Water Conservation

How much Does your Household’s Showers Cost? – Posted: September 8, 2016

Shower Cost (1 ERU, no overage)

Sustainable Water and Energy – Posted: April 10, 2014

The time of year when water use in the District peaks is fast approaching. It is the perfect time to assess whether you have water leaks in your house and outdoor irrigation devices so you can minimize any overages on your upcoming water bills.
Did you know that over 50% of the water we pump annually in Liberty Lake is used for irrigation, during June, July, and August? That is more than 500,000,000 gallons of water applied to the landscape alone! The District would like to remind you that we always have resources available to help our customers reduce their water use and bills. Some of these FREE resources include:

  • Low-flow kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators
  • Low-flow showerheads
  • Leak identification kits
  • Outdoor irrigation self-audit tools
  • On-site consultation
  • Irrigation system control sensors

For additional information on how you can conserve more water and reduce your utility bills, you can check out the links below, or contact Jeremy Jenkins, Water Resource Manager @ 509-922-5443!

WSlogo_partner_transparentEPA WaterSense drought-infographic

___________________________________________

Learn More!

Water conservation is the process of reducing the amount of water used for day-to-day activities, it is by definition “the utilization of cost-effective water use efficiency practices to curtail the waste of water and to ensure that water use does not exceed reasonable needs.” Water conservation measures include landscape irrigation management, elimination of leaks in toilets, faucets and irrigation systems, and negligent unnecessary uses. Landscaping with low water consuming plants is also beneficial. The District will furnish free of charge low flow showerheads and toilet dams.

Water Rights

Public water systems are required to have water rights that are issued by the Washington Department of Ecology to withdraw water from the aquifer. The water right designates how much water can be withdrawn from a well. The District has a limited amount of water rights and has applied several years ago for additional water rights, but the Department of Ecology is presently not issuing new water rights from the aquifer. Until new water rights are obtained, water conservation will be emphasized, especially during the irrigation season.

Water Responsibly

The LLSWD is dedicated to promoting water conservation through proper water management. The LLSWD’s water conservation strategy stresses the importance of improving the efficiency of irrigation systems and calls for increased cooperation among all water users. Our goal is to help our customers conserve water, especially in hot summer weather, while maintaining beautiful landscapes. Summer irrigation is the highest use of water within the District; over 50% of all the water used within the District. Through education and planning, it is estimated that landscapes can be well maintained using 20-50% less water. Please help in conserving our valuable resource by irrigating responsibly. Lawns need just over one inch of water per week. To achieve this, deep soak lawns to a depth of 4 to 6 inches between watering periods. Each watering should be long enough to wet soil to the bottom of the root zone. To measure water use, place a empty tuna or cat food can on the lawn while watering. Stop watering when the can is full or water is running off the lawn. Next, adjust water cycle appropriately. It is necessary to adjust your watering schedule based on the weather conditions. If it is raining, turn your automatic irrigation controller to the OFF or RAIN DELAY position. It is recommended to water before 9am and after 7pm to reduce water loss. Watering sidewalks, driveways, and streets is a waste of water, as the average sprinkler will use in excess of 240 gallons of water per hour.

Check for leaks

Water leaks can cause excessive water use. To check for water leaks in your home or business, first check the toilets and sinks. Under full pressure, a pin hole size leak (1/32″) will lose 9 gallons per hour, a 1/16″ leak the size of a straight pin will waste 35 gallons per hour, a 1/8″ hole about the size of a pencil lead will loose 141 gallons per hour, and a 3/16″ hole which is the approximate diameter of the typical household telephone cord, will lose 318 gallons per hour. Faucets that drip when in the off position, should be repaired. A dripping faucet that fills a cup in 10 minutes wastes 3,280 gallons per year. Toilets that don’t completely shut off can also be a major consumption of water. Another way to check for leaks is to turn off all water and check the water meter. If the small wheel is turning on the meter, there could be a leak either in the house or in the service line to the house.

Landscape Irrigation Audits

The Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District in an effort to reduce water used during the summer irrigation season, is offering free landscape irrigation audits to help owners and residents with irrigation and sprinkler system problems. Audits replace many of the assumptions that are made in irrigation scheduling. Audits involve testing system operation, distribution tests to determine efficiency of the system, generation of monthly irrigation base schedules, and recommendations for changes. Irrigation systems might be inefficient if they sprinkle sidewalks, streets and driveways; sprinkler heads are not sized properly; timers set for excessive watering; high evaporation from ineffective sprinklers; leaks in the system, etc. Landscaping changes may also provide additional reduction in water use, especially changing to drip irrigation for trees and shrubs. Landscape irrigation auditing is an effective tool for maximizing water use efficiency in urban landscapes such as home lawns, commercial properties and sports fields. Rain gauges to help measure water use are available free of charge at the District Administration office. For more information contact Jeremy Jenkins at (509) 922-5443 ext. 230.

Questions and Answers on Water Conservation

Do you know the source of your drinking water?

  • The source of your drinking water is the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer stretching from Pend Oreille Lake to the Little Spokane River north of the City of Spokane. This aquifer is one of the largest in the world, and serves as drinking water for over 500,000 people in North Idaho and the Spokane area. This resource is not unlimited and must be protected from contamination and overuse.

Why is water conservation important to the Liberty Lake area?

  • The District has a limited amount of water rights and has applied several years ago for additional water rights, but the Department of Ecology is presently not issuing new water rights from the aquifer. Until new water rights are obtained, water conservation will be emphasized, especially during the irrigation season.

What is the best time to irrigate my lawn/landscape?

  • The best time to irrigate your lawn/landscape is before 9am and after 7pm

How do I know if I have a leak at my house?

  • To check for leaks, turn off all water and check the water meter. If the small wheel is turning on the meter, there could be a leak either in the house or in the service line to the house.

What can I do to help conserve water?

  • The Washington State Department of Health offers 8 ways to being Waterwise:

#1- Indoor Water Conservation
#2- Outdoor Water Conservation
#3- Lawn Watering Guide
#4- Indoor Water Audit
#5- Meter Reading & Leak Repair
#6- Soil Preparation & Planning
#7- Irrigation & Landscaping
#8- Salmon Recovery

References/Links

US EPA – WaterSense

Washington State Department of Health – Office of Drinking Water

Spokane Aquifer Joint Board

Idaho Washington Aquifer Collaborative