Repair: Stop the leaks! In one year, a leak of one drip per second wastes 10,000 litres of water – enough to fill more that 60 bath tubs. Most leaks are easy to fix by simply changing a worn washer.
THE HOUSEHOLD GUIDE TO WATER EFFICIENCY offers information on how you can use water more wisely, tips to improve water efficiency inside and outside the home, and step-by-step advice on how to test for and repair leaks, make the most efficient use of water on a daily basis, and plan landscape projects with water efficiency in mind.
When cleaning fruits/ veggies or dishes, don’t run the water continually. Put the stopper in the sink and let the sink fill up a bit.
Wait until the dishwasher is full before you run it.
Use the dishwasher instead of handwashing a couple dishes at a time.
Use leftover water from washed vegetables, boiled eggs or tea kettles to water your house plants.
Defrost food in the fridge instead of in water.
Scrape dishes into your organics kitchen caddy instead of rinsing them before loading the dishwasher.
Use your organics cart to dispose of tissues, not the toilet.
Put a jug filled with water in your toilet tank to reduce water waste.
Turn the water off while you’re brushing your teeth.
Take short showers and turn the water off while you’re shampooing your hair or scrubbing your body.
Put a bucket in the shower to catch water, use it to water plants.
Wash full loads of laundry on the shortest setting.
Hang up and re-wear clothes that are still clean.
If your machine has a suds-saver feature, use it (this reuses clean rinse water for washing the next load).
Take the leaky toilet test
Put food colouring into the toilet tank and wait a few minutes. If the toilet bowl water changes colour (without flushing), you've got a leak.
Have a leak? Check your toilet flapper first. One in four toilets are silently leaking and the number one culprit for leaky toilets is the toilet flapper.
Rub the bottom of your flapper with your finger. If you get streaks of rubber on your finger, the flapper should be replaced.
Take your old flapper to the hardware store to ensure you buy the right replacement part.
After making any repairs, test your toilet again to ensure you've stopped the leaks.
If the leak is not fixed, visit the hardware store for further tips or hire a plumber.
*This information is provided for your benefit. If you do not feel comfortable making these adjustments, please hire a plumber.
The City of Airdrie will not be responsible for any damage to your toilet because of faulty repairs.
Why should we conserve water?
The City of Airdrie is one of over 10 municipalities that rely on the Bow and Elbow rivers for their water supply. These rivers supply drinking water, provide habitats for plant and aquatic life and are also vital for agriculture, recreation, tourism and industry. With so much depending on these rivers, it is important that we manage our water consumption to ensure long-term sustainability for all water users. Conserving water also reduces your water thus saving you money!
Water conservation outside the home
Watering according to the City of Airdrie's watering schedule is a great start to conserving water usage in the yard. Here are a few more ways to efficiently use and reuse water outside.
Ensure your downspouts drain into an area where water can be absorbed (like a nearby lawn, tree or flower bed).
Water only when you need to. An established lawn only requires 25mm (about 1 inch) of water per week.
Tip: Place a Frisbee upside down on the lawn in the area you are watering, once it’s full, turn off the sprinkler.
Don’t water after 9 a.m. or before 7 p.m. Watering during the hottest part of the day can cause up to 30 per cent evaporation.
Water only when needed. Saturate root zones and let the soil dry. Watering too much and too frequently results in shallow roots, weed growth, disease and fungus.
Avoid watering on windy days.
Use a garden-hose nozzle with an automatic shut off to save water.
Water plant roots directly with drip or soaker hoses buried in mulch. Using a soil moisture sensor can help you monitor water use and ensure you only use what you need.
Water timers (available at any garden centre) can be set before you leave the house in the morning - you won’t forget to turn off the water and the water won’t evaporate in heat of the day.
Set your sprinklers to water plants and shrubs, not your driveway, sidewalk, or buildings.
Leave grass 3 inches long to prevent scorching and water evaporation.
Grass-cycle. Mulch the grass and leave your clippings on the lawn, this provides extra nutrients and helps to retain moisture.
Aerate your lawn. A well aerated lawn can absorb rain but a compacted lawn acts as a “hard surface” allowing little absorption.
Add compost to the lawn to help retain moisture.
Practice xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is landscaping or gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for extra watering.
Consider replacing your lawn with drought-tolerant and locally adapted plants, shrubs, and trees.
Use a rain barrel (or multiple). An average roof in Airdrie collects approximately 24,000 litres of rain annually - this could fill a rain barrel 96 times!
Test your soil type. Type of soil determines how quickly water is absorbed. Watering more than soil can absorb causes runoff and waste.