If you are a home or property owner, you are in charge of the way you use your water outside of your home and there are multiple measures you can take to conserve. If you are not a homeowner, never fear! There are also ways in which you can save water, such as practicing certain green house cleaning habits when washing your car or windows. In either case, you can have influence over the ways your neighborhood or building manages water use.
- Check the position of all rain gutter downspouts. They should empty onto planted areas, not pavers. If there is not an alternative, and the pavers are not pervious, consider catch basins. Remember to empty the basins onto planted areas daily so that standing water does not draw insects.
- Try a rain barrel. You can purchase one or make on yourself. Rain barrels can provide water for your garden and for other uses.
Maintaining your lawn and garden
- Utilize Florida-friendly landscaping principles. These emphasize selecting plants which do well in our climate without additional watering, utilize mulch to retain ground moisture, and maximizing the efficiency or irrigation systems.
- Familiarize yourself with, and follow, the watering schedules allowed under the law.
- Any watering should be done after sunset and before sunrise to minimize water loss from evaporation.
- Install a rain sensor to deactivate your irrigation system when there has been enough rain.
- Switch to a soaking hose or drip irrigation system which conserves water by minimizing evaporation.
- Check irrigation systems regularly to ensure that watering heads are directed at planted areas, not paved surfaces, and to look for broken heads which spew water. Walk your garden routinely to look for pooling water which could indicate broken pipes. Repair broken heads, pipes and other components immediately.
- If feasible, feed your irrigation system with lake or pond water instead of municipal water. Link rain barrels into your irrigation system.
Maintaining your pool
- Fill your pool only when absolutely necessary. If you are filling your pool at all during the heavy parts of the rainy season, or more than once per week during dry season, then consult a professional leak detection company.
- Maintain caulking, sealants and surfaces of your pool. You can lose a lot of water from small spaces around returns and drains.
- If you're pool water starts becoming green within a week of treatment, this may be an indication of a leak. Consult a professional.
- Look around your pool, and in the area between your pool and the pump system, for any ground that is muddy or any pooling water. This could be an indication of underground pipes that are broken.
- Check for pools of water around your pumping equipment. This also could be an indication of leaks.
Maintaining decorative water features
- In general, decorative water features, unless provided as habitat, are not conducive to conservation. However, if they utilize solar or wind power, and if they recycle water, they can be worked in to an energy efficient home.
- When constructing the water feature, use a high quality, properly installed liner and seal all cracks and edges to prevent leaking. Be sure the sides of the feature are high enough to prevent water loss. Place the water feature in a shady are to minimize evaporation.
- Follow all guidelines listed for swimming pools.
Washing your car, boat, and other vehicles
- Find a good eco-friendly car was near your home or work. These are outfitted with special flow management and drainage systems, as well as other environmentally conscious features.
- Clear out or organize your garage enough to pool in your car. This minimizes the amount of washing that needs to be done. Consider a carport (tent) if you do not have a garage. Just make sure it is secured for hurricanes or can be stored away. Obtain a car cover, if no shelter is available.
- If washing at home, work on a pervious surface so that water does not run-off to storm drains, and so that it can be absorbed into the ground.
- Wash in a shady area to minimize evaporation and to make soap easier and faster to rinse.
- Save the hose rinse for the end. Start with a large bucket of soapy water and a large sponge, and also a large bucket of clean water and a separate sponge. Wash your car first one area at a time with the soapy water, and then rinse with the clean water. Only when the whole car is clean use the hose for a short time to rinse any residue.
- Clean tires and wheels last. Never use the same sponge or towels on tires and the rest of your car. This will make the water in your buckets too dirty for use on the rest of your car, and will cause your sponge to be scratchy and unsuitable for the painted surface.
Keeping the exterior of your house clean
- Do not use a hose to clean patios, porches pool decks, outdoor furniture and windows. Instead, sweeps surfaces regularly, and use damp rags for routine cleaning. Use buckets of water for heavier cleaning. Use a distilled vinegar mixture to clean windows.
- Invest in inexpensive furniture covers for use during the rainy season. Or, surround your covered balcony, patio or porch with weatherproof fabric curtains to minimize the cleaning that needs to be done.
Enjoying the great outdoors
- Don't use hoses or irrigation as a source of entertainment. Enjoy one of our region's many water parks instead. And, please teach children not to run the hose or sprinklers for play.
- While your walking, cycling or even driving, if you see an open hydrant, please contact us through Lauderserv or at (954) 828-8000.