- Demand for water is always on the rise while the State’s water resources are being strained by the competing needs of the growing population, agriculture, industry and recreation. New Jersey’s usable supply is shrinking because of pollution, declining water tables, and prolonged drought conditions. As consumers we have the responsibility of assessing our water use and water conservation activities. There are certain steps that can be taken to conserve water in and around our homes and businesses and we encourage every consumer to conserve water whenever possible.
TIPS FOR CONSERVING WATER INSIDE YOUR HOME
Below are some suggested steps that can add up to big water savings in the kitchen.
- Defrosting frozen goods under a running tap wastes water. Take foods items out of the freezer early and place in refrigerator to allow plenty of time for defrosting.
- Clean fruits and vegetables in a partially filled sink and rinse them quickly.
- If boiling vegetables, use only enough water to cover the foods. Steaming uses even less water and also conserves more nutrients.
- Chill tap water in the refrigerator for drinking.
- Completely fill the dishwasher before you turn it on.
- Use ice trays in your freezer and turn off automatic ice makers.
- Install a water efficient aerator to reduce water fl ow.
- Make sure your taps are not dripping. Repair any leaks in and around your taps and faucets without delay.
The bathroom accounts for about 65% of the water used inside the home. Since we use the most there, it is also the area where potential water savings are the biggest and the easiest to achieve.
- A savings of 10 to 20 gallons of water can be made while shaving by filling the basin instead of letting the water run continuously.
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, and use short bursts of water for rinsing.
- Install a high-pressure, low flow showerhead.
- A quick shower uses less hot water than a bath in a full tub. If you’re taking a bath, filling it to half should be enough. While taking a bath, put in the plug and turn on the hot water. Let it run before adjusting the temperature with cold water.
- To decrease the amount of water stored and flushed in your toilet, consider filling a two liter plastic soda bottle with water and placing it in the tank.
- If purchasing a new toilet, consider one that uses less water than the five to seven gallons a conventional toilet uses. • Flush the toilet only when necessary.
- A toilet run-on can waste as much as $50 per year in water and sewer costs, but is a problem that can be inexpensively resolved.
A typical American household that does nearly 400 loads of laundry per year will use about 40 gallons of water per full load in a conventional washer. New high efficiency washers use only about 15 to 30 gallons. You can also reduce the amount of water used for clothes washing by planning ahead.
- Using the machine’s conservation features, such as load size selector and variable water control.
- Adjusting the amount of water according to the size of the wash load. If your machine doesn’t come with this feature, let the laundry accumulate until you have a full load before starting the machine.
Insulating your hot water tank and pipes can also save water. The insulation will keep the water hotter longer, thereby wasting less water from running the tap to reach the desired temperature.
TIPS FOR CONSERVING WATER OUTSIDE YOUR HOME
Especially during the summer months, the biggest drains on water resources are lawns and gardens. A well-thought out plan and a careful selection of the right plants coupled with wise watering habits can significantly reduce outdoor water use without affecting the beauty of your landscape.
- Take advantage of the natural climate conditions in your yard by grouping plants with similar water needs.
- Check your plants’ watering needs by noting areas in the yard that are hot, dry, shady or damp.
- Grow grass where it provides functional benefit. Whenever possible substitute less water-demanding materials, such as ground covers, mulches, rocks and wood.
- A timed sprinkler system will save water and reduce water waste. A timer with a moisture sensor will compensate for changing weather conditions.
- Soil enhanced with organic matter allows for better water absorption and water-holding capacity.
- Use a broom or leaf-blower instead of a hose to clean sidewalks and driveways.
- Use a pail of soapy water to clean your car. Use the hose when you’re ready to rinse it off .
- Collect rainwater in garbage cans to water plants, wash cars, windows, driveways or sidewalks