Water conservation wrap-up

We've been discussing water conservation in this space for the past three months, and this week's column simply summarizes the main points of the series, underscoring guidelines provided by the City of Downey in a brochure made available to residents and businesses last summer in the wake of the city's first water rate increase in 16 years.In addition to the list below, you can also find very useful information on the City's website. Access downeyca.org, and search under "water conservation." Outdoor Water Use A. Sweep, don't water, the driveway, the sidewalk, or the patio B Landscape Irrigation 1. Reduce sprinkler schedule to two times per week, as little as 6 or 7 minutes per cycle 2. Use sprinklers only early in the morning (Winds pick up in the afternoon) 3. Check and fix overspray 4. Replace broken sprinkler heads 5. Use mulch C. Check and fix water leaks, both indoors and out; check for outdoor leaks at the meter, and check for indoor leaks with food coloring Indoor Water Use A. Showers 1. Reduce shower length 2. Use low-flow showerheads 3. Capture the cold water before the shower water warms up, and use it for watering plants B. Toilets and Faucets 1. Transition to high-efficiency toilets (HETs), now phasing into law at 1.28 gallons-per-flush 2. Put a plastic bottle filled with water or pebbles (or a brick in a plastic bag) into the toilet to reduce water flow 3. Seek funding assistance from local water agencies in order to purchase HETs 4. Turn off the water while brushing teeth or shaving 5. Transition to high-efficiency faucets C. Dishwashers and clothes washers 1. Do only full dishwasher and washing machine loads 2. Use the dishwasher instead of washing by hand 3. Transition to high-efficiency dishwashers and washing machines D. Reduce the amount of contaminants you wash down the drain (such as the chemicals in anti-bacterial soaps) by choosing more environmentally friendly products E. Scrape food rather than rinsing Other tips: Set HVAC systems and water softeners for a minimum number of refills to save water. Transition to drought-tolerant and California-native landscaping

********** Published: March 29, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 50