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 Weather!
 How are you saving water?
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BoeBro Erik

USA
174 Posts
Local Business Leader

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  10:56:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit BoeBro Erik's Homepage  Reply with Quote

I'm in Atlanta, where saving water is even more critical, but I wanted to see what everyone was doing to help conserve water during this drought.

Here's some of the things we're doing:



  • Have not watered "lawn" at all, and the weeds are fine

  • We only have a few indoor plants - we're now watering them with "greywater" saved from the sink and unfinished glasses of clear drinks (juice, tea). Any extra here goes to water some lucky plant outside.

  • Placed bottles in the toilets to use less per flush.  Our toilets are from 1955, so they're probably 20 gallons per flush

  • Fixed a leaky faucet (though I think the leak just moved for the moment - at least it's slower)

  • Set a 5 minute timer on showers - when the 5 minutes are up... well, the goal is to be done.  Still working on that goal, though.

  • Saving dropped ice or ice from the frost in the freezer to water plants
BoeBro Erik

USA
174 Posts
Local Business Leader

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  11:26:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit BoeBro Erik's Homepage  Reply with Quote

Also, we've stopped using the garbage disposal in the sink and are using paper plates more to have fewer dishes to wash.

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GrayEagle

USA
9966 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  06:03:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit GrayEagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:

Also, we've stopped using the garbage disposal in the sink and are using paper plates more to have fewer dishes to wash.



Erik, this one intrigues me some.  At least the paper plate part.  Do you throw the plates away (landfill) or do you "shred" them up and use them as "mulch" around some of your less visible plants?

Using paper plates and not using the disposal are good ideas.

GrayEagle
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mad4martinis

USA
13730 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  06:10:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm interested in the "bottle in the toilet" thing. ??? What do you do that for & where do you put it??
I only have 2 live plants in my home. Well, one now. The other died. I use the bottled water that someone hasn't finished to water it with.
I'm with Erik on the outside watering. Haven't done it, & the weeds are living well without it.
We do use paper plates & when I do use the dishwasher, it's on the quickie cycle.
Haven't been washing clothes much either.


"How often misused words generate misleading thoughts."
-Herbert SpencerGo to Top of Page

GrayEagle

USA
9966 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  06:17:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit GrayEagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Maddy, the bottle in the toilet is to actually use less water per flush.  Some people put bricks or something like that.  With the brick/bottle/whatever in the tank, there is less volume of water needed to fill the tank.  However the water level is still the same and gravity does it's thing when the the toilet is flushed.

If you don't have a 1.6 gallon per flush toilet, this might be a good time to consider getting one.  Also, there are some new systems which are dual flush.  One cycle for liquid waste (less water used) and one cycle for solid waste (full flush).  Lots of water per year could be saved with this type of system.

GrayEagle
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mad4martinis

USA
13730 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  06:20:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So, do you put it in the main part, where you sit or take the cover off in the back & put it there? Where does...ya know...go if it's in the main part???

"How often misused words generate misleading thoughts."
-Herbert SpencerGo to Top of Page

GrayEagle

USA
9966 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  06:28:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit GrayEagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hehehe, you put it in the tank (take top off). Make sure you put it to the side so you don't interfere with any of the workings.

GrayEagle
<)))<><
Careful what you say about someone. Someone else may know more about you than you think!

Edited by - GrayEagle on 11/02/2007 06:29:34 AMGo to Top of Page

Cherry Blossom

USA
18932 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  06:41:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hubby's been christening the grass instead of the toilet. I yike at him everytime, but it's a man thing.

We've not been watering our trees and I'm worrying about them, they do not look fantastic.

Still wish there was a way to pull your tub plug and the water came out a hose in the front yard. That's a great invention for one of ya'll to come up with.

Cherry Blossom

S,,M,,I,,L,,E


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GrayEagle

USA
9966 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  06:47:07 AM  Show Profile  Visit GrayEagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Still wish there was a way to pull your tub plug and the water came out a hose in the front yard.

Cherry,  you could use a bucket or pan or something like that to dip/remove most to the water from the tub and reuse it.  That is a little bit of work, but your idea is good.  Anyone got a better solution?

GrayEagle
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Careful what you say about someone. Someone else may know more about you than you think!Go to Top of Page

mad4martinis

USA
13730 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  07:14:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is a great topic. My oldest is even thinking about the water issues. Her idea is to buy up cases of bottled water to have on hand in a "just in case" we run out. I think Coosa (remember her?) catches the rain water (or did when we had rain) and uses it.
But, I do hope her hubby isn't washing that new car of theirs anymore.

"How often misused words generate misleading thoughts."
-Herbert SpencerGo to Top of Page

babyloo

USA
217 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  08:21:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is a great topic.  I think there are some other water saving ideas posted on the AJC site.  Also, NWA is giving out information if you go into their office about how to save water.  I am very careful now about not letting the water run while I brush my teeth.  I have taken water so granted for such a long time I tremble at not having enough.  Please post any ideas as how to save water.

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Mr Bill

USA
1390 Posts
Local Business Leader

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  08:28:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mr Bill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bricks aren't really recommended anymore in the tank of the toilet because over time the bricks can dissolve, causing you problems with your toilet and drain line.

Instead, follow the instructions in this WikiHow: http://www.wikihow.com/Convert-Any-Toilet-to-a-Low-Flush-Toilet

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Mr Bill

USA
1390 Posts
Local Business Leader

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  08:31:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Mr Bill's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This town in Tennessee has already run out of water: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,307437,00.html

Our mayor hasn't said that we'll run out of water yet, but he has indicated the situation is getting very serious for our own city.

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GrayEagle

USA
9966 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  08:41:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit GrayEagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mr. Bill, thanks for the brick update! Wasn't aware of that issue.

Anyway, here is a link to the American Water and Energy Savers site. It list 49 tips on saving water:

http://www.americanwater.com/49ways.htm

Here are some more from a different site.  Yes, some are duplicates:

http://www.wateruseitwisely.com/100ways/se.shtml

GrayEagle
<)))<><
Careful what you say about someone. Someone else may know more about you than you think!

Edited by - GrayEagle on 11/02/2007 08:43:20 AMGo to Top of Page

BoeBro Erik

USA
174 Posts
Local Business Leader

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  09:10:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit BoeBro Erik's Homepage  Reply with Quote

In our toilet tanks we have a plastic bottle filled with gravel.  It was just weighted down with water, but that began to grow things.

We're not mulching the paper plates, but that would be a good idea if we needed the mulch.  Instead will just filling a landfill somewhere in South Georgia or Alabama.  It's not great, but it's a question of which is more important at the moment.  Instead of the disposal, composting some of the food would be ideal - but we don't have a use for that at the moment either, so that's all in the trash for the time being as well.

What would be nice is if the Governor could direct a bit of the emergency funding into coupons for disposable items so that everyone can shift from washing as much for a while.  Water is still cheap, if if it's running out, so economically, it's hard to justify disposable dishes.

We've contemplated rain barrels, but they'd be empty now anyway, and really wouldn't hold enough water to make a difference in the long run.

Cherry, as for your tub drain water, there are houses who have two drain systems - one takes the sink and tub water and send that "greywater" into a holding tank for re-use outside or to fill the toilet tanks.  The second system takes the toilets and routes it straight to the septic.  There are even extreme houses that clean their own greywater for re-use.  Some old houses might be easy to retrofit, depending on their design - and of course new houses can be built that way from the start.

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GrayEagle

USA
9966 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  09:21:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit GrayEagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Mulch around plants help keep the surface water from evaporating and provides additional nutrients for the soil.  Adding table scraps would also help.  However, not sure how this would work as it really isn't a compost pile.

I use shredded paper around some of my more out of the way plants as mulch/compost.  They seem to like it and I don't have to water them as much.

Just an idea to share.

GrayEagle
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Careful what you say about someone. Someone else may know more about you than you think!Go to Top of Page

BoeBro Erik

USA
174 Posts
Local Business Leader

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  09:30:57 AM  Show Profile  Visit BoeBro Erik's Homepage  Reply with Quote
We get a very large supply of leaves in the fall for mulch.  More than we can use or even deal with sometimes.

A side note on the greywater recycling - I don't think it's as simple as hooking your shower's drain to a barrel - so if you are interested, please be sure to talk to a professional with experience with these systems.  I feel certain that even the simplest system requires some cleaning mechanisms for healthy and safety.  And you would have be far more careful than most Americans about what you put down the drain.

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JawJa Gurl

USA
1139 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  10:07:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Can't believe this topic wasn't started before now. It's a good one. It's kinda sad tho that we gotta tell people how to conserve water. People should've been doin it all along. Lots of people w/ wells seem to think they're exempt and they aren't. I know several who have really deep wells and they're now close to bein dry.

Another good way to conserve in the shower is to turn on to get wet, shut off the water, bathe, then turn back on to rinse. As Mr. Erik mentioned, it'll take time gettin used to it but after a lil while it'll become habit.

I'll soon be replacin my toilet b/c it's from the 80s and I'm sure it uses between 5-7 gallons. I've always had somethin in the tank (bottles or bricks) to help out. My office has the 1.6 gallon ones and they're great. It's said the most water usage wasted is in the bathroom. I've never let water run while brushin teeth b/c I can't stand to hear it runnin.

I don't use the dishwasher at all anymore, I fill the sink up half-way and wash the dishes like they did back in the old days. ;)

I don't wash the vehicles or plants or yard b/c that's the least of my worries.

Lookin forward to readin new things I've not heard of.... :)

Edited by - JawJa Gurl on 11/02/2007 10:16:05 AM

Edited by - JawJa Gurl on 11/02/2007 10:25:03 AMGo to Top of Page

babyloo

USA
217 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  10:27:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I have not been using the dishwasher as much either.  I am the world's worst to do laundry.  I must learn to reuse towels for more than one time--old, wasteful habits die hard.  I think of when I was growing up, and we did laundry once a week on a wringer machine.  We NEVER smelled, and I wore my clothes more than one time before washing. 


We also maxmized on the "graywater" then--it was saved to water the garden or flowers. 

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BoeBro Erik

USA
174 Posts
Local Business Leader

Posted - 11/17/2007 :  11:48:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit BoeBro Erik's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Our last month water bill was 6ccf, which is supposedly around 2,000 gallons less than the "average" household.  We still need to make sure we have no hidden leaks, but we've added to the list that we're now using sink water from washing hands or rinsing things to flush the toilet.  Hopefully if we can find a simplified way to make that a habit, we can drop even more - including storing the tub water for the toilets as well.

Supposedly Atlanta had 77 days of drinking water left, but after I heard that, they have agreed to slow down the flow of water to the mussels - so maybe we've got a bit more than 77 now.

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coosa creek

USA
39313 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2007 :  2:28:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought I read somewhere that a dishwasher uses less water than washing them by hand?? I make my own drinking water.

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GrayEagle

USA
9966 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2007 :  3:22:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit GrayEagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
 I make my own drinking water.



That is interesting.  How do you do that?

GrayEagle
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coosa creek

USA
39313 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2007 :  4:23:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a genesis distiller and water purifier that I put tap water into and it makes great tasting water.

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GrayEagle

USA
9966 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2007 :  6:13:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit GrayEagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Oh, I see.

GrayEagle
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Be what you is, not what you ain't. 'Cause if you is what you ain't, you ain't what you is!
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BoeBro Erik

USA
174 Posts
Local Business Leader

Posted - 11/17/2007 :  6:23:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit BoeBro Erik's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That reminds me - we normally drink tap water - but are shifting slowly to bottled water, since that comes from a different part of the country than the tap water.

Perhaps we could start buying hydrogren and make our own drinking water too smile

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GrayEagle

USA
9966 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2007 :  7:24:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit GrayEagle's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hummmm, do you have a Hydrogen-Hydroxide generator?

GrayEagle
<:))))<><
Be what you is, not what you ain't. 'Cause if you is what you ain't, you ain't what you is!
(unknown-but heard from Jeff Easter)Go to Top of Page

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