Winter seems to have come early to Texas this year, although average household water use is typically much lower in the colder months, there are still a number of things that can be done to help promote water conservation. Check out our recommendations for indoor and outdoor home preparation to save water and money this holiday season.
The winter months are a great time to identify and repair indoor water leaks from toilets and faucets. These leaks can happen suddenly with changing temperatures and locating them early saves significant amounts of water and money. Adding some food coloring or dye tablets to toilet tanks is an easy way to identify leaks which can add up to a significant amount of wasted water – contact District staff for more information regarding dye tablets and how to identify leaks in your toilet. Also, winter months are the perfect time to consider installing other water saving devices such as lower flow toilets, shower heads, and faucets which can all significantly decrease your household water consumption which means a lower water bill.
It is very important to remember maintenance for the outside of your home as well. Make sure to check or install faucet coverings and insulation around all outdoor water fixtures. When temperatures drop below freezing outdoor fixtures can freeze which can cause pipes and faucets to crack or burst resulting in a huge headache for you as well as a tremendous waste of water.
For those of you with private water wells, remember to avoid storing pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals left over from the spring or summer near your wellhead. While a wellhouse may seem a tempting storage location, a garage or structure further away from your water source is recommended. Additionally, consider using items such as older towels or fabric to help insulate your wellhead and pipes.
Lastly, it is never too early to start planning for the warmer months. Composting leftover food, those troublesome leaves that have littered your yard and other organic material for use in your garden or landscaping will help retain soil moisture and add much needed nutrients to your plants. And, don’t forget to add mulch to your landscaping once the temperatures start to rise.
With these tips, any homeowner can easily transition their home into the winter and spring months, avoiding costly repairs while practicing water conservation.
Protecting the water supply is everyone’s responsibility. For more information about rainwater harvesting and other water saving ideas, please visit the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District’s website (www.uppertrinitygcd.com) where you will find helpful links, videos, articles, and tools to help conserve water. Please contact our office at (817) 523-5200 and Jill Garcia, Education and PR Coordinator for more information.