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Saving money on your water bill by conserving water

Water will be turned off for the entire town of Raleigh Friday night. (SOURCE: Today.com)
Water will be turned off for the entire town of Raleigh Friday night. (SOURCE: Today.com)(Shutterstock / avarand)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 6:12 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - As the weather gets warmer and drier most people’s water bill also tends to rise with the temperature.

But there are a few ways the EPA says you can conserve water and help save a little money on your bill.

Every Room with Plumbing

  • Repair leaky faucets, indoors and out.
  • Consider replacing old inefficient equipment like toilets, dishwashers, and laundry machines to save money in the long run.

In the Kitchen

  • When cooking, peel and clean vegetables in a large bowl of water instead of under running water.
  • Fill your sink or basin when washing and rinsing dishes.
  • Only run the dishwasher when it’s full.
  • When buying a dishwasher, select one with a “light-wash” option.
  • Only use the garbage disposal when necessary.
  • Install faucet aerators.

In the Bathroom

  • Take short showers instead of baths.
  • Turn off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth, shaving, and soaping up in the shower. Fill the sink to shave to make things easier.
  • Repair leaky toilets. Add 12 drops of food coloring into the tank, and if color appears in the bowl one hour later, your toilet is leaking.
  • Install a toilet dam, faucet aerators, and low-flow showerheads.

For Laundry

  • Run full loads of laundry.
  • When purchasing a new washing machine, buy a water-saving model that can be adjusted to the load size.

Outdoors

  • Apply mulch around shrubs and flower beds to reduce evaporation, promote plant growth, and control weeds.
  • Add compost or organic matter to the soil as necessary, to improve soil conditions and water retention.
  • Collect rainfall for irrigation in a screened container which will prevent mosquito larvae growth.
  • When washing a car, wet it quickly, then use a bucket of water to wash the car. Turn on the hose to final rinse.
  • Use a broom to clean walkways, driveways, decks, and porches, rather than hosing off these areas.
  • If you use sprinklers, make sure they aren’t watering walkways and buildings.

Other ways to reduce water use outside might include maximizing the use of natural vegetation so you’ll have a smaller lawn.

For portions of your lot where you want a lawn and landscaping, ask your local nursery or garden supplier for tips about plants and grasses with low water demand such as creeping fescue.

You can also consider planting more trees, shrubs, ground covers, and less grass. Shrubs and ground covers provide greenery for much of the year and usually demand less water. Native plants also do well in flower beds, are adapted to the environment, and will usually need less water.

For your flower beds, consider clustering plants that require extra care together to minimize time and save water.

For lawn mowing, you can set the mower blades to 2-3 inches high. Longer grass shades the soil improving moisture retention, gives the grass more leaf surface to take in sunlight, and allows it to grow thicker so it will develop a deeper root system. This helps grass survive drought, tolerate insect damage, and fend off disease.

Most of all, consider only watering your lawn when necessary. Try watering your lawn only once a week if rainfall isn’t sufficient and avoid doing so on windy or especially hot days.

Try watering your lawn and garden in the morning or late evening to maximize the amount of water that will reach the plant roots. Otherwise, most of the water can evaporate. Soaker hoses also help maximize water efficiency when watering gardens and flower beds.

If an automatic lawn irrigation system is used, be sure it has been properly installed, is programmed to deliver the appropriate amount and rate of water, and has rain shut-off capability.

When you water, try to measure it out to make sure you’re putting down no more than 1 inch each week. You can measure this by setting out empty cans with a 1-inch measurement marked in them around the area you’re watering to show you about how long you should spend there. This watering pattern will encourage more healthy, deep grassroots.

Remember, over-watering is wasteful, encourages fungal growth and disease, and results in the growth of shallow, compacted root systems that are more susceptible to drought and foot traffic.

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