As summer rolls around and the weather starts to warm up, water use is on the rise. In an effort to help keep your water bill steady and conserve our most precious resource – we’re talking about water conservation in Colorado.
As the climate changes and the Northern Colorado population grows, water conservation is more important than ever. We must all do our part to protect our water source and ensure its availability for generations to come. Our District has incorporated many water-saving measures and secured additional water rights for the future, but that alone isn’t going to be enough. Our entire community must work together to save water.
Join us in improving water conservation in Colorado by taking the following actions both inside and outside of your home:
- Calculate and Reduce Your Usage – With the Water Calculator website, you can get a better idea of how much water you should be using given your home and family size. If your usage is much beyond average, it could mean you have a leak or need to change your water usage habits.
- Monitor Your Home for Leaks – One of the best ways to increase your water conservation in Colorado is to monitor your home for leaks – this includes your toilets, sprinkler systems, and faucets. FCLWD has a leak detection program that will alert us to anomalies in your water usage and help identify leaks. When we see continuous running water for 72 hours (a good indication of a leak), we’ll notify you. If you do find a leak, be sure to fix it as soon as possible.
- Upgrade Your Toilets – If your water bill takes a big jump in price, a leaky toilet is often the culprit. We recommend homeowners replace old toilets with WaterSense toilets that increase efficiency. We also recommend checking your bathrooms at least quarterly for leaks. To check for leaks, drop 10 to 15 drops of food coloring into the tank, wait 10 minutes and see if the colored water appears in the toilet bowl. If it does, you have a leak. Toilet leaks are generally around the plunger ball or flapper valve at the bottom of the tank.
- Install Water-Saving Showerheads – Taking showers instead of baths can be a big water saver, and so can short showers. We also recommend switching existing showerheads with high-efficiency water-saving heads. This will reduce the amount of water you use during the shower.
- Run Full Loads – When it comes to your dishwasher and washing machine, only run them if you’ve accumulated enough for a full load. This will mean fewer loads overall and thus, less water used in the washing process.
- Sign Up for a Sprinkler Checkup – If you haven’t yet, sign up for a free sprinkler checkup. This sprinkler audit available to FCLWD customers, will evaluate your system and help you make water-saving changes. Not only will your water conservation increase, but you’ll lower your water bill as well. Learn more here.
- Install a Smart Sprinkler Controller – The easy-to-install Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller provides self-adjusting schedules that use customized yard details and watering science and technology to determine exactly how much to water and when. It also uses predictive technology to automatically skip watering before it starts raining, saving you water and money. FCLWD customers get a discount on this smarter watering system. Find it here.
- Switch to Native Plants – One of the best ways to increase your water conservation in Colorado is to plant native trees, grasses, and shrubs. They are naturally more drought-resistant and water-wise. Find a list of water-saving plants that work well in Colorado here, you can also ask the experts at your local nursery for recommendations on the best plants for your yard.
- Water in the Morning – By watering in the morning, when it’s not windy, and hasn’t rained will save water. Less water will be wasted, and your water will be lower if you are smart with your watering habits. Using a smart sprinkler controller can help reduce waste as well (see #7 above).
- Consider Xeriscaping – One of the biggest water guzzlers is your lawn. Xeriscaping removes the need to water frequently by switching to plants and landscape designs that do not need constant sprinkling. Read this blog from Resource Central to learn more about xeriscaping on a budget.
- Take Advantage of Resources – There are many resources that can help you get better at water conservation in Colorado. Colorado WaterWise offers free classes about water conservation. The Town of Windsor offers free water conservation kits for residents. Fort Collins Utilities offers resources and classes to help you plan your xeriscape projects.
It will take us all to ensure the water of the future. This summer, please join us in reducing water usage and increasing efficiencies where you can to help us protect water supplies for the future. As a bonus, you’ll also save on your water bill.
If you have any questions about water conservation or leak detection, please don’t hesitate to reach out.