iReporter
 
Stephen Lu – Guest Contributor
Jul 6 2012
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When the temperature starts rising during the summer, water and energy bills start rising as well. While there isn't much one can do to save on energy (aside from easing up on the air conditioner), there are numerous ways to save on water expenses.

Perhaps the biggest mistake that people make is frequently watering their lawns with the thought that the excess watering will counter the heat. Actual, experts recommend that homeowners water their lawns deeply just once a week. This is more effective than watering multiple times and results in a beautiful, healthy lawn.

The type of sprinkler system also can make a big difference. Homeowners need to regularly check their sprinklers for directional aim and broken heads and fix any problems that arise. Experts recommend sprinklers that spray large drops of water closer to the ground, as opposed to those that spray a fine mist over the top. Also, try installing an automatic sensor that will shut off the sprinkler system whenever it freezes, rains or is unusually windy.

While working on the lawn, try raising the lawnmower blade and grass to a height of three inches. The added height will shade the soil, which in turn will reduce evaporation and allow grass roots to grow deeper. And when putting down new plants, consider planting water-wise plants that are native to North Texas. For a list of these plants, check out the Native Plant Society of Texas website.

There are also tips to follow inside the house:

  • Check all faucets, spigots, pipes and hoses for leaks - an average American home wastes over 10,000 gallons of water due to household leaks
  • Install low flow toilets and shower heads throughout the home - if the shower can fill a one-gallon bucket in under 20 seconds, it needs to be replaced
  • Wash dishes in the dishwasher instead of by hand and only run the dishwasher with a full load
  • Consider investing in an energy-efficient washer and only run the washer with a full load
  • Turn off the water while shaving
  • Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth or washing your hands/face