- Run only a fully loaded dishwasher or washing machine.
- When hand washing dishes, use one sink basin for washing and one for rinsing.
- Keep drinking water cold by storing a pitcher of water in the refrigerator.
- Repair leaky faucets. Replace worn washers, the common source of leaks.
- On older toilets, fill a plastic bottle with water, seal the lid and drop it in your toilet tank to save approximately two gallons per flush.
- Turn off the water while you brush your teeth with toothpaste; then turn it on again to rinse.
- Don't stay in the shower longer than you need to. Turn off the water while you soap up.
Free low-flow showerheads
To help conserve water, CenterPoint Energy is offering free low-flow showerheads to their customers whose homes were built before 1992. To receive the showerhead, contact CenterPoint Energy Customer Service at 1-866-418-0658 (toll free).
- Water the lawn in the early morning or later in the evening, but not between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Make sure you aren't watering the street or sidewalk.
- Maintain a lawn height of two-and-one-half to three inches. This helps protect the roots from loss of moisture through evaporation.
- Aerate clay soils at least once a year to help the soil retain moisture.
- Mulch around plants, bushes and trees. This encourages healthy roots, while maintaining root moisture.
- Collect rainwater to be used for garden and houseplant watering.
For those who have in-ground irrigation systems, utilize a rain sensor shutoff device to prevent water waste. The State of Minnesota enacted a law (Minnesota Statutes, chapter 103G.298) in 2005 that requires "all automatically operated landscape irrigation systems include rainfall sensors." It requires that the "sensor technology will inhibit or interrupt the operation of the landscape irrigation system during periods of sufficient moisture." Also, if you have a timer on your irrigation system, make sure that you are not watering during the heat of the day (10 a.m. - 5 p.m.), as most of the water from your system will evaporate prior to soaking into the soil. This fall or early next spring may be a great time to have a sensor installed on your irrigation system.