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Old 06-23-2009, 07:57 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,408,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill61 View Post
As discussed in this thread, household water use isn't necessarily the biggest problem creating a water shortage in many of the western states. However, that doesn't mean we can't do something to help mitigate the problem, even if it's just little things.

So for this thread, share your tips and tricks for conserving water in and around your own homes. I'll start. . .

Turn the tap water off while you're brushing your teeth. I even go so far as to leave the bathroom entirely and walk into another room while I'm brushing. It actually improves my dental hygiene, as well. Double Bonus!

If it's brown, flush it down. If it's yellow, let it mellow. Don't flush the toilet every time you merely urinate in it. Let it go a couple of times or so, then flush. This is also a great way to get everyone in the family to remember to put both the seat and the lid down after every use. That way everyone, men and women, are raising and lowering the parts of the toilet they need when they use it. Fair's fair, and water gets saved!

Replace downspouts with rain chains and collect water runoff into a container to use in your garden. It's not only practical, but can be really beautiful!

Convert your lawn to native plantings. We don't have a front yard -- just the strip between the sidewalk and the street, and our back yard is teeny tiny. But even though we use less water than most single family homes for yard care, we're still taking steps to replace water-hungry plantings with native plants.

What else can we do? Share your ideas and tips here. Thanks!

--"Don't flush the toilet everytime you merely urinate in it"--

I would not want to see public restrooms , restaurants, convenience stores, etc, adapt that policy, so why would I want to adapt it in my home ?

The days of the old pizz pot is past and I was glad to see it go .
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
288 posts, read 830,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexei27 View Post
I have 3 rain barrels (55 gal each) that I use to water my bushes and outdoor plants. The gutter downspout empties right into the barrels.

The only catch here...you should not use this water on garden veggies...as it can have e.coli from bird droppings...and toxins that leech out of your roof shingles.
Toxins from roof shingles...okay...but doesn't the water normally run off the roof and water everything in its path anyhow? And the bird droppings...don't birds pretty much poop everywhere? How do you keep them from pooping on garden veggies? How serious is the roof shingle toxin problem? I live in an apartment and would love to use some of the water that gushes off the roof to water my potted plants. Some are just to look pretty plants, but most are herbs I use when cooking.
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:38 AM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,611,330 times
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Some of the asphalt shingles and tar roofs can be pretty toxic... benzene and stuff like that. However, I wouldn't have a problem watering with it, I just wouldn't drink it. At most, I might use it to water trees and ornamentals rather than food plants. The toxins and the bird poop in catchment systems is that it often concentrates the contaminates, and with the poop gives a perfect environment for the bacteria to overpopulate to dangerous levels. This usually isn't too much of a problem if the water doesn't sit in the barrels for a long time, or in the heat, or just stagnant... a little bubbler/filter used for fish tanks is sometimes all you need to keep it plenty safe for plants. As long as you rinse your herbs before eating them, you should be fine.
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Old 06-25-2009, 06:44 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,102,990 times
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So pardon my ignorance here, but... Regarding the bird poop/e coli scare, I'm a bit confused.

Birds do poop on gardens, so there's always the possibility that any e coli could be spread that way. In other words, rain water in a barrel is not the only method whereby it could be spread.

That said, why couldn't you dribble a few drops of chlorine in the rain barrel?
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,611,330 times
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You could put chlorine in a rain barrel to control bacteria and algae, unfortunately it's not very good for your plants. But, if you're watering from the tap, they're getting chlorinated anyway. But seriously, bacterial overgrowth is really only a major concern when the water is stored stagnant for long periods. As long as you use it frequently or keep it moving with a bubbler you should be fine. There are microbes all over the place on everything, it's only when they have the perfect conditions to overgrow that they pose an infection risk (unless you area seriously immune compromised).
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:13 AM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 23,102,990 times
Reputation: 3888
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingAll4Seasons View Post
You could put chlorine in a rain barrel to control bacteria and algae, unfortunately it's not very good for your plants. But, if you're watering from the tap, they're getting chlorinated anyway. But seriously, bacterial overgrowth is really only a major concern when the water is stored stagnant for long periods. As long as you use it frequently or keep it moving with a bubbler you should be fine. There are microbes all over the place on everything, it's only when they have the perfect conditions to overgrow that they pose an infection risk (unless you area seriously immune compromised).
Right. Watering lawns sprays chlorinated water on the grass, etc.

I'm just thinking that the benefits of rainwater - even with a little chlorine to control the undesirables - is better than tap water.
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:53 AM
 
263 posts, read 662,093 times
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my in-laws live in denver, and they are not allowed to catch the rainwater. it does not belong to them, and has to go (with the sewage or storm drains somehow?) for re-use. they have to buy the water that they use on their tiny garden and lawn.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:30 PM
 
814 posts, read 1,787,636 times
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According to General Jack D. Ripper, rainwater is for mixing with Scotch. Keeps the lousy Commie-backed fluoridation conspiracy at bay.

Peeing outside not only saves water, it fertilizes the grass and makes you feel like you've claimed territory.

Live dirty if you want to save water. It's about the only way.
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:32 PM
 
814 posts, read 1,787,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebreadlady View Post
my in-laws live in denver, and they are not allowed to catch the rainwater. it does not belong to them, and has to go (with the sewage or storm drains somehow?) for re-use. they have to buy the water that they use on their tiny garden and lawn.
This takes the cake. Here is one more good reason not to live in Denver or any place with such a mindset.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Maryville, TN
3 posts, read 9,900 times
Reputation: 10
Default Quick Tips To Save Water

Stick it to the man. More precisely the Water Man, or it could be your local utilities board. Just a little thing that anyone can do to save roughly 30% of your H2o usage and even if you rent. Its one of the few things that even the renters can do. Itíll take about 10 min. maybe at the most and will even help your electric bill, providing you have an electric water heater.


All you have to do is go around to all your sinks, crawl underneath, find your supply valves (all sinks should have these but I have seen them without) and dial them (hot and cold) back or clockwise restricting the flow. If you open your tap about about 3/4 so you can watch you adjustment take effect it will aid in keeping you from dialing it down too far. My preference is a nice smooth flow, just enough with hot and cold on so as not to splash or spray at all.
Just a little FYI, If the valves feel more than a little stiff then I would recommend leaving them alone.


S. Alan
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