It's easy to take water for granted, especially in an area surrounded by lakes. But our supply of water is not endless. Our lakes take 50 years to refill. Using water efficiently will minimize the costs of drinking water treatment, improve water availability for future years, and protect wildlife habitat.
Outdoor Water Saving Tips & Tools
Did you know that residential water use doubles in the summer! Most lawns only need to be watered ONCE a WEEK in July and August. Trees should also be watered once a week when it’s hot to keep them healthy. If you still have brown lawn patches, you likely need more than water - nutrients and good soil are needed to keep things green. Check out the links below for tips on maintaining a healthy and low water use landscape:
- Waterwise Gardening & Irrigation Handbook
- Waterwise Plant List
Okanagan Xeriscape Association
Excellent plant database that can help you plan your garden based on plant size, colour, bloom months, size, and spread.
WaterWise Gardening Workshops at the Xerindipity Garden
Workshops are hosted once a month through the summer on a variety of earth-friendly gardening topics.
- Water-Saving Tips for Your Lawn and Garden from CMHC (Government of Canada)
- 10 Ways to Save Water on the Farm
- Rain Barrel DIY - Learn how to build your own rain barrel
Learn more ways to use water efficiently by visiting www.okwaterwise.ca and do a Performance Review on your water.
Greater Vernon Water has developed Water Use Restrictions to help residents use water more efficiently. Stage 1 Restrictions are in effect year-round, meaning that outdoor lawn and garden watering is only allowed between 7pm and 10am, unless hand watering with a watering can or hose with an automatic spring-loaded shut-off nozzle. Higher restriction stages may be implemented in times of drought or supply loss due to contamination of our water supply.
Saving Water Indoors
Not all leaks leave a puddle on the floor. The sneaky leaks manage to drain away without ever leaving a sign. Get familiar with your water meter - it can help you detect leaks indoors and outside . Check out the link below, “How to Read your Water Meter,” to learn how to find the Low Flow Indicator. If your water bill goes up suddenly or if your winter quarterly use is higher than 100 cubic meters for a family of four, be sure to check for these common culprits:
- Leaking toilets are the most widespread leak. This sometimes happens when the reservoir level is too high. The water leaks into the overflow tube, and into the toilet bowl. You may be able to fix this by adjusting the float arm screw, or bending the float arm down. Also when the flapper valves get old and brittle or the flapper valve is not filling the hole properly a toilet will leak. To diagnose this problem, pour two or three drops of food colouring into the tank. If you notice the dye in the bowl 15 minutes later, you have a leak. A new flapper valve may be required.
- Automatic water purifiers, reverse osmosis devices, or water softeners can also develop leaks that do not show up on the floor. Each of these devices should have their own shut off valve. If your snoop indicator is turning, turn off each of the suspected appliances one by one. If the snoop indicator stops when one of the isolation valves is off, you've found your leak.
Indoor Water Saving Tips & Tools:
- Factsheet - How to Read Your Water Meter & Fix Common Leaks
- How to Fix Household Leaks
- Okanagan WaterWise - Visit this site for tips on how to be waterwise at home, school, and work.
- Residential Water Consumption Audit
- Indoor Water Conservation Tips
- 51 Ways to Conserve Water
- What to Look for When Buying a Water-Efficient Toilet
- CWWA 6-litre Toilets Report
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