Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – As the weather gets warmer and drier, most people’s water bills also tend to rise with the temperature.
But there are many ways in which APE says you can conserve water and help save some money on your bill.
Each room with plumbing
- Fix leaky faucets, inside and out.
- Consider replacing old, inefficient amenities like toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines to save money in the long run.
In the kitchen
- When cooking, peel and clean the vegetables in a large bowl of water rather than under running water.
- Fill your sink or basin when washing and rinsing dishes.
- Only run the dishwasher when it is full.
- When buying a dishwasher, choose one with a “light wash” option.
- Only use the garbage disposal when necessary.
- Install faucet aerators.
In the bathroom
- Take short showers rather than baths.
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth, shave and soap up in the shower. Fill the sink to shave to make things easier.
- Fix leaky toilets. Add 12 drops of food coloring to the reservoir, and if the color appears in the bowl an hour later, your toilet is leaking.
- Install a toilet dam, faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads.
- Run full loads of laundry.
- When buying a new washing machine, buy a water-efficient model that can be adjusted to the size of the load.
- Apply mulch around shrubs and flower beds to reduce evaporation, promote plant growth and control weeds.
- Add compost or organic matter to the soil if necessary, to improve soil conditions and water retention.
- Collect rainfall for irrigation in a screened container that will prevent the growth of mosquito larvae.
- When washing a car, wet it quickly, then use a bucket of water to wash the car. Turn on the hose for the final rinse.
- Use a broom to clean driveways, walkways, decks and porches, rather than hosing down these areas.
- If you use sprinklers, make sure they don’t water walkways and buildings.
Other ways to reduce outdoor water use could be to maximize the use of natural vegetation in order to have a smaller lawn.
For parts of your yard where you want lawn and landscaping, ask your local nursery or gardener for advice on plants and grasses with low water demands, such as creeping fescue.
You can also consider planting more trees, shrubs, ground cover, and less grass. Shrubs and ground covers provide greenery for much of the year and generally require less water. Native plants also do well in flower beds, are adapted to the environment and generally need less water.
For your flower beds, consider grouping plants that require extra care to minimize time and save water.
To mow the lawn, you can set the mower blades at 2-3 inches high. Longer grass shades the soil improving moisture retention, gives the grass more leaf area to absorb sunlight, and allows it to grow thicker in order to develop a deeper root system. This helps the grass survive drought, tolerate insect damage, and ward off disease.
Above all, only water your lawn when necessary. Try to water your lawn only once a week if rainfall is not sufficient and avoid doing it on windy or particularly hot days.
Try to water your lawn and garden in the morning or late evening to maximize the amount of water that will reach plant roots. Otherwise, most of the water can evaporate. Soaker hoses also help maximize water efficiency when watering gardens and flower beds.
If an automatic lawn irrigation system is used, make sure it has been installed correctly, is programmed to deliver the correct amount and flow of water, and has a function. stopping the rain.
When you water, try to measure it to make sure you don’t put more than 1 inch per week. You can measure this by placing empty cans with a 1 inch measurement marked around the area you are watering to show you how long you should be there. This watering pattern will encourage a healthier, deeper base.
Remember that overwatering is wasteful, encourages fungal growth and disease, and results in the growth of shallow, compact root systems that are more susceptible to drought and foot traffic.
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