Water conservation is vital

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Because we know the tragic effects of flooding, we have great sympathy for the Ames residents and their community after their City was plagued last week by heavy rains and massive flooding, including inundating many businesses and Iowa State University facilities.

The flooding busted water mains and the entire City of 55,000 was without water service for several days and residents are still being asked to conserve water as the municipal water towers are re-filled and water service restored.

We remind area residents that year-around water conservation starts at home and proper applications can save home owners hundreds of dollars and thousands of gallons of water each year simply by following any and all of these tips:

*Replace pre-1992 toilets with High-Efficiency Toilets (HETs) to save up to 22,000 gallons of water annually.

*Shorten your showers by one minute every day to save more than 900 gallons of water annually. And if you trade your 2.5 gpm showerhead with a 1.75 gpm model, you can save more than 7,500 gallons of water annually.

*Fix leaky faucets and install low-flow aerators on kitchen and bath faucets to save hundreds of gallons of water each month.

*Use the appropriate water level and load size on the washing machine when doing laundry.

*Water your garden during the coolest part of the day, generally early in the morning, and don't water on windy days.

*Turn off the tap water while brushing your teeth or shaving to keep- excess water from going down the drain.

*Landscape with native or low-water plants to significantly reduce water usage outside the home.

*Use leftover water for houseplants, instead of pouring out a half-empty glass or bottle of drinking water.

*Install rain barrels to catch the water from your downspouts and use that to water your garden, flowers, and shrubbery.

You will save both money and water by employing these tips. And always remember - just like oxygen, we can't survive without water!