Water Quality Tips

Keep your water filters clean.

If you have a filter to remove contaminants, maintain it according to the manufacturer’s specifications. This might include cleaning it, replacing filter cartridges, and sometimes calling in a professional for service. Filters overdue for cleaning or replacing may no longer work properly to remove contaminants and may let foul tastes and odors remain in your tap water.

Wash water containers regularly.

You can have the best water treatment in the world, but if you put clean water into a dirty container, it may no longer be safe or palatable to drink. It’s critical to properly and regularly clean water containers, from household pitchers to water bottles. Mix a few drops of dish detergent into clean water and pour it into the storage container. Agitate the liquid, and scrub the inside with a nonabrasive scrub brush or a clean dish rag, then rinse the container thoroughly. If you want to achieve a higher level of cleanliness, disinfect the container with a mixture of unscented chlorine bleach and water. Mix it according to instructions on the bottle, and then swish the mixture around inside the container to ensure that it hits every surface. Leave the mixture inside the container for about 30 minutes, and then thoroughly rinse with tap water.

Maintain your water softener.

A typical water softener uses resin beads to capture hardness ions, and periodically uses salt to cleanse the beads and prepare the unit to remove more hardness ions. If you have a basic system, check salt levels at least once a month; it’s easy to do. Just lift the tank lid and look inside; if the tank is less than half full, add more salt. Or find a water professional at www.wqa.org, and have them check and maintain it for you.

Household Tips

Whole House

  1. Choose low-flow shower heads, sink faucet aerators, and high-efficiency washing machines, toilets, and other appliances.

  2. Choose showers over baths whenever possible. When taking a bath, make sure the drain stopper is working properly to avoid having to refill the tub.

  3. Pay attention to your water bill, an unanticipated increase could indicate a leak.

  4. Don’t ignore damp water spots on ceilings and walls. These leaks not only waste water but also can cause structural damage to your home. If you suspect a leak, consult with a plumber.

  5. Leaks can hide, easily unnoticed, underneath the sink behind supplies or under appliances. Pay special attention to musty odors, dampness
    or mold under sinks and appliances.

  6. Be aware of any dripping faucets, this can waste hundreds of gallons of water per month. Sink and shower faucet repairs are simple and cost effective.

In the Kitchen

  1. If you wash dishes in the sink, use a stopper to allow dishes to soak rather than running the faucet continuously.

  2. Instead of letting the faucet run until the water becomes cold, simply keep a container of water in the refrigerator.

In the Bathroom

  1. Do not leave the water running while brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your face. Shorten your time in the shower by just five minutes. Over time, this small change can save hundreds of gallons of water. 

  2. Make sure water from your toilet tank is not continuously leaking into the bowl. You can check by dropping some food coloring into the tank. 

  3. Avoid flushing the toilet for one hour and then see if the water in the bowl has become tinted.

In the Basement

  1. Avoid running the washing machine or dishwasher at less-than-full capacity, or adjust the water usage settings for smaller loads.

  2. Upgrade existing water softeners and filters to achieve water and salt usage savings.

  3. Replace existing water softener with ultra-efficient demand initiated water softener that regenerates only when needed using optimum salt and water.

  4. The hoses bringing water to and from your washing machine can burst. Avoid potential flooding issues by turning off both the hot and cold water sources when not the machine in use. Consider upgrading to “no-burst” hoses, and inspect the connections regularly for leaks.

In the Yard

  1. Avoid watering your lawn and garden during midday or when it is raining, and take care not to overwater.

  2. Use drip irrigation systems for watering yards and gardens. They can save 30-50% of the water sprinklers lose from evaporation and runoff.

  3. If you have an automatic watering system, make sure no water is wasted on paved areas. Always remember to shut off the automatic system off during a rainfall.

  4. Choose drought-resistant flowers and plants, rather than those requiring large amounts of water, for your garden.

  5. Collect water in a rain barrel and use it for watering lawns and plants.

  6. Add a top layer of organic mulch, or plant with a compost pile, to help your garden retain moisture.

  7. Check outdoor faucets, pools, and spas on a regular basis for leaks too.