With temperatures expected to rise across the region, reaching into the 90s this week and weekend, with heat indices above 100, Missouri American Water reminds customers to use water wisely.
"This time of year, people use water in a variety of different ways, from watering gardens and lawns, to swimming and washing cars, and Missouri American Water wants to remind customers to conserve water whenever possible," said Grant Evitts, vice president of operations for Missouri American Water. "While it may not seem like there is any limit to the amount of water in Missouri given recent flooding, the fact remains that using water wisely is best for the environment and can prevent a high water bill."
Missouri American Water offers the following tips to help consumers use water more efficiently, plus identify and prevent leaks, a significant source of water waste.
Water your lawn only when it needs it. An easy way to tell is to simply walk across the grass. If it springs back you don't need to water, but if you leave footprints, it’s time to water.
Set your lawn mower one notch higher to make your lawn more drought-tolerant.
Consider using drip irrigation or a rain barrel to water your outdoor plants, and water in the early morning. As much as 30 percent of water can be lost to evaporation by watering during midday.
Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your sidewalk, driveway or patio.
Forego the hose and wash your car with a bucket and sponge instead, which uses only a few gallons to do the job, while a hose left running can waste as much as six gallons per minute.
Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are full and adjust the water level of your washing machine to match the load size. If you have a water-saver cycle, use it. In addition, newer, high-efficiency washing machines use less than 27 gallons of water per load, compared to between 27 and 54 gallons a load with traditional machines.
Keep a pitcher of cold tap water in the refrigerator. You will avoid the cost and environmental impact of bottled water and you will have cold water available for warm days without running the faucet.
A short shower is better than a bath. A full bathtub can require up to 70 gallons of water, while taking a 5-minute shower uses only 10 to 25 gallons.
Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can save 8 gallons per day.
Regularly check your toilet, faucets and pipes for leaks and have them fixed promptly. An easy test for toilet leaks from EPA WaterSense: Place a drop of food coloring in the tank. If the color tints the water in the bowl without flushing, there is a leak.