Waterwise Wednesday: Clog Prevention

Photo@creativecommonsstockphotos

Keep the holiday cheer going by keeping pipes flowing.

Prevent pipe clogs by:

– Pouring or scooping cooled cooking fat, oil, or grease into a disposable sealable sack and disposing in the trash.

– Avoid the garbage disposal. Put food scraps in the garbage or, better yet, the compost pile.

– Forego the flush. Discard tissues, wrappers, wipes, and menstrual products in a wastebasket, not the toilet. Even “flushable” wipes shouldn’t be flushed.LikeCommentShare

Waterwise Wednesday: Winter Tree Watering

Photo © Publicdomainphotos

Trees – a vital part of our green infrastructure – may be dormant now, but they are still susceptible to cold and dry conditions. Lack of water through the winter season can damage root systems. The weakened trees may look normal in the spring, but will usually die back later in the summer.


Protect your trees with these winter watering tips:

– Water only when the temperature is above 40 degrees with no snow or ice on the ground.

-Water early in the day, so the water can soak in before the temperature drops at night.

– Use a soaker hose to focus water on the roots and avoid spraying branches or evergreen foilage.

– Water trees one or two times per month until they begin leafing out in the spring.

Waterwise Wednesday: Protect Your Pipes

Prevent a pipe from freezing and bursting to save your pipes, water, and property.

Photo © Ruslan Khabirov
Chrome faucet with water drop

– Keep the indoor temperature in your home 55 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer

– Drip faucets overnight when the temperature is expected to be well below freezing. It may seem like a waste, but the moving water will prevent the pipe from freezing.


– Collect the water in a bucket to flush your toilets or water your plants.

– Securely cover exposed outdoor pipes and hose bibs with pipe insulation to prevent freeze and burst.

– Check for leaks after any thaws. Temperature changes can cause pipes to expand and contract, leading to more leaks.

– Know exactly where the main water shut-off valve is located. Turning off the water quickly after discovering a leak saves hundreds of gallons of water.

Waterwise Wednesday: Turkey Trivia

Photo © Publicdomainphotos

Wasted food is wasted water.

From birth to table, turkeys can use over 450 gallons of water a piece for their care, slaughter, and transportation. A holiday ham can use up to 550 gallons.

Respect the resources that make a meal possible by avoiding food waste. Prepare an appropriate amount of food – not an overabundance, take only what you’ll eat, and divvy up leftovers for sharing or freezing.

Waterwise Wednesday: Thanksgiving Water-Saving Tips

hands in gloves washing dishes at the kitchen


1. Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or microwave. Plan on 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds to thaw turkey in the fridge.

2. Rinse vegetables in a sink or basin filled with water instead of under running a faucet.

3. Do not dump fats, oils or grease down the drain. Instead bag it in plastic after it cools, tie or seal the sack securely and place it in the trash.

4. Compost kitchen waste instead of using the garbage disposal.

5. Scrape dirty dishes well, then presoak in a basin filled with water.

6. Run only full loads in the dishwasher. Or, if hand-washing, fill one basin with hot soapy water and one with hot rinse water.

Waterwise Wednesday: Water Sense Savings

How much water could you save by switching to Water Sense labeled faucets, toilets, shower heads, sprinkler heads or irrigation controllers?

Water Sense labeled products and services are certified to use at least 20 percent less water, save energy, and perform as well as or better than regular models. Saving you water and money.

Waterwise Wednesday: Fall Water Check

City of Scottsbluff, Nebraska- Government>Publishing Tools

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

Use this week’s warmer weather for a Fall water check.

1. Find and fix leaks in sprinkler systems, broken heads and exterior walls (look for water damage to outer walls). Tiny openings may have allowed below freezing temperatures to freeze a pipe last week.

2. Insulate water pipes in unheated areas by wrapping with heat-tape and insulation tubes. This will allow hot water to reach your taps faster and save energy on water heating.

3. Locate your property shut-off valve. The faster you can turn off the water during a major leak, the less property damage and less water wasted.

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Waterwise Wednesday: Gutter check

Photo © creativecommonsimages

Continued melting means flowing snow melt and runoff. Check street gutters and storm drains near your home to make sure they’re clear of debris and functioning properly.

Clogged storm drains can cause neighborhood flooding, icy back up and nutrient overload as debris decays in the drains.Removing leaves, one of the largest urban sources of phosphorus pollution, from street gutters and drains can reduce the amount of phosphorus in urban runoff by 80% (USGS 2016).