wise water use
Water is a resource we depend on every day. As the temperatures continue to rise, there are simple things that you can do to use water wisely and save money at the same time.
Thankfully, there are many cost effective ways to conserve. Even the smallest of changes in your household can have significant impacts.
Conservation will help protect Long Island’s Aquifer
- Water quality on Long Island is among the best in the United States. In order to maintain the long-term sustainability of the Long Island Aquifers, and thus guarantee the provision of clean, superior quality fresh water in plentiful supply to Long Island residents, the aquifer must be strictly monitored and highly regulated.
- The over consumption of fresh water puts the aquifer at risk of salt water intrusion and contamination. The DEC has established a goal to reduce peak season water demand by 15% to ensure the long-term sustainability of our water source.
- Across the country, water suppliers have instituted conservation rate structures as a means to encourage customers to adjust their consumption habits and reduce water usage for the sake of long-term environmental protection and clean drinking water.
- Last year, the Public Service Commission approved a change in the New York American Water rate structure to reflect a statewide effort to conserve water and protect the Long Island Aquifer.
- These efforts will slow the depletion of our aquifers and protect our water systems, New York American Water is encouraging all of its customers to consider conservation.
- To learn more about our rates, visit our Your Water Rates page.
Quick tips to conserve water at home
Outside your home
- No need to water every day. Instead, only water as needed. Depending on the weather or type of plants/turf, you may find that you only need to water once or twice per week.
- Lawn watering uses a lot of water. Water your lawn only when it needs it. An easy way to tell if your lawn needs water is to simply walk across the grass. If you leave footprints, your lawn may be thirsty! Generally, lawns only need an inch or so of water per week during the summer months. Water your lawn wisely by:
- Making the most of your watering by watering late in the day or early in the morning when the sun is low to minimize evaporation. As much as 30 percent of water can be lost to evaporation by watering during midday.
- FOR NASSAU COUNTY RESIDENTS: Per Nassau County’s ordinance, follow the voluntary odd/even watering schedule for irrigation, watering only on days that match your street address number. And, no watering from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Planning for fewer, deep-soaking waterings to encourage deep root growth and stronger turf.
Collect and store rainwater in a rain barrel and use it to water your outdoor plants.
- Set your lawn mower one notch higher to make your lawn more drought-tolerant.
- Use drip irrigation hoses to water plants, and water in the early morning or evening.
- Consider using porous pavement (gravel is a good example) instead of asphalt for driveways and walkways, the rain will soak into the soil instead of running off and contributing to erosion.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your sidewalk, driveway, or patio.
- Plant appropriately for your local climate. Check with local nurseries for non-invasive, drought-tolerant plants.
- Choose drought-resistant plants or native plants. Plants native to the local conditions have the benefit of being able to thrive within them. And, they often require less maintenance and water.
- Use a hose nozzle on your hose to better control the flow you are using. Place hoses carefully to avoid watering unnecessary areas like sidewalks.
- If you use a sprinkler, check sprinkler heads to make sure they’re not watering paved or unwanted areas. Be sure to turn them off when it rains.
- Mulch plant beds to reduce weeds and preserve moisture. NOTE: over mulching can stress plants. Only two to three inches are needed.
- Use a bucket of soapy water rather than leaving the hose running when washing your car or take your car to a car wash that recycles the water.
- Bathe pets outdoors in areas that need water.
Inside your home
- Install water-saving showerheads and shorten your shower time to five minutes.
- Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are full. If you have a water-saver cycle, use it.
- Adjust the water level of your clothes washer so it matches your load size.
- Regularly check your toilet, faucets, and pipes for leaks with our free leak detection kits. If you find a leak, have it fixed as soon as possible.
- Check your water meter before and after a one-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
- Consider water and energy-efficient appliances. Products and services that have earned the WaterSense label have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance. The USEPA reports that EPA-certified Energy Star washing machines may use 35% less water per load. Water-saving showerheads, toilets and faucet aerators can also help cut your water usage.
- Insulate exposed water pipes with pre-slit foam insulation. You’ll enjoy hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
- Run only full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine.
- If you wash dishes by hand, use two basins: one for washing and one for rinsing. Don’t let the water run.
- Before washing dishes by hand or in the dishwasher, scrape them; don’t rinse first.
- Turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth.
- Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for a cold glass.
- Rinse vegetables and fruit in a basin rather than under running water.
- Defrost frozen foods without running water over the packages. Plan ahead and place frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or defrost them in the microwave.
- Look for appliances with cycle and load size adjustments. They are more water and energy efficient than older appliances. EnergyStar™ rated washers use less water and less energy per load. This saves you money on both your water and energy bills.
Seasonal Tips to Save Water and Money
To view the PDF version of the Winter Weather Tips Infographic (below), click here.