Tips and insights to use water wisely
Davenport, IA (June 29, 2018) – Now that it’s officially summer and temperatures and humidity are on the rise, Iowa American Water is offering wise water use tips to help its customers safety and smartly save water. During a typical summer season, the average U.S. family can use anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 gallons of water daily. Iowa American Water is offering customers and communities the knowledge, insights, tips and tools they need to be responsible water consumers this summer.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, most U.S. homeowners use two to four times more water during the summer months, with an estimated 50 percent of water used for outdoor purposes going to waste from evaporation, wind or runoff due to overwatering.
“Summer months tend to be a very water-centric season. People have lawns and gardens to maintain, swimming pools to fill and tons of water-related activities to enjoy — not to mention the increase in water consumption simply because hot weather requires individuals to drink more water,” said Randy Moore, President, Iowa American Water. “Consequently, every August and September, millions of people—as well as water supplies and the environment—experience the effect of using water more casually. That is, they see an increase in their water bills. By helping people to be proactive in their summer water usage we can all use water more wisely.”
Most people find that they can make a huge difference on their water bills and on water supplies by taking steps that really don’t cause any inconvenience or require extra time be taken away from their summer activities. Iowa American Water outlines the following summer water pitfalls and tips for avoiding them, as well as higher water bills. Additional wise water use information can be found at www.iaamwater.com.
Iowa American Water encourages customers to avoid the following Summer Water Pitfalls:
- Automatic sprinklers: Though convenient, sprinklers don’t account for rain, cooler temperatures and less evaporation. Therefore, over-watering is a frequent trap of sprinklers. Get to know the watering needs of each variety of grass and plant you have and water manually only when needed. If you are going away and must use sprinklers, do a test run to make sure only plants are being watered, not pavements.
- Watering when the temperatures are hot: Just because you need water mid-day doesn’t mean your plants do. Do your watering early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is low to avoid water waste through evaporation. Also, refrain from watering in windy conditions and remember to water the roots, not the leaves.
- Keeping lawns trimmed short: Grass cut shorter than two inches in height is more vulnerable to “burn out” insects and disease. Avoid this and water waste by raising the mower blade to between two and a half to three and a half inches. Also, remember the “step test.” If grass springs back after stepping on it, it doesn’t need water.
- Believing that plants thrive with lots of water: Many popular summer flowers are drought-friendly and can be damaged by excessive watering. Know your plants needs and consider choosing plants that require less watering—it can save you time and help save the environment!
- Underutilizing rain water: From watering plants and grass, to filling wading pools and washing cars and pets, rainwater can be used safely for more applications than you may think. Rain barrels are easy to set up and utilize.
- Forgetting to check for leaks: Many people think of pipes “bursting” only in cold weather, but summer heat and dryness can be just as damaging. Do periodic checks of hoses and system pipes to make sure no water is being wasted through leaks. Also, check hose connections at the faucet every time you use them.
- Hosing down: Dirt can just as easily be brushed off of sidewalks and shoes, instead of hosed down. If dirt is moist, let the objects dry in the sun for a short period before brushing them off.
As part of its summer education campaign, Iowa American Water also emphasizes the importance of everyone being responsible and respectful of water resources used for summer recreation. “During the summer, more people are enjoying all kinds of outdoor activities,” added Moore. “People are relaxed and it’s easier than ever for all kinds of trash and toxins to make their way into water systems, which is damaging not only to water supply, but also wildlife. People just really need to take care—dispose of their trash properly and watch what they are putting down their drains and on their plants that could potentially end up in water sources.”
Lastly, Iowa American Water stresses that the focus on increasing funding for water infrastructure repair and replacement, as well as projects protecting water sources, are too critical to take a “summer vacation.” Iowa American Water continually pursues infrastructure and water-source-protection initiatives to meet specific community needs and takes part in advocacy efforts. “Summer is a wonderful time and offers a degree of casualness that allows people to recharge after a busy spring and before heading into an even busier fall,” said Moore. “But when it comes to water responsibility for our communities and our planet, we cannot afford to take a casual attitude. Iowa American Water takes pride in prioritizing infrastructure and environmental clean-up projects year-round that will assure our customers of a continual supply of clean, safe water now and in the future.”
About Iowa American Water
Iowa American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water services to approximately 212,000 people. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,900 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 46 states and Ontario, Canada. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.