Published: July 27, 2017

    Water Habits to Break This Summer

    Things are heating up, and not just because it’s summer – according to Scientific American 2016 was the hottest year on record, as were the two years before that. Following suit, this summer is expected to break global records as the warmest summer we’ve ever had.

    For families, this means cooling off in the pool, staying hydrated, and watering the lawn and flowers to combat the oppressive heat. But think twice before you set a new record for your water bill.

    Accompanying the high temperatures is a prolonged drought in many regions of the country, which we should become accustomed to with a warming climate. As tempted as you might be to run through your water with reckless abandon every homeowner should all conserve as much water as possible, especially in regions where watering limits and drought measures are already in effect.

    How are you expected to cut down on your water usage while staying cool and refreshed this summer? Just follow these tips to start breaking your old water habits:

    • Limit Your Lawn Watering – In states like Florida, California, and Texas many municipalities have placed watering restrictions on residents. Even if you’re not in an area experiencing a drought you should be able to have a healthy lawn while only watering once a week. Only water in the morning or evening when the sun isn’t high in the sky (otherwise the water will quickly evaporate).
    • Ditch the Grass Lawn – You can save water around the year by replacing your grass lawn altogether. Grass lawns are naturally “thirsty” and require plenty of upkeep to look healthy. Go for an artificial turf lawn or drought-resistant landscaping to limit your water usage. Some water utilities offer rebates if you remove your grass lawn.
    • Shorten Your Shower – You’ve heard this advice all the time, but resist the temptation to take long showers in the heat of the summer. Cutting off two minutes of your shower each day will result in over 1,500 gallons of saved water per year! If you’re having difficulty making it shorter, try this: turn the water off while you’re lathering or shaving.
    • Get an energy-efficient dishwasher – While you may assume dishwashers waste water that would depend on the type: energy-efficient dishwashers use an average of 3 gallons of water per load, compared to the 10 gallons of water per load using a unit that isn’t energy efficient. If your dishwasher isn’t eco-friendly, it may be time to upgrade!
    • Test Your Toilet – Let’s be honest: testing our toilets for leaks isn’t part of our normal routine. Incorporate this habit once a month to potentially save hundreds of gallons of water. Put a couple of drops of food coloring in your toilet tank and if you see the color appear in the bowl you have a leak on your hands. Most leaks can be remedied with a rubber flapper.
    • Upgrade Your Appliances – Simply choosing appliances and systems that are designed to waste less water makes a huge difference. Consider installing Energy Star toilets and faucets. Ensure your showerhead isn’t wasting water. Choose a water softener that doesn’t waste water or discharge brine back in to the water supply.

    By making the effort to change your water habits this summer you can save hundreds of dollars while also helping your local area conserve water in case of drought. Old habits are hard to break, but stick with them and before long you’ll be a water conservation pro.