City promotes water conservation
May 2, 2005
With a 7 percent water rate hike taking effect last month and another scheduled for this fall, Carson City officials are promoting water conservation as the best way to combat higher utility bills.
The city’s public works department is working on an incentive program that could help people upgrade faucets and buy timers to help save gallons upon gallons of the precious resource, according to Public Works Operation Manager Tom Hoffert. Tips on how to save water will also be sent out with utility bills this summer.
The University of Nevada, Reno’s local Cooperative Extension office is also out to show people ways to use less water, visiting schools and producing informational material. Extension official JoAnne Skelly is even visiting interested residents’ homes “to see what we can do to make their houses more water friendly.”
The major focus for water conservation efforts will focus on landscape watering.
According to the city’s public works department, the average Carson City resident spills more than 100,000 gallons of water per year on the lawn, and much of it does nothing for the grass.
A standard bluegrass lawn generally needs one inch of water per week when temperature highs are in the 70s, one and a half when the mercury is in the 80s and two inches when in the 90s. Anything more than a couple inches a week does nothing for the grass, Skelly said.
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Frequent watering, too, is detrimental to the health of a lawn – a fact officials say make Carson City’s water restrictions, which limit lawn and garden watering to three days a week, fairly harmless.
The city and water conservation advocates offer up a lot of other water-saving tips, such as drought friendly landscaping, water efficient faucets and toilets, tight plumbing and simply turning off the faucet when shaving, brushing teeth, washing the car or whenever else possible.
– Contact reporter Cory McConnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.
Outdoor water-saving tips
• Replace thirsty trees with
low-water-use plants or lawn with waterless landscaping.
• Wash your car on the lawn.
• Turn the hose off while washing the car and turn it back on to rinse after washing.
• Water the lawn early in the morning to lessen evaporation.
• Raise your mower blade to two or three inches off the ground.
• Aerate the soil at least once a year.
• Don’t over-water your lawn – use a tuna can to measure how much water sprinklers are spraying. More than two inches per week is too much.
• Note the time it takes the sprinklers to spray that much and put them on timers.
• Adjust sprinklers so only lawn, not sidewalks and gutters, is watered.
For information on water conservation, call the Carson City water utility at 887-2355.
Indoor water-saving tips
• Get a low-flush toilet; or
• Put a plastic bottle weighted with pebbles and water in your toilet tank.
• While waiting for the shower to heat, catch the water in a bucket to use on plants.
• Check everything for leaks – put dye tablets in toilet tank to see if water is going into the bowl without anyone flushing it.
• Turn off the water when brushing teeth.
• Put a few inches of water in the stopped-up sink when shaving, rather than using running water.
• Do dishes only when there’s a full load.
• Only wash laundry when there’s a full load.
• Don’t defrost foods with running water.
• Use the garbage disposal less and the garbage more.