Voluntary Water Conservation

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Despite the abundance of water that we have available to us in the Municipality of Anchorage, conservation of water is never a bad thing. Below you will find a few links to different ways you can conserve water both inside and outside your household.

Check all faucets, pipes, and toilets periodically for leaks

A faucet drip or invisible leak in the toilet will add up to 15 gallons of water a day, or 105 gallons a week, which adds up to 5,475 gallons of wasted water a year. Check your flapper periodically to make sure it's a tight fit.

Install water saving shower heads

Low-flow showerheads deliver 2.5 gallons of water per minute or less and are relatively inexpensive. Older showerheads use 5 to 7 gallons per minute.

Take shorter showers or take a bath

Simply taking shorter showers will save gallons of water. For long exposures to the water, a partially filled bath instead of a shower will use less water.

Install a 1.6 gallon low-flow toilet

Ultra-low flow toilets use only 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Using these could cut indoor water use by as much as 20 percent. Older toilets use 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush.

Check for toilet leaks

Once a year, check for toilet leaks. Remove the toilet tank cover and drip 10 drops of food coloring into the tank. After 15 minutes, check for color in the toilet bowl. If you see any color, your toilet has a leak and should be repaired immediately. Again, remember to check your flapper periodically to make sure it's a tight fit.

Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket

Using a wastebasket instead of the toilet for tissues and other bits of trash will save gallons of water that are otherwise wasted.

Install high efficiency, low-flow faucet aerators

Older faucets use between 3 and 7 gallons per minute. Low-flow faucet aerators use no more than 1.5 gallons of water per minute. The aerators can be attached to most existing faucets.

Fix leaky faucets immediately

A leaky faucet may simply need a new washer. Small faucet leaks can waste 20 gallons of water a day. Large leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.

Turn off the water while shaving, brushing teeth, etc.

Don't let the water run when you brush your teeth, wash your face or hands, or shave. This can save 3 to 7 gallons per minute.

 

Do not waste water

Stop watering when puddles form or runoff occur. This allows for sufficient water penetration into the soil.

Water your lawn only when needed

Step on the grass; if it springs back up when you remove your foot, the lawn does not need water.

Spot water the lawn

Drier areas of the lawn may require more water than other areas, where water settles. If necessary, water dry areas by hand.

Use a soil probe to test soil moisture

Water only when a soil probe indicates the soil is dry or it is difficult to push a screwdriver into the soil.

Don't water the pavement

Position sprinklers so that water lands on the lawn or garden, not in areas where it is not needed. Also avoid watering when it is windy. Wind causes water to evaporate quickly and blows water onto areas where it is not needed. Remember, if it doesn't grow, don't water it!

Use shut-off nozzles on hoses

Shut-off nozzles completely turn off the water when you are not using it.

Don't let the water run while washing the car

Get the car wet, then turn off the water while you soap the car down using a bucket of soapy water. Turn on the water again for a final rinse. Use the bucket of soapy water on the flower bed or garden.

Automatic sprinkler systems save time and water

An automatic sprinkler system can be set to water the lawn for a specified amount of time. This saves your time and waters the lawn evenly. If you don't have an automatic sprinkling system, set a kitchen timer. A lot of water can be wasted in a short period of time if you forget to turn your sprinklers off. Outdoor faucets can flow at rates as high as 300 gallons per hour.

Use a broom to clean the driveway and sidewalk

Sweeping the driveway and sidewalk will get them clean enough without wasting gallons of water.

Consider drip irrigation systems around trees and shrubs

Drip systems permit water to flow slowly to roots, encouraging strong root systems. These systems will also cut down evaporation.

Mow as infrequently as possible

Mowing puts the grass under additional stress that requires more water.

Mow higher than normal

Longer leaf surfaces promote deeper rooting and shade the root zone. Never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade in one mowing. Return mulched clippings to the lawn.

Accept a less than lush lawn

Grass will naturally go dormant during periods of drought, but will readily regenerate when water becomes available. Reduce traffic on stressed turf areas if possible.

Keep lawn free of weeds

Weeds are water thieves and will rob your plants of water and nutrients. Spot spray or remove weeds as they appear.

Match fertilizer to the plant requirement

Fertilizer applications require additional water. Excess fertilizer stimulates top growth, often to the detriment of the root system. Learn to accept turf grasses with low water needs.

Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, and faucets

All leaks cause water to be wasted. Repair or replace any equipment leaking water.

 

Fill your dishwasher

Your dishwasher uses the same amount of water whether it is full or just partially full of dishes, so be sure to fill it. Many dishwashers have a water saver cycle to save even more water.

Keep drinking water in your refrigerator

Don't let the faucet run until the water cools down. Instead, keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator. Running faucets waste 3 - 7 gallons of water per minute.

Washing dishes

Before rinsing, put the sink stopper in place instead of running the water. If you need to use the garbage disposal, release the used sink water as the disposal is turned on.

Defrost food in the refrigerator

When defrosting food, plan ahead to thaw it in the refrigerator or microwave oven instead of under running water.

Select proper water level for laundry

Unlike your dishwasher, you can control the amount of water used by your clothes washers. Select the proper water level for each load of laundry. A front load washing machine uses 1/3 less water than a top loading machine.

Reuse fish tank water

Use fish tank water on your household plants. Besides saving water, it's a good fertilizer as well.