6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Cut Your Water Use in Half

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(ABC 6 News) – From coast to coast, water restrictions are in place as drought conditions worsen, affecting tens of millions of people. That means cutting back on everything from watering the lawn to washing the car.

Saving water doesn’t need to be difficult. Let’s start outside. The EPA says outdoor watering accounts for almost 30 percent of household water use.

Save water by letting your lawn grow longer to reduce evaporation, so you water less frequently. And think about replacing some grass with mulch, ground cover or longer ornamental grasses that use far less water.

“Instead of rinsing your driveway or desk, sweep it or use an electric leaf blower. And wash your car with a bucket of water instead of a running hose,” Dan Wroclawski from Consumer Reports said.

Nearly 20-percent of indoor residential water use flows from the shower. A standard showerhead releases 2.5 gallons of water a minute.

Consumer Reports says that replacing it with a low-flow Watersense – approved head that uses 2-gallons per minute or less can save 2700-gallons a year.

Save even more by limiting showers to under five minutes, and turn off the water when shaving or brushing your teeth.

In the kitchen, soak pots and pans instead of scrubbing them under running water.

And keep a water-filtering pitcher in the refrigerator, to keep from running the faucet for cold drinks.

And you can save water in the laundry room.

“If you have an “HE” washer, use detergent for an HE machine. Regular detergents will create a lot of suds and will force an HE washer to use more water to get that soap out,” Wroclawski said.

And a word about household leaks. They account for more than 10,000 gallons of wasted water a year. So fix those drips!