Use Water Wisely in Heat Wave
July 20, 2011
Although Madison is not experiencing a water shortage, the Water Utility advises residents to be smart about how they use water in their homes and yards during the current heat wave.
Water demand typically rises in the summer months, according to General Manager Tom Heikkinen, so the utility is alert to increased pumpage requirements during periods of excessively high temperatures. "People need to keep themselves well hydrated by drinking plenty of healthy tap water, but they can conserve water in other ways," he said.
Heikkinen offers these tips for using water wisely:
• Water your garden and flower beds early in the morning or later in the evening to prevent excess evaporation.
• Water the lawn only when needed. Step on the grass; if it springs back up when you move your foot, it does not need water. Established, healthy lawns can survive several weeks of dormancy during summer with little or no water.
• If you must use a sprinkler, adjust it so you're not wasting water by sprinkling the house, sidewalk, or street.
• Use a broom rather than a hose to clean driveways, sidewalks and patios.
• Wash cars and boats with a bucket and a sponge, using the hose only for the rinse.
• In the house, repair leaks in faucets, shower heads, and toilets to avoid wasting water.
• Install water-saving devices: aerators for kitchen and bath taps, flow regulators for shower heads and toilet tanks, and high-efficiency toilets to reduce the amount of water used in every flush. The Water Utility offers a rebate for high-efficiency toilets.
• Turn off the tap when you're not actively rinsing (toothbrush or razor as well as in the kitchen) or washing hands.
• Use the most efficient settings for dishwashers and clothes washing machines. Full loads are often the most efficient. Consider shorter showers to conserve water.
- Gail Gawenda, Water Utility PIO, 266-9129