Using water carefully is important at any time. Here are some basic guidelines to help you practice efficient water use. Remember that for most single family residential customers, focusing on outdoor water use can result in easy water savings.
Water use in your yard
Water lawns during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind speed are the lowest, this reduces losses from evaporation.
Don't over water your lawn. Generally, lawns only need one inch of water per week.
Don't allow sprinklers to water your street, driveway, or sidewalk. Position them so water lands on the lawn and shrubs, not the paved areas.
Avoid over fertilizing your lawn. Fertilizer applications increase the need for water.
Set your mower blades so they cut grass about 2 to 3 inches tall. Mowing it shorter dries out the soil faster and increases water use.
Mulch plants to reduce evaporation and weed growth.
Adjust automatic irrigation timers as needs change.
Whenever possible, place plants with similar water needs close together.
Other outdoor activities
Use an auto-shutoff spray nozzle on your garden hose.
Wash your car at a commercial car wash - they recycle the wash water.
Avoid hosing down your driveway. Sweep, instead.
Leaks can be the biggest water waster of all. If you feel your water use is high, you can request assistance from the Public Works Department by calling 706-860-5138. Public Works staff will determine if there is a leak on your property and in most cases can quantify water losses.
A running toilet can use as much as 4,000 gallons per day!
Check for toilet tank leaks by adding food coloring to the tank, if the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the toilet bowl within 30 minutes (flush as soon as test is done, since food coloring may stain tank). Check the toilet for worn out, corroded or bent parts. Most replacement parts are inexpensive, readily available, and easily installed.
If the toilet handle frequently sticks in the flush position letting water run constantly, replace or adjust it.
Water use in your home
Make sure your home appliances are water efficient.
Install a toilet dam or displacement device (bag or bottle filled with water) to cut down on the amount of water needed for each flush. Maker sure installation does not interfere with the operating parts.
Put bathroom trash in the waste basket instead of flushing it down the toilet.
Installing a water efficient showerhead can save 5 to 10 gallons per shower.
Run the clothes washer and dishwasher with full loads.
Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing of food waste, instead of using a garbage disposal.
Lawn Watering Guide
If you live in a home with an average sized lawn, you are probably using at least half of your water outdoors. A typical Grovetown residence could save more than 50,000 gallons of water each year through improved lawn irrigation practices.
Water your lawn no more than 3 times per week
Water in the early morning hours when there usually is less wind
Adjust your sprinkler system according to the season
Apply water according to your lawn's seasonal needs.
Use this simple test to determine how much water your sprinkler system applies to your yard:
Place 5 or 6 flat-bottomed containers (such as coffee mugs, tin cans, cake pans, etc.) on your lawn. Distribute them as evenly over your lawn as possible, keeping them at least 2 feet from the sprinkler heads. Turn on the sprinkler system so that the containers begin filling with water. After 15 minutes, turn off the system. Using a ruler or tape measurer to determine the depth of water in each container. The measurements will probably be between 1/8 to 7/8 of an inch. Use the chart below to determine how many minutes a week to water your lawn.
Total minutes of watering based on 3 days per week
Little or no watering required
*Average depth in cans (in inches after 15 minutes)
Other water-saving tips for your lawn include:
Replace or repair broken sprinkler heads as needed.
Avoid water runoff especially on sloped lawns by turning off the sprinklers for 15 minutes halfway through your complete watering time to allow the soil to absorb the water.