City of Americus: How are you conserving water?

Published 6:00 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2016

According to a U.S. Geological Survey report, the United States uses 355 billion gallons of water a day. But have you ever considered how much of that is wasted?
The demand for water, the world’s most valuable resource, continues to grow and we as a society need to be more aware of the consequence our lifestyles have on it
CH2M knows first-hand that sustainable water and resource management is critical to the future of the global community, economy and environment. By making simple, yet effective changes in our daily lives, we can make a difference and protect
this resource.
Not sure where to start? The United States Environmental Protection Agency offers a few changes that you can make today.
In the home:
• Repair dripping faucets and leaky toilets. Dripping faucets can waste around 2,000 gallons of water per year, while leaky toilets can waste nearly 200 gallons each day.
• Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.
• Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator or microwave instead of running it under water.
• Install a low-flow toilet, which can use as little as one gallon of water per flush.
• Only run the dishwater or washing machine when you have a full load and you can save up to 1,000 gallons of water a month.
• Purchase a front-loading washing machine, which can result in 40 to 75 percent reduction in water usage.
• Avoid soaking in the tub and opt for a quick shower.
In the yard and garden:
• Clean your sidewalks, decks and driveways with a broom rather than a hose.
• Get a cover for your swimming pool to cut water evaporation by 90 percent.
• Only water the lawn every three to five days a week and avoid watering it during the hottest part of the day.
• Plant low-water-use or xeric plants and native grass rather than Kentucky bluegrass.
For businesses, commercial facilities and public agencies:
• Educate employees, contractors and other users in the facility about the importance of water conservation.
• Perform a leak survey on the facility. Watch the meter after hours or on weekends to see if there is constant flow, which could indicate a leak. Larger, more complex facilities may need submetering.
• If you have a boiler, inspect and maintain it regularly. Install a condensate return line on the boiler if it does not already have one.
• If you operate a restaurant, consider replacing your cube ice machine with a more efficient flake or nugget machine, which can save up to 38,000 gallons per year.
Not sold yet? Implementing these changes will not only have a positive impact on the environment, but they could also save you money and energy.
Water conservation starts with you, so take action today to live a more water-conscious life.

Rick Leisner is project manager with CH2M, which is contracted with the City of Americus to handle its water supply.