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Ways to conserve water, save money during California drought

February 21, 2014 3:41:52 PM PST
It's Save Water Wednesday! Consumer Specialist Ric Romero has some helpful hints and money-saving tips to help you conserve during this California drought. Remember, very small changes can make a big difference.

  • If you washed only full loads of laundry and dishes you could save up to 50 gallons of water per week. And if you need a new clothes washer or dishwasher make sure to compare the water usage between models.

  • You could save up to 500 gallons of water per month by simply checking your sprinkler system for leaks, overspray and broken sprinkler heads and repair them promptly.

  • If you install a smart sprinkler controller that adjusts watering based on weather, soil type, amount of shade and plant type, you can save an additional 40 gallons per day.

  • There is no doubt lush, green lawns are beautiful but so are drought resistant shrubs and plants, plus they require a lot less maintenance. Planting low-water-use plants could mean saving more than half on your water bill. And some water agencies will help pay for the landscaping with a substantial rebate.

  • One more lawn tip: mulch around your plants to reduce evaporation for additional water savings.

  • Spending just five minutes in the shower amounts to a savings of 8 gallons each time. While brushing your teeth with the water off you'll save 2 ½ gallons per minute.

  • Most water agencies offer free low flow shower heads and aerators for your faucets -- just ask them.

  • Do you have any leaky faucets inside or outside your home? One drip every second adds up to 5 gallons per day of water down the drain.

  • Toilet leaks can be silent, but they can mean the loss of 20 to 30 gallons of precious water every day. Be sure to test by using food coloring or dye tablets you can get at any home improvement store. Put them in the tank and if the color seeps into the bowl, you have a leak.

  • Don't use your toilet as wastebasket. Every time you flush a cigarette, tissue or other piece of trash you're wasting 5 to 7 gallons.

  • Consider buying a dual flush toilet -- it has two flush options: a half flush for liquid waste and a full flush for solid waste. They use 20 percent less water than a standard toilet.

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