Tips for conserving water

The outdoor water ban in south Ottawa showed many residents just how much water they were using and led many to adopt innovative ways to conserve out of necessity. Now that the water ban has been lifted, residents across the City can continue to take steps to use their water more efficiently. Conserving water is good for the environment, preventing waste of a precious natural resource and limiting unnecessary water use can save you money! Here are some tips and resources to help residents conserve on an ongoing basis - inside and out.

Water-Efficient Habits – Indoors:

- Take shorter showers
- Only fill the tub half-full when taking a bath
- Don't let the water run when brushing your teeth or shaving
- Don't use the toilet as a garbage can; put tissues in the garbage or green bin and cigarette butts in the ashtray
- Keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running water to get it cold
- Scrape dishes instead of rinsing them under running water
- Load your dishwasher to capacity before running it
- If washing dishes by hand, fill the sink one-quarter to half full and use a second sink one-quarter to half full to rinse
- When doing laundry, select the water-fill level to match the size of the load, or only wash full loads
- Check faucets and toilets regularly for leaks and have them repaired right away; leaks can account for 10 per cent or more of daily water use
- Get a low-flow showerhead and faucet aerator to reduce water usage with the City’s Residential Indoor Water Efficiency Kit.

Water-Efficient Habits - Outdoors

- Use a rain barrel to collect rain water for watering lawns and gardens with a watering can; build your own rain barrel
- Use native plants in your garden as they have evolved to survive in our local climate and don’t require extra watering
- Landscape Ontario has tips for maintaining your lawn and garden
- Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways, sidewalks and patios
- Cover your pool or hot tub when it is not in use to reduce evaporation and the amount of water required for top-up
- Reduce water loss due to splashing by lowering the water level in your pool or hot tub; pools should only be filled to 15 to 20 cm from the top.
- Limit pool backwashes to one to two minutes or until the water becomes clear; longer backwashes waste water and chemicals
- Regularly check pool and hot tub connections, liners and pipes for leaks
- Check the pool pump strainer basket and the skimmer basket daily and remove any debris to improve water circulation and help keep the water clear

More information on water conservation and sustainable gardening is available at the Ottawa Public Library. Learn aboout the City of Ottawa's Water Efficiency Strategy on its Water Wise program site.