Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Advice from Owlie

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
After reading your column, I have used several of your indoor water-saving tips, but I'm still looking for more to use in the bathroom, since decreasing my water use has become a way of life.  What are some additional water-saving tips for bathrooms I can use to continue my water savings?
Sincerely, 
                                                     Water-Saving Enthusiast

A: Dear Water-Saving Enthusiast
I am glad to hear you have been using my indoor water-saving tips.  Some bathroom water-saving tips include turning off the shower while shampooing, rinsing with water from a glass after brushing teeth and turning off the faucet while shaving, which alone can save you 10 gallons per person/day.  All of these small tips can add up to more water savings.  Find more indoor water-saving tips at www.ieua.org.

Good luck to you and your water-saving efforts, 
Owlie

Monday, August 15, 2016

Advice from Owlie

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
As the summer heats up, I'm worried that I'm not watering my landscape efficiently.  The soil around my trees and plants is alarmingly dry, but since we are in a drought, I do not want to use more water.  What can I do to ensure the water for my landscape is being used efficiently?   
Sincerely, 
                                                     Efficient Water-User 

A: Dear Efficient Water-User
Thank you for looking for ways to water your landscape efficiently.  The summer brings with it higher rates of evaporation, but mulch can help conserve your soil's moisture.  Use organic mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation, improve the soil and prevent weeds.  This can save you 20-30 gallons per 1,000 sq. ft. each time you water.  Also, try installing drip irrigation, which directly applies water to the roots of shrubs and trees.  Learn more outdoor watering tips at www.ieua.org.  

Good luck with using water for your landscape more efficiently, 
Owlie

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Advice from Owlie

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
I'm a passionate water saver and pet lover.  I've used several of your water-saving tips for indoors and outdoors, but I have not seen any tips related to pet owners.  Are there any water-saving tips I can use that allow me to own pets and still save water?  
Sincerely, 
Water-Saving Pet Owner 

A: Dear Water-Saving Pet Owner
I am happy to hear that you are looking for ways to save water, while being a pet owner.  Pets need water just like us, but owning a pet does not mean you cannot continue to save water.  There are many water-saving pet tips you can use, including washing your pet on your lawn with eco-friendly shampoo, using your pet's old drinking water to water plants, watering your house plants with old water from your freshwater aquarium, and using water left in drinking glasses or water bottles to fill up your pet's water bowl.  These are easy tips you can use to enjoy your pets and still save water.  For more water-saving tips, visit www.ieua.org

Best of luck to you in your water-saving quest, 
Owlie

Monday, August 1, 2016

Advice from Owlie

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
 I recently moved into a new home, but the house itself is rather old.  The toilets have not been replaced in some time and are terrible water wasters.  What type of toilets should I buy to save me the most water?  
Sincerely, 
Water Wasting Remover

A: Dear Water Wasting Remover
Thank you for actively looking for a replacement of your water-wasting toilet.  The latest and greatest water-saving models of toilets are the Dual-Flush, “High-Efficiency Toilets.”  These toilets have two flush options, a half flush for liquid waste and a full flush for solid waste, which can use as little as .8 – 1.28 gallons per flush.  This “High-Efficiency Toilet” can save you up to 19 gallons per person/day, and if replacing a traditional toilet with this model, you can save approximately 23,000 gallons a year.  Visit www.ieua.org to learn more water-saving tips. 

Good luck with your replacement of your water-wasting toilet, 
Owlie

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Advice from Owlie

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
Although I have not washed my car in some time, I would like to have it washed soon.  With the current water restrictions, I am not sure if I can wash it myself.  Do you know if I can wash my car myself and what I may need to make sure I don’t use too much water?  
Sincerely, 
Water-Saving Car Owner 

A: Dear Water-Saving Car Owner
Thank you for reaching out and asking for help with your car washing situation.  Due to the drought, car owners are asked to cut back their car washes, but if your car must be washed, there are two tips to help save water.  To save the most amount of water, either have your car washed at a car wash that uses recycled water, or wash it with a bucket, sponge and hose with a shut-off nozzle, which is now required for home garden hoses.  This can save you 8-18 gallons per minute. For more water-saving tips, visit www.ieua.org

Best of luck to you and your water-saving car washes, 
Owlie

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Advice from Owlie

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
I have noticed that I need to refill my pool and spa more frequently.  My family and I do not use it too much so I’m assuming it’s from evaporation.  As the summer heats up, I would like to invest in a pool and spa cover to reduce the amount of water that evaporates, but I am worried about the cost.  Do the gallons of water saved outweigh the initial cost of buying a cover?  
Sincerely, 
Pool Water Preserver

A: Dear Pool Water Preserver
I am glad you are considering the purchase of a pool and spa cover.  During the summer, water in pools and spas can be lost to evaporation. This evaporation rate may be higher in southern California, where temperatures can reach triple digits.  With a cover, however, you can reduce the evaporation rate by 30 – 90 %, depending on the quality of the pool cover.  Yearly, a pool and spa cover can save the average homeowner 4,844 to 7,161 gallons of water.  To learn more water-saving tips, visit www.ieua.org

Good luck with your pool and spa cover purchase, 
Owlie

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Advice from Owlie

Advice from Owlie

Q: Dear Owlie, 
I have noticed what appears to be hard water stains on my driveway and sidewalk.  With the recent requirement to eliminate water runoff from homes, I am concerned that this may be caused by runoff from my sprinklers, but I’m not sure since I water my lawn in the early morning hours.  What can I do to stop this runoff and ensure the water is being used for my landscape?  
Sincerely, 
Runoff Worrier

A: Dear Runoff Worrier
Thank you for being aware of your runoff problem and wanting to fix it.  When your sprinklers run, walk on the edge of your property to see if there is indeed runoff.  Once you have confirmed the runoff problem, you can change your watering schedule to eliminate it.  One of the best solutions to combat runoff is splitting your 15 minute watering sessions into two, 5-8 minute spurts of watering sessions 30-45 minutes apart.  This allows the water to infiltrate into the soil, thereby eliminating the runoff.  To learn more outdoor watering tips, visit www.ieua.org.

Best of luck in fixing your runoff problem and saving your water for your landscape, 
Owlie