On any given day, each Ontarian uses around 260 litres of water – nearly twice as much as other countries with similar standards of living.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment reports that pumping and distributing water to homes and businesses, and treating water and wastewater accounts for almost one-half of a city’s electrical use. What many people don’t realize is that residential water needs account for over 50 percent of total usage.
In the summer, between watering lawns and gardens, washing cars, and filling and backwashing pools, demand for water increases by as much as 80 percent. According to Phil Dorner, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association, saving water is one of the easiest ways to improve efficiency in the home during the summer months.
To Dorner, “Homeowners should know that when it comes to saving water, every little bit counts. So get that leaky faucet fixed, make sure your sprinkler is properly adjusted and pay attention to the weather forecast – you may not need to be watering your lawn.”
The City of Toronto has some great tips to save water this summer and all year long:
Year-round water saving ideas for the home:
• Install water-efficient toilets and low-flow showerheads in your kitchen and bathrooms
• Keep a jug of drinking water in the fridge to avoid waiting for cold running water
• If you have a dishwasher, only wash full loads and use the energy saver or shortest cycle
• Whether you are preparing food or brushing your teeth, don’t let the tap run
• Fix leaky taps and toilets
• Use a high-efficiency front loading washing machine, and run only full loads
Summer garden watering tips and tricks courtesy of the City of Toronto:
• Water your lawn in the morning to reduce water lost to evaporation. Avoid night watering –leaving grass wet overnight can promote fungal disease. Before turning on your sprinkler, check the weather – if it’s going to rain, no need to start watering.
• Slow down the sprinkler to let water soak in to your lawn. If water is running off your lawn, it’s time to stop. Make sure your sprinkler is aligned so you aren’t watering the sidewalk or driveway.
• Disconnect downspouts from the sewer system and use rainwater for grass and gardens.
• Know your soil type and the amount of water this soil can hold (sandy soils can’t hold much water, while clay soils require slow water application to soak in).
• Use a rain gauge to measure the amount of water your lawn and garden receive each week from all sources, including rainfall.
• Use the right tools: For lawns, use a sprinkler that directs the water close to the ground and roots. For trees, shrubs and flower gardens, use a watering can or drip hose that provides slow and steady amounts of water. Fix your leaking garden hose and connections.
For more information on how to save water this summer, visit www.toronto.ca.