the water.
  • Increase those resident's rates to cover the expense.
  • Or start mandatory water restrictions.

    The supervisors will make a decision at their next meeting.

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    How You Can Conserve Water

    Behavioral practices involve changing water use habits so that water is used more efficiently, thus reducing the overall water consumption in a home.

    These practices require a change in behavior, not modifications in the existing plumbing or fixtures in a home.

    Behavioral practices for residential water users can be applied both indoors in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room and outdoors.

    • In the kitchen, for example, 10 to 20 gallons of water a day can be saved by running the dishwasher only when it is full.

      If dishes are washed by hand, water can be saved by filling the sink or a dishpan with water rather than running the water continuously. An open conventional faucet lets about five gallons of water flow every two minutes.

    • Water can be saved in the bathroom by turning off the faucet while brushing teeth or shaving.

    • Water can be saved by taking short showers rather than long showers or baths and turning the water off while soaping. This water savings can be increased even further by installing low-flow showerheads, as discussed earlier.

    • Toilets should be used only to carry away sanitary waste.

    • Households with lead-based solder in pipes that flush the first several gallons of water should collect this water for alternative non-potable uses.

    • Water can be saved in the laundry room by adjusting water levels in the washing machine to match the size of the load. If the washing machine does not have a variable load control, water can be saved by running the machine only when it is full.

    • If washing is done by hand, the water should not be left running. A laundry tub should be filled with water, and the wash and rinse water should be reused as much as possible.

    • Outdoor water use can be reduced by watering the lawn early in the morning or late in the evening and on cooler days, when possible, to reduce evaporation.

      Allowing the grass to grow slightly taller will reduce water loss by providing more ground shade for the roots and by promoting water retention in the soil. Growing plants that are suited to the area ("indigenous" plants) can save more than 50 percent of the water normally used to care for outdoor plants.

    • As much as 150 gallons of water can be saved when washing a car by turning the hose off between rinses. The car should be washed on the lawn if possible to reduce runoff.

    • Additional savings of water can result from sweeping sidewalks and driveways instead of hosing them down. Washing a sidewalk or driveway with a hose uses about 50 gallons of water every give minutes. If a home has an outdoor pool, water can be saved by covering the pool when it is not in use.

      Source: http://www.epa.gov/OW/you/chap3.html (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) contributed to this report.


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