Summer water conservation
During the summer months, water use in Durham Region greatly increases. Residents can help maintain the water supply by conserving water and observing "odd-even day lawn watering". Conserving water helps residents to cut down on their water bills while ensuring our water supply does not reach critical levels.
Odd-even day lawn watering – Under the Regional Water System Bylaw Number 89-2003, odd-even day lawn watering is mandatory during the months of May through September. Odd-even day lawn watering means you should water only on odd calendar days if your home address is an odd number, or, if your home address is even, then water only on even calendar days. Before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. is the best time of the day to water.
Rain gauges - Grass in our climate requires only 2.5 centimetres or one inch of water per week, including rainfall to remain healthy. Not only does watering your lawn too much greatly increase water use, but too much water or fertilizer can cause your lawn to grow beyond the limits of the soil. It can also lead to shallow roots and a lawn unable to cope with hot dry weather. Durham provides free rain gauges so residents can measure the amount of water their lawn receives from watering and rainfall.
Rain barrels - Consider purchasing a rain barrel from your local garden centre. Rain barrels are great for supplying water for your vegetables, hanging baskets and potted plants. Please ensure rain barrels are covered with mosquito screening.
To find out where to get your free rain gauge, visit the water efficiency section of the Region of Durham’s website.
Toilets – Replace existing toilets with a six litre low-flush model to save money and water with every flush. Also, a leaking toilet could cost you hundreds of dollars each year. To check if your toilet is leaking, place a few drops of food colouring in your tank and if, after 15 to 30 minutes, any of the food colouring seeps into the bowl without flushing, you have a leak.
Showers – Replace showerheads with a low-flow showerhead and have shorter showers to save water.
Faucets – Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, and have leaky faucets repaired immediately.
Washing machines – Front load washing machines use up to 40 per cent less water and as much as 70 per cent less energy. They also are gentler on clothes and spin them dryer, requiring less drying time. They cost a little more, but make up for that in reduced water and energy costs.
For more information on water efficiency, please refer to the water efficiency section on the website.