Illinois American Water offers helpful tips for keeping summer usage down

For watering outdoors, drip irrigation could be a way to conserve.   Contributed

With summer here and temperatures on the rise, Illinois American Water has 10 tips for simple but sustainable ways to conserve water.

1. Water the lawn only when necessary, rather than putting it on a constant cycle. If your grass takes the indentation of your footprint, it might be time to turn on the sprinklers.

2. Mow the lawn on a higher setting, rather than scalping the lawn and leaving it to the elements.

3. Research and maybe take the plunge into drip irrigation. Alternatively, collecting rain water in a barrel can help you with your outdoor watering needs. Try watering during the morning or early evening as the sun can evaporate up to 30 percent of the water you put down.

4. Sweep, don't spray, your driveway clean.

5. Instead of using a hose to wash your car, use a bucket and sponge; this will prevent you from wasting up to six gallons of water per minute.

6. Only wash clothes and dishes when the machines are full, and remember to adjust the water level so you only use what is needed.

7. Instead of buying plastic water bottles, keep a pitcher of water in the fridge so that you have constant access to cold water.

8. Opt for a short shower over a bath. Showers within five minutes' length can take 10-25 gallons, but a bath will take up to 70 gallons.

9. Remember to save water when brushing your teeth.

10. Keep an eye on toilets, faucets, pipes and other fixtures for leaks, and have them fixed if a leak is detected. 

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