Wise Water Use
Outdoor Water and Money-Saving Tips for Summer
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American Water is constantly looking to ensure water is available for future generations. Part of our commitment includes helping our customers understand what they can do to help. We communicate with our customers in a variety of ways, through information in customer bills, in our newsletters, and here on the American Water website.
Making water conservation part of your daily routine will save both water and money every day.
Outside your home:
- Lawn watering uses a lot of water. Water your lawn only when it needs it. An easy way to tell if your lawn needs water is to simply walk across the grass. If you leave footprints, your lawn may be thirsty! Generally, lawns only need an inch or so of water per week during the summer months. Water your lawn wisely by:
- Making the most of your watering by watering in the early morning. As much as 30 percent of water can be lost to evaporation by watering during midday.
- Planning for fewer, deep-soaking waterings to encourage deep root growth and stronger turf.
- Set your lawn mower one notch higher to make your lawn more drought-tolerant.
- Use drip irrigation hoses to water plants, and water in the early morning or evening.
- Consider using porous pavement (gravel is a good example) instead of asphalt for driveways and walkways, the rain will soak into the soil instead of running off and contributing to erosion.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your sidewalk, driveway, or patio.
- Plant appropriately for your local climate. Check with local nurseries for non-invasive, drought-tolerant plants.
- Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
Inside your home:
- Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are full. If you have a water-saver cycle, use it.
- Adjust the water level of your clothes washer so it matches your load size.
- Regularly check your toilet, faucets, and pipes for leaks. American Water offers leak detection kits, which are available by clicking here for a downloadable .pdf version. If you find a leak, have it fixed as soon as possible. One simple check -- Check your water meter before and after a one-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
Leak Detection Kit (pdf) Leak Detection Kit Spanish (pdf)
- Consider water and energy-efficient appliances. Products and services that have earned theWaterSense label have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance. The USEPA reports that EPA-certified Energy Star washing machines may use 35% less water per load. Water-saving shower heads, toilets and faucet aerators can also help cut your water usage.
- Insulate exposed water pipes with pre-slit foam insulation. You’ll enjoy hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
- Keep a bottle of cold tap water in the refrigerator. You’ll avoid the cost and environmental impact of bottled water and you’ll have cold water available in the summer without running the faucet.
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing dishes in the sink.
At American Water, we are committed to conserving our most precious resource. With some small changes, you can be a part of this commitment while lowering your water bill.