Water Conservation Tips and Resources

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The water-saving tips and resources below may help you meet your water conservation goals.  These are general guidelines for saving water and may or may not apply to your specific situation.  All water conservation methods must comply with City and State water conservation regulations.

INDOOR WATER USE SAVINGS TIPS

  • Clothes Washers - switching from a standard clothes washer (40 gallons per load) to a water efficient clothes washer (25 gallons per load) can save up to 15 gallons per load. Filling the washer to capacity each time will reduce the number of loads and also save water.
  • Dishwashers - switching from a standard dishwasher (15 - 20 gallons per load) to a water efficient dishwasher (6 gallons per load) can save up to 14 gallons per load. Similar to clothes washers, filling the washer to capacity each time will reduce the number of loads and save water.
  • Faucets - switching from a standard faucet (2 gallons per minute or gpm) to a water efficient faucet (1.5 gpm) can save a half gallon per minute.  Turning the faucet on only when needed (as opposed to leaving the faucet running) to shave, wash your hands or face, or brush your teeth, will save further water.
  • Showers - limiting showers to 5 minutes with a water efficient shower head will generally reduce water use to 12.5 gallons per shower. Additional water saving tips for the shower include shaving over the sink instead of in the shower, and using a bucket to capture cold water at the start of your shower and re-using that water elsewhere, such as to water plants.
  • Toilets - most indoor water use typically comes from the flushing of toilets. Reducing the number of times a toilet is flushed, as well as switching from a standard toilet (3.5 gallons per flush) to a water efficient toilet (1.28 gallons per flush) can save a significant amount of water.

You can click the attached indoor water reduction page for more information on saving water indoors.

OUTDOOR WATER USE AND IRRIGATION SAVINGS TIPS

Outdoor irrigation will vary by residence depending upon multiple factors including, but not limited to: shape, size, and slope of yard; type of lawn (Blue grass, Fescue, Bermuda, etc.); soil type; number and types of plants and trees; type of irrigation (spray or drip); micro-climate (including wind conditions) and aspect (direction of residence in relation to the sun); and outdoor water pressure.

While there is no one schedule or duration that will work for every resident, the irrigation practices and tips listed below may assist you in watering your lawn as effectively and efficiently as possible while still complying with City and  State regulations. It is recommend that you consult with a landscape professional when making any changes to your irrigation system. Lawn care and Irrigation tips and practices which can save water include:  

  • Mowing less and mowing higher
  • Planting native lawns and plants
  • Utilizing drip and micro-spray systems where possible.
  • Inspecting your sprinkler system and repairing any leaks.
  • Adjusting and/or replacing sprinkler spray heads to maximize the area of landscape irrigated and minimize overspray which results in the watering of hardscape areas.
  • Running your sprinkler system to determine when runoff occurs to establish the maximum duration that you can irrigate your lawn in any one cycle.    
  • Watering for shorter periods (i.e., 5 to 10 minutes) over multiple cycles on designated watering days.
  • Allowing a minimum of 60 minutes between cycles to maximize soil and root absorption and prevent runoff.  
  • Establishing a water budget (amount, duration, and frequency) for your lawn. Although the City of Vacaville neither recommends or restricts any specific watering frequency or duration, the below sites provide guidelines and tips that you may consider in establishing a water budget for your lawn. 

Solano County Water Smart Gardening (includes outdoor watering calculator)

Lawn Watering Guide for California (courtesy of UC Davis)

How to Manage Lawn in a Drought (series of articles and links for lawn management) 

Please remember that these links provide general information and guidelines only, and that all outdoor irrigation applications must comply, and cannot conflict with, City and State regulations.

You can also click the following links for more information on outdoor water reduction, how to garden in a drought, or how to help your trees survive a drought.

Finally, you can use this total household water use calculator provided by the California Urban Water Conservation Council as an additional guide for estimating how much water you are using at home.

ADDITIONAL TIPS, SITES, AND RESOURCES FOR BEING MORE WATER-WISE:

A message from Sergio Romo of the San Francisco Giants regarding saving water.

www.saveourwater.com

State Water Resources Control Board