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From the Tennessee Valley Authority
TVA: How You Can Conserve Water
How You Can Help Conserve Water
In the bathroom…
* Repair leaky faucets and toilets. A leaky faucet that drips every second will waste about 2,000 gallons annually; a leaky toilet may waste up to 73,000 gallons annually.
* Replace older toilets with newer low-flow models. You can cut your household water usage by 10 to 15 percent by replacing a toilet made before 1992 with a new 1.6-gallon-per-flush model.
* Replace old shower heads with more efficient models that provide 2.5 gallons per minute. These low-flow shower heads do not affect water pressure and are standard in most new homes.
* Take shorter showers, and turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.
* Use low-flow faucet aerators that allow less than 2.75 gallons per minute. Such aerators easily pay for themselves in water savings.
In the laundry room…
* Wash full loads of laundry, or use the appropriate water level or load-size selection.
* Consider replacing an older washing machine with a new water- and energy-efficient model. It can save you over 50 percent in water and energy costs.
In the kitchen…
* Replace your dishwasher with a water- and energy-efficient model.
* Defrost food in the refrigerator instead of using running water. Faucets release about a gallon of water every minute.
* When hand-washing dishes, use a dishpan or a stopper in the sink.
* Scrape rather than pre-rinse dishes before loading them into a dishwasher, and run it only when it’s full.
* Keep a container of water in the refrigerator instead of running the faucet to get cold water.
When landscaping or gardening…
* Water your lawn and garden in the morning. You’ll use 30 percent less water than you would if you watered in the middle of the day, when evaporation is higher. Do not water your lawn when it’s windy.
* Don’t overwater. A lawn or garden needs only one inch of water weekly to thrive (including rainfall). Thorough watering once weekly encourages deep-root growth. Overwatering is often to blame for poor turf.
* Repair any leaks within your irrigation system that cost you money and waste water. Incorporate moisture sensors or a rain gauge into your automatic sprinkler system. Use efficient irrigation systems such as soil soakers or drip irrigation.
* Set sprinklers in such a way that your lawn or garden is being watered and not the street or sidewalk.
* Water trees and shrubs longer and less often than plants with shallow roots.
* Control the flow of water from your hose with an adjustable nozzle.
* Use water from a bucket when washing a car, or go to a commercial car wash that recycles water (most do). Recycling water keeps soap and cleaners from contaminating groundwater and from draining into streams, rivers, and reservoirs.
* Sweep driveways, sidewalks, and steps instead of hosing them off.
* Use mulch around garden plants and shrubs to reduce evaporation and weed growth.
* Remove thatch and aerate turf to promote air and water circulation.
* Use native grasses, shrubs, and trees in landscaping. Native plants require less water, reduce runoff and flooding, and are easier to grow because they are adapted to local conditions. (See the Native Plant Selector for details on more than 140 plants native to the Tennessee Valley.) Preserving native vegetation along stream banks and reservoir shorelines also can prevent soil erosion. Read about shoreline landscaping with native plants.