Long Island is blessed with one of the world’s greatest aquifers as a water source, and as a steward of this magnificent natural resource, the SHWD is dedicated to protecting and preserving it for long term sustainability. This dedication involves daily supervision and maintenance in accordance with planning to conserve Earth’s most precious resource. As with so many things, education is the key to success, and the District continually reaches out to spread the word, not merely to meet New York State conservation mandates, but for the good of all residents. A well-educated and motivated public can achieve a tremendous amount of savings. Here are a few examples of how to join in.
The Magnificent Sevens!
Seven ways you can conserve water in your kitchen without sacrificing taste or cleanliness.
- Dishwashers, especially water/energy-efficient models almost always use less water than hand washing. Make sure the washer is fully loaded before you turn it on
- Don’t rinse dishes in the sink first. Scrape them clean and let the dishwasher do its job.
- Wash dishes by hand? Get your sponge wet and soapy and turn the water off until ready to rinse. Never leave water running for rinsing.
- Use the garbage disposal less and the garbage more. Compost your scraps and reuse in your garden.
- Don’t run the water while you clean vegetables. Rinse them in a stopped sink or a pan of clean water.
- Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap to cool water when you want a drink.
- Always use tap water versus bottled water. Manufacturing each plastic bottle requires 1.5 gallons of water (and they are too rarely recycled!).
Lawn Irrigation & Watering
Here are seven simple ways to promote healthier lawns and gardens especially in hot weather.
- Plant Wisely: Grass requires a lot of water. Add bushes, shrubs, flowers and trees to reduce grassy areas and conserve water.
- Spring-Back Test: Never assume grass needs water just because the temperature is hot. Step on the grass, and if it springs back, it doesn’t require watering.
- Use Sensors: Soil moisture sensors will reveal the amount of moisture at root level, save you from overwatering grass and plantings.
- Keep Lawns Longer: Longer grass promotes deeper root growth. This in turn results in a more drought-resistant lawn, less evaporation and fewer weeds. Just raise your lawn mower blade and mow away!
- Give Your Hose A Break: Sweep your driveway, sidewalks and steps rather than hosing them off.
- Inspect Hoses and Connections Regularly: Spigot connections and sprinkler systems can waste a great deal of water. Check for leaks regularly.
- Water Wisely: Never overwater. If you have an irritation system, consider upgrading your irrigation system controller with an EPA Watersense-labeled automatic irrigation controller. You could conserve thousands of gallons and lower your water bill in the bargain!
Winter Water Conservation Tips Inside Your Home
- Get an overall picture of your water service.
- Know the location of your shut-off valve because things happen and you need to be prepared to minimize potential water damage.
- Insulate pipes in all unheated areas to prevent freezing/bursting.
- Repair cracks or openings in walls, floors and ceilings.
- Caulk and insulate around windows to reduce drafts dramatically.
- Are you a snowbird? Have your plumber winterize your home to prevent problems in your absence. Consider shutting off your water pump and water heater. This will protect the heating elements in the water heater when there is no water inside the tank.
- To help safeguard pipes, especially in uninsulated areas, open any cabinet doors under sinks, particularly those located on outside walls. This allows the warmer room air to help prevent freezing.
Winter Water Conservation Tips Outside Your Home
- Turn off all the water to outside spigots from inside your house.
- Drain all lines and outside hoses and leave the spigots open.
- Use foam insulation covers for outside spigots. They are inexpensive and can be extremely helpful.
- Winterize/drain all lawn irrigation systems.
- Check to ensure your meter pit covers are securely locked down. If your meter pit covers are broken/cracked, have them repaired as soon as possible.
- Make sure your meter pit cover is level and your meter is recessed 12-15 inches to reduce possible freezing.
- Keep fire hydrants free from snow, ice, brush, and debris. At least a three-foot radius is recommended. Snow accumulation can bury fire hydrants and ice whereas visible hydrants are readily accessed. Ask your local water district to add a snow finder antenna.