Water Conservation Help

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

June 20, 2006

With our area now under a drought watch, officials are asking residents to conserve water. But how much water do households even use and what are some ways to save?

" The average usage will vary, but for the City of Charlottesville, it's approximately 64 gallons per person per day," said Charlottesville public utilities manager, Jim Palmborg.

So how can you make sure you're doing everything possible to conserve?

First up, check your meters. There could be a leak outside the home that isn't noticeable.

"If they can come to the meter and pop the lid off and carefully wipe away any grime or dirt here located on top and if everything is shut off in the house and you have a leak, you'll see this little triangle spinning really quickly," said Charlottesville water conservation coordinator, Todd Morris.

Next come the faucets inside. Aerators are a must-have when it comes to water conservation. They help reduce the amount of water flowing out, without affecting the pressure. Checking for leaky faucets is also key.

"Something as small as a drop leaking in a bathroom sink can waste as much as 20 gallons a day," said Palmborg.

On to appliances. When loading up the washer, make sure it's full.

That also applies to dishwashers, although when it comes to conserving, it's best to go the old fashioned route. Hand washing uses less water.

And let's not forget about a huge water guzzler. The good old commode uses about 4-7 gallons of water a flush.

"Another way to conserve water in the bathroom is to use the toilet tank bank," said Morris. "Basically what you do is fill it with water and you slide it in to the side of your tank and it displaces that amount of water, so it saves quite a few gallons of water every flush."

Helping you get the most out of every drop of water.

The City of Charlottesville and the Albemarle County offers water saver kits to help as you work to conserve water. The city also offers a rebate if you switch your high-flow toilet tank to a low flow one.

For more information, you can contact the Utility Billing Office.

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