Water Conservation Tips
Key Concept: Outdoor irrigation is associated with the highest water bills in Scarsdale, and they can be very high.
Tip: One of the simplest ways to decrease water used for irrigation is to limit the turf areas that require a large amount of water, along with other plants that have moderate to high water needs. Replace such plants and turf areas with hearty, local, native plants that can survive with less water and less maintenance.
Tip: If you must irrigate, invest in the latest smart irrigation system controllers that account for such things as soil moisture, the weather forecast, soil and plant types, and other important variables. Save a lot of money by reducing unnecessary sprinkling!
Tip: Ask your landscaper about grasscycling and mulch mowing of leaves to help reduce water loss through evapotranspiration; this may also reduce the use of lawn fertilizers, as well as the overall cost of your landscaping service contract.
Tip: Consider rainwater capture as a means to reduce consumption associated with outdoor watering. Rain barrels are one option, but larger capacity solutions are available. Countries like Australia are far ahead of the United States in deploying rainwater harvesting strategies, yet many American communities not only use excessive quantities of drinking water for non-drinking purposes, but also suffer adverse consequences associated with stormwater runoff that could be captured on-site and used productively, instead.
Key Concept: Water leaks are expensive. Knowing your usage is critical to recognizing when your money is running down the drain – don’t wait for your bill to alert you of a problem.
Tip: Use real-time leak detection linked to your mobile device. A variety of commercial products will not only generate alerts when usage deviates from your norm, but also help you to gather data necessary to understanding how much water you use and when – all key touchpoints for understanding how best to conserve, and therefore reduce your water bill.
Tip: If you do not have real-time leak detection, you can read your home's water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
Tip: Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a toilet leak that should be repaired promptly.
Key Concept: Over 80% of routine in-home water consumption is associated with the following: toilets (27%), clothes washers (22%), showers (17%), and faucets (16%).
Tip: Invest in EPA WaterSense labeled products, which perform as well as their counterparts, but with at least 20% less water use. Installing low flow shower heads and aerator screens on faucets can also help to reduce water consumption without changing one’s behavior. Consider investing in an “instant hot water heater,” rather than relying on inefficient hot water tanks.
Tip: Change your behavior. Pay attention to the small things, e.g., turn off the water while brushing your teeth, take a shorter shower and turn off the water while washing, take a brief shower instead of a bath, etc.