Ponder the Squander
Ponder the Squander is part of Abilene's public campaign to encourage water conservation throughout the community.
It wasn't that long ago, when in 2011 we experienced the driest year in Texas history. That led to Abilene's water crisis that lasted until 2016. During that time, the City worked to develop a new water conservation plan and new water resources. If we can supplement that work with the changes promoted through Ponder the Squander, we can cut the amount we use by more than half!
Ways to Conserve
By adding inexpensive devices and/or replacing old, ineffective fixtures with high-efficiency low-flow faucets/low-flush toilets, WaterSense appliances, etc, you can cut your water usage by 20-30%.
With a few changes in your routine every day, you can cut the amount of water you use by more than half. There are lots of opportunities to cut back in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and yard.
By simply identifying and fixing leaks in and outside of the house, hundreds of gallons of water can be saved. A faucet leak can waste 5 gallons a day; running toilet leak-200 gallons a day; and a sprinkler head or riser left unrepaired-13 to 16 gallons per minute.
Finding & Fixing Leaks Saves Water & Money
Studies have shown that more than 10% of the water used in the home can be due to leaks, resulting in a waste of about 20 gallons a day. Nationwide, household leaks waste nearly 900 billions gallons of water a year. That's a lot of water and a lot of high water utility bills. In fact, most homeowners don't realize they have a water leak until they receive a large bill. If you suspect you have one, it's best to try to locate it before you call the plumber. After locating it, you may find it to be an easy fix that you can do by yourself, or when the plumber comes, you can point him right to the issue. Both will save you money.
- Check your water meter regularly. This is the best first step to determine if you have a leak. If all water sources in the house and lawn are off, but the indicator is moving, that is a good sign you have a leak.
- Check inside faucets and shower heads. Even the smallest opening in a faucet could waste 100 gallons a day. Most of these drips can be fixed by replacing a faucets worn-out washer.
- Check your toilets. Undetected leaks from the toilet tank into the bowl can waste up to 100 gallons a day. To test for leaks, put a drops of food coloring in the tank. If the color of the bowl water changes, then your toilet will need a replacement rubber flapper or fill mechanism.
- Check the hot water tank. Listen for a hissing sound near the pressure relief valve on the hot water tank. If you hear something, it may be leaking.
- Look around the perimeter of you home. Once a month, it is a good idea to walk around your home to look for any leaks or damp/muddy areas. Also look at the outdoor spigot(s) for any dripping. If you have a hose connected to the spigot, check the connection for leaks as well.
- Look for sprinkler leaks. The best way to check for leaks is to turn on the sprinkler and run through a zone at a time. Check sprinkler heads to see if any are broken and look for running water, bubbling from the ground, or wet spots. If you suspect a leak, turn off the main sprinkler system valve and call the plumber.
- Cover your pool. A typical backyard pool in Texas can lose as much as 20,000 gallons a year to evaporation. The more you can cover your pool, even in season, the more water you can save.
Taking good care of your drains and plumbing can prevent costly, inconvenient plumbing problems. But when it comes to everyday drain maintenance, convenient, wisdom isn't always wise. Here are few common misconceptions about what can and can't go down the drain.
|We have an abundance of water. And, it just rained.||We depend on our nearby lakes and reservoirs to supply our City's water. They depend on rain to stay full. However, due to our dry climate, Abilene can face water shortages. After a long drought, when lakes levels are well under the spillway, a typical day of rain will make little impact.|
|My water choices don't make a difference.||Actually, you alone can make a significant difference. Small changes in your routine can cut your water usage by more than half. The average amount of water a person uses at home a day is 88 gallons. If you cut those by half and saved 44 gallons a day, that would be 16,016 gallons of water a year.|
|Bottled water is safer than tap.||Tap water and bottled water are comparable in terms of safety. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates tap water and screens for dangerous pollutants. It also mandates that water utilities provide annual quality reports to customers, educating them of its safety. Read the 2018 Water Quality Report (PDF)|
From The Tap: News & Information
Tips for Detecting Water Leaks
Water leaks can be very expensive. Most customers don’t realize they have water leaks until they receive a large bill. The best way to save yourself from the surprise, expense, and potential damage of a long-standing leak is to regularly check your water meter to keep tabs on water usage.
Holiday Grease is a Pain to Your Drain
When we think of the holidays, we thing of a big celebratory meal with family and friends. We plan this meal out weeks ahead of time and spend days filled with cooking and baking in preparation. The holiday season is also the biggest time of year for plumbers to be called for backups and clogs.
This Fall: Bag It, Don't Blow It!
It's an annual ritual, one that lasts a month or so, where we pull out our rakes and clean up our yards from seasonal debris. We see this as nature taking it's course, but did you know that these dead leaves, grass clippings, and other yard debris are actually stormwater pollutants if not bagged up and thrown away?