Water conservation tips

At the City of Airdrie, we strive to be stewards of the environment. We seek to exceed environmental standards while minimizing the environmental impacts of our services.

Not only do we want to provide you with safe, clean drinking water, we want to make sure you have the tools to be environmentally friendly as well.

It doesn’t always seem like it, but water is a scarce resource. This is a fact we all often take for granted, while much of the water we use in our daily lives gets wasted. Making some simple changes will help you conserve this precious resource and save you money on your next bill.

 

Indoor water conservation

City of Calgary - Calculate your home water useSaving water can save you money.

Saving water can save you money
(Source: City of Calgary, 2010 - Tap into Indoor Water Savings) 

 

Conserve water in the bathroom

Toilets account for 29 per cent of your total indoor water use. Combined with showers and baths, the bathroom represents over 50 per cent of your home’s total indoor water use.

Faucet

  • Install low flow aerators on your faucets
  • Avoid running water while brushing your teeth, shaving and washing. Filling a sink with water for washing can save 50 litres every five minutes
Shower / bath
  • A family of four can save 160,000 litres of water or more a year by installing low flow showerheads[1]. Older showerheads have flow rates as high as 20 litres per minute while newer ones use between 5.6 and 9.5 litres per minute – half the water and energy! 
         160,000 litres saved = $487.38/year!
  • Take a 5 minute shower instead of a bath, or reduce your bath water by just 2 inches.  Taking shorter showers could save 600 litres of water per month. 
  • Recycle unused water. While waiting for hot water to flow, catch the cool water in a bucket. Use it later to water your plants or pets!

 

Toilet

  • By installing a 4.8 litre (1.28 gallon) high efficiency toilet, your family could save over 30,000 litres of water each year!
         30,000 litres saved = $91.38
  • If you cannot replace your toilet, adapt it by installing one of many water saving devices on the market (e.g. toilet dams, water displacement bags and early closure devices)
  • Do not put rocks or bricks in the toilet tank as they break down over time and cause damage
  • Use a garbage can, not your toilet, to dispose of trash. 
  • Avoid chlorine pucks used in your toilet tanks for disinfection. They can destroy the rubber and plastic parts in your tank and the flapper may deteriorate and cause a leak

Leak detection

  • Find and repair leaks. A tap that drips one drop per second wastes about 10,000 litres per year and leaks can waste 14 per cent of all the water used in the home
  • Record your water meter reading in the late evening and again early in the morning. If there is a difference, you have a leak.
  • Check all taps, pipes and toilets for leaks and fix immediately
  • Teach children to turn off the faucets tightly after each use
  • Add a little food colouring or dye to your toilet tank and wait about 20 minutes. If, without flushing, colour appears in the bowl, a leak is present that should be repaired immediately

 

Conserve water in the kitchen

Cooking

  • Wash vegetables and fruit in a bowl or stopper sink instead of letting the water run
  • Use leftover water from washed vegetables, boiled eggs or tea kettles to water your house plants
  • Select the proper size pans for cooking
  • Defrost food in the refrigerator instead of in a pan of water on the counter or in the sink

Dish cleaning

  • Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading the dishwasher
  • Run dishwasher only with full load and use the energy saver or shortest cycle
  • If you wash by hand, do not leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water or gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse then with a spray device or pan full of hot water
  • Soak tough-to-clean pots and pans overnight, instead of letting the water run while you scrape them
  • Partially fill the sink or a container when cleaning the kitchen or rinsing cloths

Drinking water

  • Chill water in the fridge: running the tap to cool water for drinking wastes 12 litres per minute

Faucets

  • Install low flow tap aerators on your sink faucets and reduce water use by 25 per cent
  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks, which can often be repaired with an inexpensive washer

Appliances

  • Avoid using the garburator; compost any uncooked vegetable and fruit peelings and eggshells instead
  • When purchasing new appliances, look for water and energy efficient models
 

Conserve water in the laundry room

  • Run washing machine only with a full load, but avoid overloading machine
  • Use the appropriate water level or load size selection
  • If your machine has a suds-saver feature, be sure to use it (this feature reuses the clean rinse water for washing the next load)
  • If you do not have a suds-saver feature but want to reuse the rinse water, consider trying to collect the rinse water and using it to water your garden
  • Always select cold water for the rinse cycle and only use hot or warm water for very dirty loads or whites
  • Consider purchasing a high efficiency washing machine which can save over 50 per cent in water and energy use
 

Outdoor water conservation

The average lawn only needs five centimetres of water per week, including rain. Longer, infrequent watering will help develop deeper, healthier roots.

Consider the following:

  • Water you lawn and/or garden early in the morning to avoid water being lost to evaporation.
  • Make sure your sprinkler is aimed at your lawn and not the sidewalk, driveway or road.
  • Aerate your lawn regularly and use mulch around plants to reduce evaporation.
  • Use a rain barrel to collect water for your plants and shrubs
 

Contact us


Utility Billing Service Centre

P. 403.948.8859

F. 403.948.6567