Waterwise Wednesday: Freeze Prep

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Time to put away the watering tools, the season’s first hard freeze is predicted for late this week.

– Winterize sprinkler systems by expelling all the water from the irrigation system and equipment, then blow out with pressurized air.

– Empty any remaining water and clean any residue from rain barrels or other water capture devices.

– Disconnect hoses from outdoor spigots and store them inside. Shut off water to outdoor spigots if possible.

– Clear gutters of leaves and debris to avoid trapping rain and snow melt that may freeze and pull the gutters away from the house.


Waterwise Wednesday: Water Cooling Tactics

Photo © Zhigong Zhang

Try these simple hacks that use minimal water to help keep cool.

1. Cold compress. Refrigerate damp washcloths or sponges then apply to pulse pulse points like wrists, neck, elbows, groin, ankles and/or behind your knees where blood vessels are close to the surface.

2. Ice Fan. Place a shallow bowl of ice in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist.

3. Wet Blanket. Dampen a sheet with cool water, wring well (or spin in the washer) and use it as a blanket. The evaporation keeps you cool through the night. Recommend using a dry towel under your body and/or waterproof mattress pad to avoid soaking the mattress.

4. Wet Curtain. Hang a damp sheet in front of an open window, or fan. The evaporation caused by the breeze on the sheet should cool the room.

Waterwise Wednesday: Lawn Watering

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Warmer weather brings on lawn watering. Follow these tips for efficient and effective watering.

1. Water early in the morning, before 10 AM to avoid wind and evaporation from higher temperatures.

2. In ground sprinkler systems are most effective. Pulsating or tractor sprinklers are recommended for manual watering – the heavier drops drift less.

3. Soak 6 inches of soil or do the screwdriver test to determine soil moisture. Push a long-blade screwdriver straight down into the lawn. There’s adequate moisture if the blade penetrates the soil easily depth of 6 inches. If it doesn’t water a bit more.

4. Water twice a week max so the grass develops a deep healthy root system.

5. Or let it go dormant. Grass goes dormant in hot weather, just like it does in the cold of winter. Periodic watering will keep the soil moist and protect roots without killing grass, just like a spring shower or winter snow.


Waterwise Wednesday: Wasted Energy Equals Wasted Water

Photo © Orlando Florin Rosu

The average US person’s water footprint for power production in the US averages to 39 gallons per person per day on according to WaterFootprint.org. And nearly 25% of all residential power consumed stems from idle appliances and devices.

Save water and energy:

– Unplug phone chargers, laptop charges, and game consoles when not in use.

– Shut down computers at the end of the day

– Flip off power strips when done with the devices

– Use power strips or smart strips to cluster multiple devices onto one switch. (e.g., computer, printer, and router or TV and video game console)

– Unplug the coffee maker, washer, dryer, or microwave if not using. Digital displays require a constant draw of power.

Waterwise Wednesday: The Call to All

There’s no one big solution to preserve water, but in fact a multitude of strategies utilizing the time and talents of many different people. For example,

– Municipalities and water utilities provide basic safe water and sanitation

-Researchers, Inventors, and Innovators continue to develop advanced water treatment and reuse systems for gray water and stormwater

-Engineers are making desalination more efficient

-Ag research and irrigation specialists improve plant and irrigation efficiency to grow more food with far less water

-Policymakers protect natural ecosystems and guarantee water for the environment

-Businesses designing and producing more efficient water-using appliances with less water use in the production process

-Builders and advocates creating access to clean water and sanitation

-Tech companies working with agencies and utilities to develop smart-technology to help price, manage, and use water efficiently;

– Educators, residents, and conservationists improve our homes and institutions to manage water sustainably.

We all have a role in preserving water. What do you do?

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

Waterwise Wednesday: Black Water

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

Cities flush fire hydrants to make sure the hydrants work properly and rid the system mains of corrosion, rust, and sediment.

If faucet water is dark or discolored after a City hydrant flush simply run the tap until the water is clear again. The black sediment is naturally occurring maganese that has reacted with sodium hypochlorite that is used to protect water from contamination as it travels through the pipe system.

Waterwise Wednesday: Water Safety Tips

Swimmers are bobbing at the pools and lakes. Remember a few tips to stay safe and enjoy the water all summer.

– Always swim with a buddy. Don’t assume that lifeguards can see everything, they’re watching several people at once. Children should always be under active supervision.

– Explore cautiously and make sure you’re comfortable with the body of water you’re swimming in. Rivers and lakes can have undertows. Never dive into an unfamiliar area.

– Remember, more strength is needed to swim in a current. 
If you get caught in a current, don’t panic or try to fight it. Float with it, or swim parallel to the shore.

Photo © Gbphotostock

Waterwise Wednesday: Rain Here and There

Only two planets are known to get liquid rain at the surface, Earth and Titan (one of Saturn’s moons). Earth’s rain is water, Titan’s is liquid methane.

The rain on the rest of the planets discovered so far evaporates before reaching the planet’s surface. Which may be a good thing since the “rain” is actually solid rock (COROT 7b), diamonds (Neptune, Saturn, and Jupiter), or Sulfuric Acid (Venus). Makes a walk in the rain on earth rather enjoyable, don’t you think?

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

Water Wise Wednesday: Another Way to Tell Time

A drip a second from a leaky faucet sends five gallons of water down the drain in a day. An hour could be measured as 3,364 drips or about 3 3/4 cups of water.

According to the US Geological Survey, a typical drip is between 1/5 and 1/3 of one milliliter. Using 1/4 of a milliliter as an average, the USGS estimates that roughly 15,140 drips from a faucet equals one gallon of water.

In the end, it’s probably easier (and cheaper) to just set the clock ahead for Daylight Savings Time this Sunday.

Copyright: Dreamstime.com

Waterwise Wednesday: Kid Games

Need to keep the kids occupied while they’re home for break?

Try some of these water conservation games rounded up by Water, Use it Wisely.

Games