Conserving water is an issue we should all be concerned with. There are so many ways to save water and money inside your home, but what can you do outside to continue your water-saving efforts? If you really want to make sure you save water inside and outside of your home, here are a few of outdoor tips that can help you.

Wash Your Pets Outside

When it’s time to bathe your furry family members, wash them outside in an area of your lawn that is in need of watering. As long as you use a shampoo that is non-toxic, you can kill two birds with one stone and wash your pets and water your lawn at the same time. A severely dry lawn can benefit from your pet’s weekly grooming routine.

Use Your Aquarium Water for Non-Edible Plants

As you prepare to clean out your aquarium, if it’s small enough to move it outside, you should do so. If not, you can take the dirty water from the fish tank to water your non-edible plants. The nutrients in the aquarium water can give your outdoor plants the boost they need to grow healthy and strong.

Don’t Pour Unused Pet Water Down the Drain

If Fido doesn’t finish all of the water in his dish, instead of pouring it down the drain, pour it on your trees and shrubs outside. This is a great way to utilize water that has already been dispensed and not utilized. Your trees and shrubs will gladly drink the dog’s unused water.

Don’t Use the Hose to Clean Your Driveway

Instead of washing your driveway, patio or sidewalk down with the hose, you should use a broom to sweep dirt and debris away. You can save gallons of water by doing this. And if you feel you must use water to rinse the driveway, consider using leftover water from washing your vegetables for cooking.

There are many great ways to conserve water inside and outside your home. If you are willing to take the time, you can save water both inside and outside of your home.

Your garden hose can use more than 10 gallons of water per minute. You can minimize water waste with the following tips:

  • Use a spray nozzle with a cutoff handle on your hose so water doesn’t flow continuously
  • Check your hose connections often for leaks. Place a hose washer between the hose bib and the hose to eliminate leaks in that area.
  • Rake and sweep leaves — don’t hose them away
  • Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water

During a drought you should completely avoid washing your car with a hose at home. If your car desperately needs a bath, take it to a car wash that recycles water. You could also use some old rags and a bucket of water to do the job with much less water waste.

Outdoor Cleaning Water Use

A standard garden hose can use 10 gallons per minute or more. This means you can easily use 100 gallons of water with only a 10 minute car or pavement wash.

A broom, on the other hand, uses no water and gets the driveway and sidewalk just as clean.

If you must hose down pavements or wash your car, be sure to attach a shutoff hose nozzle on your garden hose. A good quality hose nozzle should not leak or drip when in the off position. Check to make sure that your hose is not leaking at the hose bib connection either. A hose washer will usually take care of hose bib leaks.

Outdoor Cleaning Water Savings

Eliminating outdoor cleaning of pavements and cars is an excellent way to save water. The best way to clean outdoors is to get out the broom and sweep. The amount of water you save is, of course, determined by the amount of water you normally use for these purposes.

A typical hose runs at a flow rate of 5 to 8 gallons per minute (gpm), but can run as high as 10 gpm. If your hose runs at 7 gpm, then a five minute driveway hose-down uses 35 gallons of water and a 15 minute car wash uses 105 gallons of water.

Eliminating your weekly five minute pavement hose-down could save between 625 and 2500 gallons of water per year depending on the flow rate and frequency of use.

If your car desperately needs a bath, take it to a car wash that recycles water. You could also use some old rags and a bucket of water to do the job with much less water waste.

If you must hose down pavements or wash your car, be sure to attach a shutoff hose nozzle on your garden hose. A good quality hose nozzle should not leak or drip when in the off position. Check to make sure that your hose is not leaking at the hose bib connection either. A hose washer will usually take care of hose bib leaks.

Wastewater Savings

By using a broom and sweeping, you avoid creating any wastewater. If you do use water for outdoor cleaning, much of the wastewater produced will probably run-off into the storm water system that drains to a nearby creek or will evaporate. If possible, you should reuse some of the wastewater onto your landscape. Be sure and use a non-toxic biodegradable soap if you intend to reuse water for plants.

 

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