Staff training is an essential component of any water conservation plan. Performing audits, collecting data and updating hardware are important steps to cut back costs and save water. In addition to these steps, we can work together to ensure that our habits support water conservation. Below is a list of practices that will make water conservation approachable and effective.
- When washing dishes, fill sink with water instead of letting faucet run.
- Use the microwave or refrigerator to thaw meat. Do not thaw meat under running water.
- If using a dishwasher, wait until the dishwasher is full before washing.
- Put a five-gallon bucket under the faucet when waiting for water to heat up (use the water to water plants or get a “free” flush).
- A single sheet of instruction can be used to instruct new workers and one-time volunteers.
- Signage in the kitchen will help volunteers remember to observe these practices.
- Use alternative water sources for irrigation (e.g. rainwater collected in rain barrels; strategically aimed downspouts; rain gardens, etc.).
- Irrigate during early morning hours and in the evening. Mid-day water tends to evaporate before it can do any good.
- Keep an eye on children.
- Time your sprinklers according to weather and season (turn off on rainy days. Use more frequently during dry periods).
- Disconnect downspouts and collect water, or direct it towards garden.
- Sweep pavement instead of spraying with hose.
Identifying Your Leaks
- Perform a dye test to detect toilet leak.
- Place dye in the supply tank and wait 15 minutes. If the dye leaks into the bowl you have a leak (most commonly caused by the flapper).
- Search visible plumbing for leaks. Examine floors for puddles and ceilings/walls for water marks.
- Check meter to see if it is continuously running. This might reveal leaks not detected by sight or sound.
- Turn off water in facility for one to twenty-four hours (the longer the better). Check meter at shut-off and again before turning the water back on. If the meter has moved, you have a leak. Be sure to take into account heating and cooling equipment that uses water.