July 22, 2022
JCSUD Communications Department
JCSUD has initiated a "Stage 1 Drought Watch" to protect our customers' health and welfare by conserving the available water supply. The Drought Watch aims to raise customer awareness for water conservation and reduce water use by five percent. To help conserve water and maximize the efficiency of the water that must be used, we have prepared this article with efficient conservation tips that you and your family can utilize at home to help make every drop count.
- During the Drought Watch, we request outdoor watering schedules take place in the following format:
- Residential addresses ending in even numbers, water on Wednesdays and Saturdays;
- residential addresses ending in odd numbers, water on Thursdays and Sundays;
- And non-residential (commercial) water on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Please limit watering to between 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m.
- On the days when you do irrigate your lawn, flowerbed, or garden, do not over-water. Soil can hold only so much moisture, and the rest runs off. A timer will help, and either a kitchen timer or an alarm clock will do. Apply only enough water to fill the plant's root zone. Excess water beyond that is wasted.
- Water lawns early in the morning or late in the evening during the hotter summer months. Otherwise, much of the water used on the lawn can evaporate before soaking into the soil. To avoid excessive evaporation, use a sprinkler that produces large drops of water rather than a fine mist. Sprinklers that send droplets out at a low angle also help control evaporation. Adjust sprinkler heads as necessary to avoid waste and ensure proper coverage.
- Use drip irrigation systems for bedded plants, trees, or shrubs, or turn soaker hoses upside-down, so the holes are on the bottom. This will help avoid evaporation and use less water.
- Use water-wise plants that are native to our region. Learn what grass, shrubs, trees, and plants have low water requirements and then plant accordingly based on light needs. Also, consider decorating some areas of the lawn with wood chips, rocks, gravel, or other available materials that require no water.
- Although we are more likely to notice leaks indoors, don't forget to check outdoor faucets, sprinklers, and hoses for leaks, so your irrigation system is working at its most efficient capability.
In the Bathroom
- According to the Texas Water Development Board, approximately 50% of all indoor water use is in our bathrooms. Thankfully, there are some very simple ways to cut back on water usage that will quickly add up the water savings. Shorten your shower by a minute or two and turn the water off while you wash your hair to save up to 300 gallons a month.
- When remodeling a bathroom, install a new low-volume flush toilet that uses only 1.6 gallons per flush. Test toilets for leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring or a dye tablet to the water in the tank, but do not flush the toilet. Watch to see if the coloring appears in the bowl within a few minutes. If it does, the toilet has a silent leak that needs to be repaired. Never use the toilet to dispose of cleansing tissues, cigarette butts, or other trash. This wastes a great deal of water and places an unnecessary load on the sewage treatment plant or septic tank.
- Always be sure to turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month. Do not let the water run when washing your hands. Water should be turned off while washing and scrubbing and be turned on again to rinse.
- When shaving, fill the sink with hot water instead of letting the water run continuously. Another great way to reduce water usage is to place water-saving aerators on all your faucets.
In the Laundry
- When it's laundry day in your home, use your washing machine only to wash full loads of laundry and save up to 1,000 gallons a month. Washing dark clothes in cold water saves water and energy while it helps your clothes to keep their colors. When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.
In the Kitchen
- When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water. If you use a dishwasher, never run the dishwasher without a full load. This practice will save water, energy, detergent, and money. Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food wastes instead and save gallons every time.
- Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for cold drinks. This way, every drop goes in your glass and not the drain. Use a small pan of cold water when cleaning vegetables, rather than letting the water run over them. Then, collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables and reuse it to water house plants.
- Don't use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety. If you accidentally drop ice cubes when filling your glass from the freezer or have ice left in your cup from a take-out restaurant, don't throw it in the trash. Dump it on a plant, instead.
The conservation practices mentioned above in this article are just a starting point for many ways we can make small changes in our lives and homes that make a big impact on conserving and protecting our precious water resources. Thank you for doing your part to make every drop count.
Another conservation tool offered to JCSUD customers is the WaterSmart® Customer Portal that will help you track your home's water use and spending with an easy-to-use digital platform. This is a free service that provides you with the tools to manage your water use and your bill:
- View your home's water use.
- Get personalized, step-by-step actions on ways to save water.
- See how your water use compares to similar homes.
- Sign up for alerts and notifications to take control of your water use.
- Get access to tips and tricks to help you conserve water.
Visit the JCSUD WaterSmart Software website to register your account today!