The City of Storm Lake is encouraging residents and businesses to voluntarily conserve water as we head into the peak consumption time of the summer season.
According to estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency, 50-percent of water used outdoors ends up going to waste due to evaporation, wind, runoff, and over-watering. Wise use of water can help ensure that there is plenty of supply in Storm Lake’s water towers for households and businesses, while maintaining a reserve for fire protection. Voluntary cooperation can help prevent the need for mandatory conservation measures.
Ways to conserve include not watering lawns and gardens during the hottest times of the day when much of the water used will evaporate quickly. Watering is more effective during the early morning or late in the day. Residents are also encouraged to arrange sprinklers when watering lawns so water isn’t wasted running into streets and driveways.
More water conservation tips include…
- If sprinklers are set on a timer, ensure they aren’t running on rainy days.
- Mulching around plantings slows down the evaporation of moisture.
- Lawns don’t necessarily need watering simply because it’s hot. If you step on grass and it springs back, it doesn’t need additional water, according to the EPA. Raising your mower blade slightly can also help grass develop deeper root growth to be more drought-resistant.
- Give the hose a break – sweep driveways, sidewalks, decks and steps instead of hosing them off. Don’t forget to check hose connections for leaks.
- When using a power washer, choose days and times when demand is generally lower.
- Covering pools and hot-tubs when not in use will reduce evaporation loss of water.
- Little things make a difference in the household, and can save money on water and energy bills. Wash laundry in full loads, or set a load size selector down to the appropriate level. Use the dishwasher for full loads also. Check faucets and toilets for leaks that can waste gallons of water daily. Turn off the tap when shaving or brushing teeth. A 10-minute shower with a low-flow showerhead uses 25 gallons of water, while a full-size bathtub averages 35-50 gallons. When upgrading fixtures and appliances, look for efficient options that can save up to a third of annual household water costs.
- When washing vehicles, use a water bucket or hose with a flow control instead of a running hose throughout the process.