Check your plumbing fixtures and exposed pipes frequently and listen for the sound of running water or gathering puddles of water . If you are unable to find a leak, close all water outlets (faucets and taps) and check your meter just to be certain.
Lift the small metal lid located in the center of the water meter box cover. The meter box is generally located close to the street side of your property line. Examine the leak indicator (small red star or diamond). If there is any movement you have a hidden leak. If a repair is not made, a leak will gradually grow larger, so it is best to find and repair this leak as soon as possible.
Most people are surprised how much water is wasted with a leaky toilet. Not only can this result in higher water bills, but it can put a strain on septic tank systems. A quick check can be made by putting two drops of food coloring into you toilet tank. Without flushing, watch the toilet bowl for about 20 minutes. If the food coloring appears in the toilet bowl, you have a leak that should be fixed immediately.
Lake Rabon Watershed
Do you realize that your lawns and gardens can actually impact the quality and preservation of Laurens County water resources? Most people probably have never realized their own property can be considered part of the watershed, a crucial component in the water cycle.
A watershed is the entire land mass that drains or contributes run-off to a water body. As you can see, this can be affected by our every day activities, including the maintenance of our lawns and gardens.
By becoming involved in the protection of the watershed, we will not only help preserve a source of drinking water, but we can also insure our water supply will be maintained for generations to come.
What can I do to help protect our watershed?
- Decide that you will and can make a difference.
- Become a “conscientious observer.” If you notice someone doing something that poses a threat to the watershed, confront him or her from an educational stance because they may simply be unaware of the effects of their actions.
- Many household products you may have under the sink are toxic to the environment. A preventative measure is to buy products with the least amount of toxic material. You can also recycle some hazardous materials.
- Prevent erosion and improve your soil by planting trees and shrubs. By preventing erosion, you prevent lawn chemicals from running off into the drainage system, and eventually into the water supply.
- Use alternative pest control methods such as encouraging helpful garden bugs and keeping premises clear of standing water. If you must use pesticides, use them wisely and follow directions carefully.
- Planting trees and shrubs will reduce run-off, thus improving the water quality of lakes, reduce erosion and reduce the need for fertilizers. Trees and shrubs also require less maintenance than grass or flowers and decrease the need for herbicides and other chemicals.
- If a septic system fails, untreated waste can seep into rivers and other bodies of water. Your system is not working properly if sinks and toilets drain slowly or if effluent seeps upward from the ground. Don’t use your toilet as a garbage can and dispose of chemicals properly.
- When using car care products, ensure that they are contained and unable to seep into the ground or onto hard surfaces. Wash your car on grass so that water and detergent is filtered by ground cover prior to entering the water trail.
- If pesticides, oil or similar products leak or spill onto the garage floor, driveway, or other hard surfaces, do not clean the area with a hose. Instead, absorb the contaminated area with dirt, sawdust, or kitty litter. Sweep up the absorbed material and place in a strong plastic bag.
Below are some helpful hints to using water wisely. For additional tips, visit www.wateruseitwisely.com
- Take shorter showers. Long showers can waste five to ten gallons of water per minute.
- Check every faucet in your home for leaks. Even a slow drip can waste 15 to 20 gallons a day. Fix it and you save almost 6,000 gallons a year.
- Turn off the water while shaving or brushing your teeth. This can save 3 to 7 gallons per minute. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for rinsing.
- Use your automatic dishwasher for full loads only.A dishwasher uses the same amount of water whether it is full or empty, so be sure to fill it.
- If you wash your dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running. If you have a two-sided sink, fill one side with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have a single sink, try using a pan of hot rinse water or a spraying device.
- Insulate water pipes. Letting water run until it heats up wastes 3 to 7 gallons per minute. This may also help prevent pipes from bursting in extremely cold weather.
- Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket. Every time you flush the toilet, you use five to seven gallons of water.
- Water your lawn only when it needs it. Step on your lawn to test if it needs watering. If the grass springs back up when you move, it doesn’t need water.
- Water during the cool parts of the day. Watering during the heat of the day can actually harm your lawn. Early morning is generally better than dusk since it prevents fungus growth.
- Don’t water the pavement. Position sprinklers so that water lands on the lawn or garden, not in areas where it is not needed. Also, avoid watering when it is windy.
- Use a broom to clean the driveway and sidewalk. Sweeping the driveway and sidewalk will get them clean without wasting gallons of water.
- Check for leaks in pipes, hoses and faucets. Leaks outside the house may not seem as bad since they’re not visible. Outdoor leaks can be as wasteful as leaks inside the house.
- Don’t run the hose while washing your car. Clean the car with a pail of soapy water. Only use the hose to rinse it off.
- Cover your swimming pool. Covering a swimming pool will help reduce evaporation. An average sized pool can waste more than 1,000 gallons of water per month if left uncovered. A pool cover can cut this loss up to 90%.
- Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch will slow evaporation and discourage weed growth too