Author Topic: How to Conserve Water  (Read 9622 times)

Offline milmuth

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How to Conserve Water
« on: May 19, 2007, 03:04:38 PM »
Our water bill just increased tremendously due to new taxes/fees.  Actually it's the sewage that went up- but that bill is based on water usage.  SOOOO...... I am looking for ways to conserve water and keep costs down.  This may sound silly to some, but water here is VERY expensive.

I make sure the dishwasher is full before I run it, and I don't use the dry cycle to save on electric (plus it was drying spotted anyway)

We cut down the "force" of the water we use when we turn on the faucet to wash hands, etc. (halfway instead of full power- when everyone remembers!)

I have to water my yard and garden or it will all die.  It is upper 80s lower 90s here year round. 

We've shortened our shower times, kids take baths with less water than before (enough, but not floating away level of water).

Any other suggestions/recommendations?  Anyone else go through seasons of needing to cut back on water usage?

Thanks!

Offline healthyinOhio

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2007, 03:08:17 PM »
Get some gutter buckets or rain buckets to catch the water to use for your garden. 
Also, when I boile some noodles or vegetables, I don't always dump the water down the drain, but let it cool down to use for the garden or compost.  HTH!  ;)

YoopreMama

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2007, 03:19:09 PM »
Get some gutter buckets or rain buckets to catch the water to use for your garden. 
Also, when I boil some noodles or vegetables, I don't always dump the water down the drain, but let it cool down to use for the garden or compost.  HTH!  ;)
We do that, too! ;D

Do you only do large loads of wash?  Can you save that "gray" water for watering?  For gardens...mulching would help keep soils moist...that and planting by something like the square foot method where there are big gaps of empty dirt.  The plants shade each other's roots and you don't water empty spots.  I'll keep thinking!  Great thread idea!

Offline mishy

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2007, 03:25:36 PM »
I use my washer's rinse water to mop the floors.
We don't flush the toilet unless #2, and then I check them all at night to be sure they are flushed so no stale sinky water in the morning.   :P

Showers happen in herds. We have a big shower so all the 4 kids shower at the same time.  It is a walk in so I can get in there without getting wet to make sure the bodies get properly washed.  Then since I am in there, I keep things going fast and kick 'em out as soon as they are clean.  You could do this in a regular tub/shower without getting wet too, it just a little more dangerous on the balance side for them all to keep changing sides to get rinsed off.  Or you can have them turn off the water while they are washing and only use it to rinse. 

After all of them, or at least the to older ones (6,5 boys) are out of the shower, I shower.  This also saves on if you like to let the water run to get warm.  SO there is only one "waiting for the warm water" for the 6 of us to shower.  Depending how far your shower is from the h2o heater is this could save gallons!  Also, I have turned my h2o way down so I don't want to sit and soak in the warm water.  It is just warm enough to wash and get out!



Offline Mama Sita

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2007, 04:02:30 PM »
Great thread!! We are stuck in town, too, on city water and sewer. About a year ago, the town decided to almost triple our sewer rates, yet water remained about the same. However, since our sewer rates depend on the water meter, well, you can imagine our SHOCK when that first monthly bill came in. It was almost as much as our previous quarterly bill. It was terrible, and the whole town was pretty much up in arms about it. However, the high rates have come to stay, so we do what we can to live with them:

--Never flush the toilet unless #2.
--Fewer showers, more just 'washing up.'
--Get a frontload washer. We found out that our top loader was using about 55 gallons :o of water PER LOAD. We invested (yes, they are expensive) in a Staber washer which uses only 14 gals. per load....WOW!! Have we ever seen a HUGE difference in our water bills now!! Yes!!!

Any other great ideas? We need 'em!!
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Offline joychild24seven

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2007, 04:12:55 PM »
Now I do shower sometimes ;)... but this works just as well on the "off" days. I fill a ice cream bucket about half full with warm water, add a splash of ACV and grab a washcloth. I wash head to toe, starting at my face and saving pits, privates, and feet til last (in that order.) I find the acv leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean, and I rinse the rag frequently. I do pay more attention to my pits since I don't use antiperspirants. Sometimes I add a drop of ess. oil to my wash water too for fragrance. Because I'm just wiping down I don't have to use a towel, so that saves on laundry too. (I do make sure to throw the rag in the laundry basket right away and I do bleach my wash rags.)

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YoopreMama

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2007, 01:32:46 AM »
Something I just learned to do...when washing dishes (paper plates are great!), I only fill up the sink a little w/ soapy water and use the rinse water to fill it up more (rinse the dishes over the soapy side).

All these minimal showering tips are great...I imagine I'm using a lot w/ my hot Eppie baths.   :(  I guess swimming has its benefits more than I realized!   :D

Offline The Spaminator

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2007, 01:29:35 AM »
Another great way to conserve water is to bring a load of laundry with you anytime you visit a friend that has a washer and dryer (or clothesline).  If you have enough friends sometimes you can go for weeks or even months without ever washing clothes at home.  Just make sure you rotate through your friends regularly so they don't catch on. ;)

Offline mishy

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2007, 01:39:05 AM »
LOL!!! 

You are quite welcome to the rain bucket out back.  Hook up with Rebekah first to make sure you know how to properly scrub your clothes by hand. 


Offline SC

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2007, 03:21:28 AM »
LOL!!! 

You are quite welcome to the rain bucket out back.  Hook up with Rebekah first to make sure you know how to properly scrub your clothes by hand. 

ROTFL! Who says you have to use your hands? Check out this link and the guy agitating his laundry with his feet!  :D
http://www.omick.net/water_conservation/water_conservation.htm
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kaira

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2007, 05:09:26 AM »
I love these ideas - I am anxious to implement some of them - thanks! :)

Offline Kati*did

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2007, 08:03:08 AM »
I have a friend in NM who keeps a bucket in the shower with her to catch as much rinse water as possible and uses it to water plants.
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Offline mamaincolorado

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2007, 11:44:23 AM »

We don't flush the toilet unless #2, and then I check them all at night to be sure they are flushed so no stale sinky water in the morning.   :P



thanks mishy, sometimes you  think you're the only one... ;D

Offline healthybratt

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2007, 12:48:25 PM »
Another great way to conserve water is to bring a load of laundry with you anytime you visit a friend that has a washer and dryer (or clothesline).  If you have enough friends sometimes you can go for weeks or even months without ever washing clothes at home.  Just make sure you rotate through your friends regularly so they don't catch on. ;)
ROTFL!   Are you trying to tell me that the water bill is too high? ;D ::)
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Offline petrimama

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2007, 01:54:43 PM »
--Never flush the toilet unless #2.
My husband said that growing up his dad taught everyone that:
     "If it's yellow let it mellow;
     If it's brown, flush it down."
I thought he was CRAZY and incapable of flushing the first few years of marriage....actually, I still do, but that's a whole different story.  ;)  Anyway, I guess it's because he grew up with a water bill and I grew up in the country.  ~Layla

Offline floydian

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2007, 02:26:12 PM »
Two things:
First, I have a front load washer, and I HATE it.  I have a Kenmore.  I cannot say enough bad things about this washer.  I have had it worked on 5 times in less than two years. 
1. Something always gets stuck in the pump, and it breaks.  Fortunately we bought the extra fix-it insurance.  I know you are supposed to always check the pockets and stuff, but I have six kids, four of whom do laundry for me sometimes.  The last time a velcro nursing pad got stuck in there.   :o The fix it guy asked me what it was.   :-[

2. It always smells bad even when I leave the door open and keep a towel to try to dry up all the water that collects in it. 

3. It mildews if I do not leave the door open.

4. I feel like my clothes never really get clean.

5. You are supposed to buy extra expensive laundry detergent.

6. I have to clean the thing about once a week because it is constantly mildewing.

All the fix it guys say their customers hate this machine.
All of them recommend a whirlpool.  If you want a front load, buy a whirlpool so they say.  They all recommend a top load whirlpool.

Second, we have had a plumber recently to fix our toilet.  He said to always flush even if you just pee pee.  He says the urine causes build up which can eventually stop up your toilet. :-\

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Offline snickerdoodle

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2007, 02:41:43 PM »
     "If it's yellow let it mellow;
     If it's brown, flush it down."

This is the rule we grew up with... but we lived in the country with a well that didn't produce enough water to waste any...  It's also the rule they use in village Alaska. 

Nickole

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2007, 04:10:03 PM »
--Never flush the toilet unless #2.
My husband said that growing up his dad taught everyone that:
     "If it's yellow let it mellow;
     If it's brown, flush it down."
I thought he was CRAZY and incapable of flushing the first few years of marriage....actually, I still do, but that's a whole different story.  ;)  Anyway, I guess it's because he grew up with a water bill and I grew up in the country.  ~Layla

I'm gonna steal that quote.  That is hysterical.  We used to never flush when we went pee, but then it really starts to stink in there and the inside of the toilet gets slimey much quicker.   :P  It used to be a rule, but hubby said, uh no, that's gross.  But I think we have gone back to not flushing it every single time.  Our water bill is always about $45, so I think that's pretty low  :-\.  I like the idea of collecting shower water and the water from steaming veggies and such! 

One thing we do is shower with the kids.  They hardly ever take baths, well, except the baby.  I shower with my 5 year old girl, and hubby showers with the 7 year old boy.  For one thing we are always so busy, so it's much quicker.  Also it saves water.  We hardly ever have time for fun splashy baths anymore.  Sometimes, though, we do baths in the big garden tub with jets.  (I hate those loud jets!).  Still in pairs, though.     

Offline mamaincolorado

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2007, 04:52:52 PM »
We recently redid a bathroom and the plumbing is under the house- right by the backyard. So my dh did something under there that allows the option of letting the gray water from showers and baths to be let out into the yard to water the grass. I'm not exactly sure how this will work, right now there is only a pipe to be attached, but we will figure out how to get a hose on there. We love baths around here, but all that precious water goes down the drain when the grass needs to be watered only a few feet away (literally!). And we're always letting that toilet "mellow"....  ;)

Offline naturalmom

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2007, 05:00:00 PM »
what a great thread :D
we have to haul our water in a 450 gallon tank in our truck, then we have cisterns buried in the  ground that we put it in, which hold 1200 gallons
if we would have built the house we would have put in a bigger cistern
it costs us $8 each time we fill our 450 gal tank
we don't have a dishwasher and i save the rinse water from the dishes and water our roses with and keeps the aphids off them and the roses love it
we also have something under our gutters to catch the run-off that we water the plants outside with and dh is the one that showers the most because of his job
we are planting a garden this year and we are going to use soaker hoses
we don't flush when we pee either
we are all the time trying to think of ways to cut back on water usage
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Offline Mama Sita

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2007, 01:47:27 AM »
Another great way to conserve water is to bring a load of laundry with you anytime you visit a friend that has a washer and dryer (or clothesline).  If you have enough friends sometimes you can go for weeks or even months without ever washing clothes at home.  Just make sure you rotate through your friends regularly so they don't catch on. ;)

I sure do like this idea :). Now, to just plan my rotation so none of my friends suspects anything.... :D
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Offline wyomama3

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2007, 02:54:53 PM »

We don't flush the toilet unless #2, and then I check them all at night to be sure they are flushed so no stale sinky water in the morning.   :P


It has been said that:

If it's yellow, let it mellow;
if it's brown, flush it on down!
 ;D

Okay, so I added this before I read through the rest of the thread!   :-[  Lesson learned!
« Last Edit: May 24, 2007, 02:58:06 PM by wyomama2 »

Offline fairwinds

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2007, 10:22:46 AM »
Get some gutter buckets or rain buckets to catch the water to use for your garden. 
Also, when I boile some noodles or vegetables, I don't always dump the water down the drain, but let it cool down to use for the garden or compost.  HTH!  ;)
I wanted to add something to this thread... where I live in another part of this world, the local people put those large plastic toy buckets or a plastic trash can under rain gutters and anywhere outside to collect rain water.  They would never just fill up a watering can w/ hose water; that would be wasteful of water when it's free to collect rain!

YoopreMama

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2008, 06:14:45 AM »
Our water bill has gone down A LOT since we've implemented some of these suggestions...thanks!

We were just notified today to start running our water to avoid frozen pipes (we do this every year).  Last year I started collecting the water (we run our basement faucet next to our washer) in a bucket and throwing it in the washer...I started that again, but we're looking into getting a hose to connect the faucet directly to the wash tub.  I'd love for that to happen..then I'm not running down every 45 minutes to dump!   :D

YoopreMama

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2008, 03:33:24 AM »
Well, the bucket took about 10 minutes to fill... :P  And certainly, exercise + water conservation is fabulous, but I'm glad we rigged up a hose from faucet to washer tub...I can let it run for quite awhile...quieter, too.   ;D 

Offline CarlyB

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2008, 09:47:02 AM »
What kind of laundry detergent do you guys use so that it doesn't kill the grass?

Would the gray water from the washer be safe for the garden?
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Offline mommie

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2008, 10:44:31 AM »
I make my own w/ castile soap, GSE, baking soda and water....should be totally safe

Offline CarlyB

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2008, 02:45:47 PM »
Where do you buy castile soap?

Do you have a recipe?

Thanks!!!
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Offline 1ofeach

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2008, 04:19:37 PM »
We plan to use rain barrels on our new house. There are some elaborate systems out there. We hope to make ours ourselves, keeping it very simple. I do hope to hook it up to a soaker hose for the landscaping, once there is some landscaping, that is. ;)

You could wash dishes in a small tub and take that water out to water plants. The soapy water would be good for insect control too.

When we get the plumber out to our house, we'll ask him about using the gray water to help conserve water too. We have to check the code about that one. ::)

And what are those showers called when you get wet, turn off the water, suds up, get the shampoo in your hair and then turn it back on to rinse off? Military showers? Navy showers? That would certainly help conserve water around here. I have to put a timer on for my ds!



Offline jenibee

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Re: How to Conserve Water
« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2008, 04:27:33 PM »
We got a $5 "economy" showerhead at Wal-Mart.  It has a "navy shower" toggle so you can shut the water off and go right back to the same temperature water when it comes back on again.  It's already very low-flow, but...shhhh - don't tell my DH...you can also move the navy shower toggle halfway shut, and it'll reduce the flow even further!  So the 45-minute "escape" shower  ::) doesn't have to use a ton of water!  :P ;)