Water Conservation Tips
Water is necessary for the sustenance of human life. While we, in the Rogue Valley use the Rogue River for our water supply it is not a limitless resource. Lately, every year the Rogue River levels drop and it costs more to process the water supply into clean drinking water.
Our Water Treatment Plant is aging and one day will not, in its current state be able to supply Grants Pass citizens with clean drinking water. You can help in this effort by treating water as a giving life source by following some of the conservation tidbits listed below.
Water: Essential. Reliable. Invaluable
In the Kitchen
- Rinse fruits and vegetables in a pan instead of using running water.
- Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator. Running tap water to cool it off for drinking is wasteful.
- Only wash full loads of laundry and dishes. No need to pre-wash the dishes. Look into recycling gray water on the DEQ's Graywater webpage.
- Install water-efficient faucet aerators and shower-heads in your kitchen and bathrooms.
In the Bathroom
- Turn off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth.
- Take shorter showers. You will save 2.5 gallons of water each minute.
- Check toilets and faucets for leaks. Running toilets can waste 2 gallons a minute while leaky faucets can waste thousands of gallons. Contact your billing office to pick up a dye packet to check toilets for leaks, it's free.
- Do not use the toilet as a wastebasket. Only toilet paper goes in the toilet.
- Only fill the bathtub halfway instead of to the top, once you get in the water should rise to a comfortable level.
- Rinse razors in the sink with about an inch instead of using a stream of water.
Other Indoor Water Conservation
- Check and make sure all your pipes are properly insulated. Cover your hot water heater with a special insulating blanket or cover.
- Regularly check for leaks throughout your home. Check under sinks and in crawl spaces.
- When you wash fresh produce, reuse that same water for your house plants.
- Replace your old water heater with a high-efficiency model and receive an Oregon Tax Credit by applying for a residential energy tax credit on Oregon's Water Heaters webpage.
How to Save Water Outdoors
- Plant native or drought-tolerant plants that require less watering. Native plants promote healthier local ecosystems.
- Check for leaks in pipes, sprinkler heads, and valves.
- Use a broom to sweep off pavement. Using a hose to wash sidewalks, driveways and patios wastes money and water.
- Apply organic mulch around plants to reduce moisture loss and keep weed-growth down and promote a healthier soil environment.
- Water during cool parts of the day. Early morning is the best time since it helps prevent growth of fungus. Or let your lawn go brown in the summer, when the rains return so will your lawn.
- Avoid watering on windy days.
- Deep soak your lawn to ensure moisture reaches the roots. Light sprinkle watering evaporates quickly and encourages shallow root systems that need more frequent watering. Us an irrigation runtime calculator.
- Water your lawn only when it needs it. You can test it by stepping on it and see if it springs back up. If it does, it does not need watering, or use a rain gauge.
- Use drip irrigation in larger gardens with weather based irrigation control (WBIC).
Think You Have a Leak?
If you think you have a leak, there is a simple test you can perform:
- Turn off all faucets and water-using appliances.
- Locate your water meter and lift the cover to view the meter dial.
- Note the position of the sweep-hand or place a piece of tape over the lens cover and mark where the sweep-hand is.
- Wait 20-30 minutes. Don't use any water. Then check the sweep-hand location. If the sweep-hand has moved, you may have a leak somewhere in your system.
Common Sources of Leaks
Did you know that most people use an average of 70-90 gallons of water per day? In the average house, 2/3 of indoor water is used in the bathroom. Take some time to go through your house or apartment and look for ways to conserve!
- Your toilet may have a silent leak. Drop a little food coloring into the tank. Wait about 10 minutes without flushing. If color appears in the bowl, you have a leak.
- Check for moist spots around and under the house plumbing and around outdoor plumbing.
- Replace worn washers in faucets and shower heads. Even a small drip can waste as much as 170 gallons of water each day, or 5,000 gallons per month.
|Water Use||Water Usage|
|Other domestic use||2.2%|
|Source:American Water Works Association Residential End Uses of Water 1999.|
How Much Water Does Your Leak Waste?
|Through A Hole*||Gallons Per Month Waste|
|Drops Per Minute||Gallons Per Month Waste|
How To Read Your Water Meter
Reading your water meter is like reading the odometer of your car. Read the numbers from left to right that appear under the words "Cubic Feet."
The 1st digit on the right represents 1 cubic foot. The 2nd from the right represents 10 cubic feet. The 3rd from the right (usually a different color) represents 100 cubic feet - or 1 ccf.
One revolution of the meter sweep-hand equals 1 cubic foot, or 7.48 gallons.