Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On Being Waterwise

Betty's Green Tips appear monthly in Cville's ABODE. Check it out here, or online

Baby, it's dry outside
With the last measurable rainfall having happened in July, we all need to get more water-wise. Local water expert Jennifer Watson at Charlottesville's Public Works recommends spending a day pretending that a gallon of water costs the same as a gallon of gas. (Your five-minute shower just got very expensive!) Other strategies:

Don't leave water running while washing, brushing, or shaving. Each minute saves three to five gallons.
Stop the flow. Pesky leaks still top the list of EPA's biggest home water-wasters. To find a toilet leak, drop food coloring in your tank and wait 15 minutes. If the toilet changes color, you've got a leak. Speaking of toilets, did you know that commodes made before 1980 consume five to seven gallons of water per flush? The city (970-3211) and county (977-4511) will give you a $100 rebate to replace your old toilets, plus a free water-saving kit.

Don't let water (and money) evaporate by daytime watering. Corann Ley, a local horticulturalist, offers this lawn trick: If your handprint stays in the grass, water. If not, leave it. Plant native and drought-resistant plants and don't forget to mulch. Thorough watering, rather than daily watering, promotes stronger root growth and therefore healthier plants. Drip irrigation hoses can save you 70 percent on water use.

Our community
Find a way to connect to our local water this month: Hike at Ivy Creek, fish the James, or volunteer to monitor local streams (streamwatch.org or charlottesville.org).

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I saved about 40% on my water bill by installing low flow showerheads, aerators on sinks, toilet water saving pop on devices...cost of water saving purchases paid for themselves in like 3 month I calculated. Very exciting and fun to watch:)