Even with the sporadic rainstorms we’ve been getting, California is still in a pretty severe drought. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, conditions in our area are extreme. So even as we head into our rainy season, with expectations of El Nino, water conservation is still important. Here are a few reminders for restrictions when using plumbing in San Diego, and a few tips that will help you to save water.
Drought restrictions vary by area, but in the Sweetwater District, they imposed a level 2 Drought Alert and the following mandatory water use prohibitions:
- Customers are required to repair major leaks immediately and minor leaks within 24 hours of discovery. Back in April, we shared a series during fix-a-leak week with some helpful resources and tips.
- Residents were also asked to eliminate washing of any paved surfaces, or irrigation of landscapes that create runoffs.
- During rain, and within 48 hours after, customers are not to use potable water for outdoor landscapes.
- Irrigation is limited to 6 P.M. to 9 A.M. and only two days per week permitted, as well as requirements to use an automatic shut off nozzle on any hand held hose.
- Unless water is part of a recalculating system, residents with fountains and/or water features are required to shut them off at this time.
- You may have also noticed that, when dining out, you are not automatically provided water. At all eating and drinking establishments, water is only available upon request.
- Hotels, motels, and commercial lodging establishments are also under strict requirements of water use and automatic laundry services.
With all of the restrictions, what can you do? We cannot recommend prevention enough. Perform monthly plumbing checks at your home in San Diego. Look out for signs of current or past leaks, check your water meter for hidden or slow leaks, and perform a home water audit. Prevention measures can go a long way, not only to conserve water, but to save money and larger problems in the future.
Sweetwater reminds consumers to “Mind the Tap” when using the shower, washing your hands and brushing your teeth. Don’t leave the water running, and use a bucket to catch water as it heats up in the shower. You can use that water for your plants or to manually flush your toilet.
Timing is also important. Cut your showers by a few minutes and you can save up to 30 gallons per shower. Make sure to run the dishwasher with a full load, or on a water savings setting, and save up laundry for a fuller load as well.
You can also invest in water savings fixtures, install aerators on your sink faucets, and look into comfort recirculation systems. Professionally installed by a licensed San Diego plumber, they will allow you to get hot water quickly, without wasting water.
When you call 1-800 Bill Howe (245-5469), we will send you a qualified and trained san digo plumber who can help you understand how to save water and money. And on every visit, simply ask for a quick water audit, or use this handy form we created on your own.