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Front Page » April 25, 2002 » Local News » Officials emphasize importance of water conservation
Published 4,912 days ago

Officials emphasize importance of water conservation

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Officials continue to stress the importance of water conservation as Utah enters into a fourth consecutive drought year.

On Monday, Gov. Mike Leavitt met with water representatives to discuss Utah's drought situation, review management options and address conservation measures enacted by regions within the state.

The governor has identified water conservation as a statewide policy goal in an attempt to maintain an adequate supply for the summer and fall.

"Utahns should refrain from watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.," pointed out Leavitt. "We can reduce water consumption by ten to fifteen percent by following this simple practice."

San Juan County and the Navajo Nation have already declared a state of emergency due to the drought. Other southern and central Utah areas face similar conditions, including Carbon County.

"Given our state's arid atmosphere, the drought we're experiencing is taking a serious toll on our water supplies," said Larry Anderson, water conservation team chairman.

During extremely hot and dry summer months, the chairman pointed out that most of the water simply evaporates. The team recommends tuning up irrigation systems to avoid watering sidewalks or gutters, refraining from using hoses as brooms and adjusting sprinkler timers.

The mountains surrounding Castle Valley received substandard snowpack last winter and the water level at Scofield remains extremely low. Implementing water conservations to alleviate drought concerns is crucial. Carbon County residents should consider the following:

•A leaking toilet can waste more than 100 gallons of water per day. To check for leaks, put a little food coloring in the tanks If the coloring appears in the bowl without flushing, there is a leak. Adjust or replace the flush valve or contact a plumber.

•Flushing a cigarette butt, facial tissue or small bit of trash down the toilets wastes five to seven gallons of water.

•Toilets can flush as efficiently with less water. Poor an inch or two of sand or pebbles in two plastic quart bottles. Place the bottles in the toilet tank, away from the operating mechanisms.

Purchasing low-flow toilets represents a more expensive option consumers may consider.

•Long hot showers waste five to 10 gallons of water every unneeded minute. Limit showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rinse off.

Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors. Most heads put out five to 10 gallons of water a minute. Three gallons is adequate for a shower. Installing a small plastic insert limits flow through shower heads.

•The smallest drip due to a worn washer in a faucet can waste 50 or more gallons of water a day. Replace damaged washers.

•Running a dishwasher uses about 25 gallons of water. Fill to capacity before operating. When washing dishes by hand, do not leave the water running for rinsing.

•Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. This will end the practice of running the tap to cool water off for drinking.

•Automatic washing machines use 30 to 35 gallons of water in a cycle. Limit operating the washer for full capacity loads.

•Placing a layer of mulch around trees and plants slows the evaporation of moisture.

•Refrain from running a hose while washing vehicles or equipment. Wash with a pail of soapy water, then rinse with the hose.

•Teach children that hoses and sprinklers are not toys. Few things waste more water than running sprinklers or hoses on a hot day.

•Watering lawns frequentlyfails to allow for cool spells or rainfall. Step on the grass. If the grass springs back up, a lawn doesn't need moisture.

Water lawns long enough for the fluid to seep down to the roots, where the moisture will not evaporate quickly and it will do the most good. A light sprinkling sits on the surface and evaporates. A slow steady fall of water is the best way to irrigate lawn.

•Water during the cool parts of the day. Early morning is better than dusk since the practice helps prevent the growth of fungus.

•Position sprinklers and hoses so the water lands on the lawn or garden, not on barren ground or concrete. Avoid watering on windy days. Wind can carry the water away before the moisture hits the landscape.

•Check for leaks in outdoor pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings. Damaged fixtures can waste more water than leaks in the line from the meter.

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