Printer Friendly

Good ideas and news about water saving.

Keep your pool from getting thirsty

If your pool is uncovered when not in use, it's wasting water. Evaporation can lower its water line by more than an inch a week. For a 20- by 40-foot pool, that's a loss of 500 gallons a week-more than 2,000 gallons a month. High winds, high pool temperatures, high air temperatures, and low relative humidity all increase evaporation. A pool cover can stop about 90 percent of such water waste, even allowing for times when the pool is in use. The cover pictured at right, which fits the contours of a freeform pool, is made from translucent air-cell plastic, sold at many swimming-pool supply stores for about 20 cents per square foot.

Gray water: for gardens?

One resource gardeners discovered during the '77 drought is gray water: non-toilet household waste water. Using it is a hassle, illegal some places, and possibly hazardous. But it can keep your garden alive. For an easy-to-read summary of what gray water is, how to tap into it, and how to use it as safely as possible, send a $6 check or money order for the 28-page booklet Gray Water Use in the Landscape to Robert Kourik, Box 1841, Santa Rosa, Calif. 95402. Kourik, a garden writer and landscape designer, installed systems for himself and a number of clients during the last drought, and has tested them since.

Help plants use less water

Can anti-transpirants help conserve water or save drought-stressed plants? Studies indicate that these products, when sprayed on plant leaves, can reduce moisture loss. But are they still effective when plants are stressed from lack of water'? A simple test we did makes it seem so, at least with some plants. We bought two azaleas, euonymus, and hebes in 5-gallon containers. We sprayed one of each type with an anti-transpirant and let all plants dry out. The unsprayed hebe wilted three days before the sprayed, plant. The sprayed azalea lasted a week longer. We noticed no difference on the euonymus. More water-saving tips for Californians

Californians who'd like to question their water district or ask for water conservation literature can call the State Department of Water Resources's drought hotline, at (800) 952-5530. If the person who answers can't help, you'll be referred to someone who can.

U.C.'s taped Teletips messages, available by phone from many county cooperative extension offices, include about a dozen 2- to 4minute tapes on outdoor watering. Among them: When Should I Water? (tape #127), How Long Should 1 Water? (#128), and Watering Lawns Efficiently (# 134). In Marin County, call (415) 4998142. In Alameda and Contra Costa counties, (415) 763-906). In Santa Clara County, (408) 2929054. In Los Angeles County, (213) 744-4882.

Elsewhere in California, look under Cooperative Extension in your county government phone listings. Your water department can also be a good source of conservation tips. Some have demonstration gardens displaying water-thrifty plants; others offer regional watering guides.

A check list of around-the-house water tasks

Displace water in toilet tank. Fill two quart-size plastic botties with water, weight them with pebbles, and place both in a standard toilet tank. This can save 8 gallons or more a day for a family of four. Don't use bricks, which can crumble and harm plumbing.

Install a flow-regulating shower head. Priced at $4 to $12, it

could save more than 7 gallons per shower. More expensive low-flow shower heads have partial shutoff features to conserve even more water while you soap up.

Install an aerator on your sink tap. It costs about $2 and can

save up to 2 gallons a day.

Load washers to capacity. A full cycle in the dishwasher uses an average of 25 gallons; a clothes washer uses 30 to 35.
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Date:Aug 1, 1988
Previous Article:Drip trouble-shooting and maintenance.
Next Article:Green and water-efficient.

Related Articles
Water metering: stopping budget leaks.
Bell Atlantic Awards Brooklyn/Staten Island Employee Team Its Environmental Excellence Award.
Examples Database: Water Conservation Solutions for Cities.
'Save Water' campaign organized in Kolkata.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters