We’ve had a particularly tough summer in terms of heat and humidity, which has forced water restrictions to rise to level 3 in Metro Vancouver.
What does level 3 mean for you? Level 3 restrictions limit the following activities:
- – You cannot use any type of treated drinking water (e.g. from a faucet or outdoor hose) to water your lawns, wash your car(s), or fill any type of leisure pool and spas.
- – You may wash only the license plate, windshield or lights of your car or boat (for safety purposes)
- – You can only water vegetable or flower gardens with a hand held wand or spring-loaded sprinkler nozzle
- – Sprinklers cannot be left on
- – You cannot power wash your driveway or sidewalk.
There are many ways you can save water in the home which we wrote about in our whole house energy saving blog and our summer water blog. Still, there are many more ways that you can conserve water in the home!
Just in time for the rainfall that we all know was needed, here are some ways to conserve water around your home by recycling it! There are NO restrictions on what you do with your recycled water!
Ways to Conserve Water in Your Home
1. Install a rain barrel. Today is a great day to start- it’s raining! Rain barrel systems are quite easy to set up (check YouTube for comprehensive tutorials). You can use them to gather rain water during the fall and winter months when Metro Vancouver tends to get a lot of rain, or even on those rainy spring and summer days that happen every so often during our warmer months. You can purchase a rain barrel or make one yourself. Check out this video from HGTV for an example.
2. Save your pasta and potato water! If you like to cook pasta or boil potatoes, drain your noodles or spuds through a colander set in another pot to salvage the hot water. Once the water has cooled down, use it outside in your garden, indoors on your household plants.
3. Save water from washed vegetables. Similar to the pasta/potato colander method, wash your vegetables over a pot and reuse the water in your outdoor garden, on your indoor plants, or put it in your toilet for flushing.
4. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. There’s really no need to keep the water running if you’re not using it. This is an easy one. Turn off the tap when brushing your pearly whites.
5. If it’s yellow, let it mellow. This is one of the easiest water saving methods, especially if you don’t have a low-flow toilet. If you can tolerate it and don’t mind cleaning your toilet more often than usual – go for it!
6. Use a shower bucket. This is another easy way to recycle water. Place a bucket under the tap when you turn it on and wait for your shower to warm up. Place the bucket back under when you turn the tap off, as excess water can come out of the tub spout when the shower is turned off.
7. Time your shower. Older showers can use up to 5 gallons of water per minute! Put on your favorite song (or make a short 2-song playlist if you have long hair) and get out of the shower when the song ends. You can also purchase shower timers, or devices that change colour after a certain period of time in the shower (google it!)
8. Collect overflow water when you water plants. Keep your plants in deep trays and reuse the water runoff for other plants until you’ve watered them all!
9. Reuse excess drinking water. Use the water from your nearly empty water bottles or bedside glass of water to hydrate your indoor and outdoor plants. If your water has been sweetened you can use it outside, but avoid using it indoors as it will attract pests like ants.
10. Use less electricity. Power plants use a lot of water to keep cool. If you conserve electricity, you’re also conserving water!