Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another Soaking Rain Would Be Nice..

It was one week ago that soaking rains were falling on much of North Carolina. In our part of the state, three to six inches of rain fell from Wednesday through early Saturday.

Those rains helped to put a small dent in the drought conditions across North Carolina. However, with dry weather in the forecast over the next several days, we all still need to do our part to conserve water.

The governor's office sent us these water conservation tips to share with you --

In the Bathroom

  • Replace older plumbing fixtures with newer, low-flow models or install water-saving devices, such as faucet aerators.
  • Place a water-filled bottle or brick in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water needed to fill it.
  • Put food coloring in your toilet tank and watch if the coloring shows up in the toilet bowl before flushing. If so, replace the leaking flap.
  • Check tub and sink faucets for drips and replace washers and “O-rings” as necessary.
  • Turn off all water to your home and look at the readout dial on your water meter. If the dial moves, you have a leak.
  • Check pipes coming into the house for leaks and have them repaired immediately. Don’t forget to check outside faucets and garden hoses.
  • Turn off water while lathering, shampooing, shaving and brushing your teeth.
  • Plug the bathtub before turning the water on, and then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up.
  • Take showers instead of baths.
  • Time your shower to keep it as short as possible.
  • Collect water from the bath/shower while waiting for it to heat up and use it to water plants.

In the Kitchen

  • Run washing machines and dishwashers only with full loads to maximize efficiency.
    Avoid using sink disposals for food scraps. Composting food scraps is much more economical than using a garbage disposal.
  • Don’t rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, or use a pan of water in the sink and re-use the water as long as possible.
  • When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • When washing dishes by hand, use the least amount of detergent possible. This minimizes rinse water needed.
  • Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for cold drinks.
  • Don't defrost frozen foods with running water. Either plan ahead by placing frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or defrost them in the microwave.
  • Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Rinse them in a filled sink or pan.

Reuse and recycle

  • Catch rainwater from your gutters with a rain barrel and use it to water your flowers and vegetables.
  • Collect natural water with a rain barrel for car washing.


  • Take time to locate your main water shut-off valve and the water meter in your yard. For instructions on how to read your water meter, go to:
  • Use dry cleanup methods to reduce both indoor and outdoor water use.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway or sidewalk.
  • Set lawn mower blades one notch higher. Longer grass means less evaporation.
  • Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Chunks of bark, peat moss or gravel slow down evaporation.

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