Don't Use the Toilet as an Ashtray or Wastebasket Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue, or other small bit of trash, you're wasting gallons of water. Put them in the garbage, or better yea, recycle.
Put Plastic Bottles or a Float Booster in Your Toilet Tank To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. Or, visit the District office and receive a free toilet tank bank. This may save ten or more gallons of water per day. Be sure at least three gallons of water remain in the tank so it will flush properly. If there is not enough water to get a proper flush, users will hold the lever down too long or do multiple flushes to get rid of waste. Two flushes at 1.4 gallons are worse than a single 2 gallon flush.
Install Low or Dual Flush Models Federal regulations state that new toilets must use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush. Replacing an old toilet with an ultra-low volume (ULV) 1.6 gallon flush model represents a 70% savings in water and will cut indoor water use by about 30%. Alternatively, consider purchasing a dual flush toilet or installing a dual flush converter that turns a standard toilet into a dual flush toilet, saving an average family 15,000 gallons of water each year. More water can be used when it’s needed, but for most flushes you’ll be using 70% less, adding up to some significant water savings.
Use Clothes Washer for Only Full Loads With clothes washers, avoid the permanent press cycle, which uses an added 5 gallons for the extra rinse. For partial loads, adjust water levels to match the size of the load. But try to only wash full loads!
Consider a High Efficiency Washing Machine The most efficient washing machines use as little as seven gallons per load, compared to a whopping 54 for a traditional washer. A high efficiency (HE) washer should easily pay for itself over its lifetime in water and energy savings. New Energy Star rated washers use 35%-50% less water and 50% less energy per load.
Install Water-Saving Showerheads, Shower Timers, and Low-Flow Faucet Aerators Inexpensive water-saving low-flow showerheads or restrictors are easy for the homeowner to install. Long showers can use five to ten gallons every unneeded minute. "Low-flow" means it uses less than 2.5 gallons per minute.
Check Faucets and Pipes for Leaks A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons. Some faucet leaks are easily spotted, but others take a little more effort to locate. Dry sinks and tubs thoroughly and allow to sit for an hour. If you notice wetness, you’ve found a leak. To find leaks from faucet handles, dry the area around them before running water. You’ll see water collecting next to them if there’s a leak.
Check Your Toilets for Leaks Put a little food coloring, or a toilet tab (available in the District office) in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install.
Use Your Water Meter to Check for Hidden Water Leaks Read your 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. Your meter is also equipped with a leak indicator. To learn more, click here.
Use dishwater or cooking water to water indoor and outdoor plants and save gallons every month.
Use an auto shut off nozzle when washing cars
Clean the care using a pail of soapy water. Use the hose only for rinsing; this simple practice can save as much as a 100 gallons when washing a car.
Cover Swimming Pools to Reduce Evaporation
Swimming pools can lose an inch or more of water each week to evaporation. Temperature, humidity, wind, and the way the pool is situated can all affect how quickly water evaporates. To save thousands of gallons of pool water each season, get a cover for your pool.
Plants and Shrubs
Plant Drought-Resistant and desert native plants. Native plants will use less water and be more resistant to local plant diseases. Consider applying the principles of xeriscape for a low-maintenance, drought resistant yard. Plant slopes with plants that will retain water and help reduce runoff. Group plants according to their watering needs. Learn more about which plants do well in our are by visiting the High Desert AWAC Plant Search, hosted by the City of Victorville.
Put a Layer of Mulch Around Trees and Plants Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth. Adding 2 – 4 inches of organic material such as compost or bark mulch will increase the ability of the soil to retain moisture. Press the mulch down around the drip line of each plant to form a slight depression, which will prevent or minimize water runoff.
Remember! The District gives away FREE mulch. Visit our office today.
Maintain Your Irrigation System If you use an irrigation system, check that it’s operating correctly toward the beginning and end of each season. Clear any visible clogs, and adjust the settings according to the needs of your plants and the time of year. Plants will need less water in cooler weather and more in hotter weather, and correct settings will not only save water but ensure that plants are getting the right amounts. Also be sure the timer waters in the morning to reduce loss to evaporation and prevent moisture from staying on plants overnight. Position Sprinklers and Drip Carefully Position your sprinklers so water lands on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas. Also, avoid watering on windy days.
Use Efficient Watering Systems You can greatly reduce the amount of water used for shrubs, plants, and trees by installing a simple drip-irrigation system. For trees and woody shrubs, deep water with slow delivery irrigation. Be sure to avoid over-watering plants and shrubs, since this can diminish plant health and cause yellowing of the leaves. When hand watering, use a variable spray nozzle with a shut off for targeted watering.
Plant in 'Hydro-Zones' to Maximize Water Use Grouping plants with similar water needs means you won’t be wasting water on plants that don’t need it. Keep your water-wise and xeriscaped plants together, and do likewise with thirstier plants. Water only certain zones regularly, while watering drought-tolerant plantings less frequently.
Control Weeds to Reduce Competition for Water in the Garden Weeds use water, too! If you don’t weed, the garden invaders will take up water meant for your plants. A good layer of mulch around your plants not only conserves soil moisture but helps keep weeds under control.
Water During the Early Parts of the Day; Avoid Watering When It Is Windy Early morning is generally better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. Early watering and late watering also reduce water loss to evaporation. Watering early in the day is also the best defense against slugs and other garden pests. Try not to water when it’s windy: wind can blow sprinklers off target and speed evaporation. An automated watering system with a built-in moisture sensor can help ensure you’re only watering when necessary and at the most efficient time of day. If you’re using a timer, consider adding a rain or moisture sensor to avoid watering unnecessarily.