PSA: The City of Austin Needs us to Conserve Water

By October 23, 2018 Water Management

Due to recent heavy rains, Austin’s water treatment plants are receiving water flows of increased turbidity (murkiness) of 100x. Because of this, it is taking much longer than usual to treat drinking water to EPA standards for safe distribution.
As such, Austin Water needs us to reduce our water demand because the supply of clean water is currently very short. Also, to guarantee safety, the utility Austin Water has issued the boil water notice to ensure water is safe for consumption. The more we conserve, the faster we can help the utility to get back on track to delivering safe drinking water.

Tips on saving water:
1.) Take shorter showers
Did you know a 20 minute shower can use around 60 gallons of water? Average shower head flowrates are between 2-3 gallons per minute. Reducing your shower time to 5 minutes can help save a lot of water! More info on showers here.

2.) Don’t let the water run
Turn of the tap when shaving, brushing teeth, or scrubbing dishes. Every minute that tap is running means 2 gallons have been wasted. More info on faucets here.

3.) Run full loads
While dishwashers and laundry machines have gotten more water efficient, they still require about 6 gallons per load for dishwashing and 14-25 gallons per load for laundry. Save water by only running loads when they are full. More info on dishwashers here , and on laundry machines here.

4.) Fix a leak
Around 12-13% of indoor water “use” comes from leaks within the home, or around 17 gallons per house per day. Save water and prevent damage to the building by reporting a leak to your maintenance manager of your residential building to get it fixed. More info on leaks here.

5.) Hold off on irrigation
Did you know the average lawn takes around 1,000 gallons of water, to water just once? (And that’s an underestimate) Ditch the lawn and grow native water-smart plants and install smart water irrigation for major water (and money) savings. Austinites can even purchase reclaimed water to irrigate their landscapes. More info on reclaimed water here.

Check out these excellent resources for residential water usage info and water saving tips!
Residential End Uses of Water 2016 Executive Report
Austin Water Website