Okanagan homeowners often see their water bills go up in the summertime. Seasonality drives changes in behaviour and demand for water. Staying cool in the summer can get expensive, so we’ve put together this guide to help you save water in the summer, be more eco-friendly, and save money.
1. Maintain your lawn
Watering your lawn can be one of the biggest water cost factors in the summertime. In the Okanagan the long hours of sunshine and 30-degree plus weather makes frequent watering essential in keeping lawns alive. If you love your luscious lawn there are things you can do to reduce water costs.
Water your lawn when the temperature outside is the coolest, in the middle of the night or very early in the morning to reduce the amount of water that evaporates. Instead of sprinklers, use drip irrigation that doesn’t spray water so you can minimize the amount of water that evaporates. You can also set your sprinklers to spray lower to the ground and have a similar impact.
Water your lawn on a strictly timed schedule. When watering without timers, it’s easy to forget that your sprinklers are on and waste water. Most municipalities will have watering restrictions for days and times you’re allowed to water your lawn. Keep in mind that these aren’t designed for optimal plant growth, you may be able to water even less than the recommendations.
Let your grass grow a little longer. Taller grass provides more shade for the soil and keeps water from evaporating. Set your mower to the maximum length and mow more frequently, instead of cutting it short and going longer periods between mowing.
Naturally, the climate in the Okanagan Valley is hot, dry, and desert-like in the summer. Unlike some places, maintaining green lawns, luscious foliage, and thirsty flowers, requires a lot more water than the climate naturally produces when it rains. Consider landscaping with some rock gardens, native plant species, or species that don’t require as much water like succulents. If you’re not attached to the idea of having a lawn, replace it with a cement or wood decked patio. Not only will you save water in the summer, but you’ll also save time because you won’t have to mow your lawn anymore!
3. Invest in low-flow appliances
Company in the summertime can be another water cost factor. More people in the house means more toilet flushing, hand washing, laundry, and dishwashing. A low-flow toilet can be one of the best investments a homeowner can make. Toilet flushes, especially if you have a super outdated toilet, can account for a lot of household water use. With a low-flow toilet, you can ensure water isn’t wasted. You can also invest in low-flow shower heads and faucets, energy efficient dishwashers, and laundry machines.
4. Teach your kids to be water conscious
Kids can also be a source of increased water use in the summer. They’re home more during the day since school is out, which means more toilet flushing, hand washing, dishwashing, etc. They also might love to play in the sprinklers, with the hose, or fill up the kitty pool. Make sure your kids know that water costs money, and teach them how to use water responsibly (without compromising fun of course).
5. Take your car to the carwash
Do you wash your car at home? You might think you’re saving money doing this because you don’t have to pay the carwash. But you typically use way more water washing your car at home. On average, it takes 150 gallons of water to wash a vehicle at home. Most carwashes are built with water efficiency in mind, and the average car wash only uses 50 gallons of water per vehicle. In the end, it actually costs less to visit a cheap carwash then to do it yourself.
6. Take shorter showers
This one seems obvious, but it’s even more important to be mindful of how long your showers are in the summertime. People typically shower more often in the summer because you get dirtier and sweatier from being outside. Instead of going for the full spa experience with every shower, try putting your hair in a shower cap or a t-shirt and just doing a quick body rinse off when you need it.
7. Cover your pool
If you have an outdoor swimming pool, like lots of Okanagan residents do, make sure it is always covered when not in use. When a pool is left uncovered the water can evaporate very quickly, especially in the heat of the day. The more water that evaporates, the more often you’ll have to top up the pool. A covered pool is also easier to keep clean, reducing the need to drain and refill it as often.
8. Fix plumbing leaks
Fixing plumbing leaks indoors and out is an efficient way to save on water any time of year. When your toilet, faucet, hot water tank, indoor or outdoor pipes are leaking, water is constantly being wasted either down the drain or into the ground (or even worse, into your walls or foundation of your house). If you notice your water bill is higher than usual you could have a water leak. Read this article for more reasons your water bill is higher than usual.
If you suspect you have a leak. Call your local plumber to come and evaluate the situation right away.
There’s no single solution for how to save water in the summer. Each home and each families water using habits are different, therefore your approach to saving water in the summer will be unique. The smallest changes to your behaviour or to your homes plumbing systems can have a large impact on your water usage.
A1 Choice Plumbing & Drain – Your Okanagan Plumbing Experts
If you’re experiencing a clogged drain or any other plumbing issues, call A1 Choice today and have our experts take a look.
For all your Plumbing & Drain needs, A1 Choice offers a full range of services:
- Heating & gas fitting
- Camera Inspection & Line Locates
- Water Heaters
- Sump Pumps
For free inspection and estimates of your plumbing contact A1 Choice Plumbing & Drain today.