Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR)
    Conservation Tips
    For Outdoor Use
    • Water early in the morning or late at night. Watering in the afternoon heat causes the grass to "sun-burn" and the roots don't adequately absorb water because so much of it is evaporated off the top.
    • Water only when needed. Do not over-water. Soil can absorb only so much moisture, and the rest simply runs off. Use a kitchen timer or alarm clock. One and a half inches of water applied once a week in the summer will keep most Texas grasses alive and healthy.
    • To avoid excessive evaporation, use a sprinkler that produces large drops of water, rather than a fine mist. Sprinklers that send droplets out on a low angle also help control evaporation.
    • Set automatic sprinkler systems to provide thorough, but infrequent watering. Pressure-regulating devices should be set to design specifications. Rain shutoff devices can prevent watering in the rain.
    • Use drip irrigation systems for bedded plants, trees, or shrubs, or turn soaker hoses upside-down so the holes are on the bottom; this will help avoid evaporation.
    • Forget about watering streets, sidewalks, and driveways. They will never grow a thing.
    • When landscaping, find out which plants are best for the climate.
    • Install a low-flow showerhead that limits the flow from the shower to less than three gallons per minute.
    • When building a new home or remodeling a bathroom, install a new low-volume flush toilet that uses only 1.6 gallons per flush.
    • Test toilets for leaks. Add a few drops of food coloring or a dye tablet to the water in the tank, but do not flush the toilet. Watch to see if the coloring appears in the bowl within a few minutes. If it does, the toilet has a silent leak that needs to be repaired.
    • Use a toilet tank displacement device such as a toilet dam or bag for older toilets. Also, a plastic bottle can be filled with stones or water, recapped, and placed in the toilet tank. These devices will reduce the volume of water in the tank but will still provide enough for flushing. (Bricks are not recommended since they eventually crumble and could damage the working mechanism.) Displacement devices are not recommended with the new-low volume flush toilet.
    • Never use the toilet to dispose of cleansing tissues, cigarette butts, or other trash. This wastes a great deal of water and also places an unnecessary load on the sewage treatment plant.
    • When brushing teeth use cold water and turn it off until it is time to rinse.
    • Install faucet aerators to reduce water consumption.
    • Take a shower instead of a bath. Showers with low-flow showerheads often use less water than taking a bath.
    • Reduce the level of the water being used in a bathtub by one or two inches if a shower is not available.
    • Scrape the dishes clean instead of rinsing them before washing. There is no need to rinse unless they are heavily soiled.
    • Never run the dishwasher without a full load. This practice will save water, energy, detergent, and money.
    • Use the garbage disposal sparingly or start a compost pile.
    • Keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator or on the counter. Running water from the tap until it is cool is wasteful.
    • Use only a little water in a pot and put a lid on it for cooking most food. Not only does this method save water, but food is more nutritious since vitamins and minerals are not poured down the drain with the extra cooking water.
    • Small kitchen savings from not making too much coffee or letting ice cubes melt in a sink can add up in a year's time.
    • Wash only a full load when using a washing machine (32 to 59 gallons are required per load).
    • Whenever possible, use the lowest water-level setting on the washing machine for light or partial loads.
    • Use cold water as often as possible to save energy and to conserve the hot water for uses that cold water cannot serve. This is also better for clothing made of today's synthetic fabrics.
    • Check water requirements of various models and brands when considering purchasing any new appliances. Some use less water than others.
    • Check all water-line connections and faucets for leaks. A slow drip can waste as much as 170 gallons of water EACH DAY, or 5,000 gallons per month, and will add to the water bill.
    • Check for hidden water leakages such as a leak between the water meter and the house. To check, turn off all the indoor and outdoor faucets and water-using appliances. The water meter should be read at 10-20 minute intervals. If it continues to run or turn, a leak probably exists and needs to be located.
    • Insulate all hot water pipes to reduce the delays (and wasted water) experienced while waiting for the water to "run hot".
    • Be sure the water heater thermostat is not set too high. Extremely hot settings waste water and energy because the water often has to be cooled with cold water before being used.
    • Water house plants sparingly. More houseplants die from over-watering rather than being too dry.