Water Conservation Tips
Security Water District 2011 Adopted Water Conservation Plan
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.
Try a navy shower
Due to a lack of fresh water aboard ship, sailors were taught to get wet, turn off the water, soap and scrub, and then briefly turn the water on to rinse.
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%. 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 waiting 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.
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 to 7 gallons of water per minute.
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.
Automatic irrigation 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.
Drier areas require more water than 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 shows dry soil or a screwdriver is difficult to push into the soil.
Water the lawn only when needed
Step on the grass; if it springs back up when you move your foot, it does not need water.
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!
Water without waste
Interrupt watering when puddles or runoff occur. This allows the water to penetrate into the soil before resuming irrigation.
Plant drought resistant trees and plants
Landscape with plants that require less water. These plants can be very attractive and can survive drought better than turf. Rocks, gravel, benches, and deck areas can all be used to creatively decorate the yard.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Use a broom to clean the driveway and sidewalk
Sweeping the driveway and sidewalk will get them clean enough without wasting gallons of water.
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 flowerbed or garden.
Don't use the sprinklers just to cool off or for play
Running through water from a hose or sprinkler is fun but wastes gallons of water.
Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, and faucet
All leaks cause water to be wasted. Repair or replace any equipment leaking water.
Cover your swimming pool
Covering a swimming pool will help reduce evaporation. An average sized pool can use about 1,000 gallons of water per month if left uncovered. A pool cover can cut the loss by up to 90%.
Recycle your pool water
Use your pool water to irrigate your lawn, plants, trees, and shrubs. Once you have recycled as much water as possible, find your sanitary sewer clean-out. Remove the cap and pump the pool water into the sewer at a rate not to exceed 20 gallons per minute: a faster rate could cause a backup into your house. Pump rentals are available at swimming pool supply stores and equipment rental companies.
Use shut-off nozzles on hoses
Shut-off nozzles completely turn off the water when you are not using it.