Hillsborough County wants to remind residents about simple steps they can take to help conserve water, especially in the middle of the dry season.
“Water conservation measures are essential in preserving our precious water resources and to ensure that we always have clean, safe water for all to use,” said David Glicksberg, Sustainable Water Resources Section manager for Hillsborough County’s Environmental Services Division. “Conserving water can be done in numerous ways, including turning off the faucet while we brush our teeth to ensure that our lawn irrigation systems are working properly and operating only during our designated watering days and times. We all can help to conserve water to ensure the continued availability of our water supply.”
Year-round watering restrictions still apply, and residents should be familiar with the schedule. Addresses ending in 0, 1, 2 or 3 can water their lawns on Mondays and Thursdays; addresses ending in 4, 5 or 6 can water their lawns on Tuesdays and Fridays; and addresses ending in 7, 8 or 9 can water their lawns on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Common areas with no addresses and locations with multiple addresses, such as office complexes, can water their lawns on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
All watering must be done before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m., and it can be done only once on the designated day. Watering with reclaimed water is not restricted by day, but it must be done before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. on any given day, and hand watering and low-volume irrigation of plants may be done on any day and at any time but must not be wasteful.
Another step to water conservation is to find and fix easily corrected household water leaks that can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills. Leaks are commonly found in toilets, faucets, water softeners and irrigation systems.
To determine if there’s a water leak in your home, turn off all appliances that use water, including ice makers, dishwashers and irrigation systems. Note or take a photo of the location of the small red sweep hand on the water meter. Wait two hours without using any water in the home, including faucets or toilets. View the small red hand on the water meter again. If it has moved, there’s possibly a leak in the home or in the irrigation system.
If you don’t know where the leak is, contact a leak detection company. Contact a licensed plumber if you need help fixing it.
Other steps to help conserve water include adding a shutoff device to the showerhead to turn it off while lathering, turning off the sink while brushing your teeth or shaving, installing an ultra-low-flow toilet—which uses only 1.6 gallons of water per flush or less—and running full loads in the dishwasher and washing machines. In addition, reducing shower times by five minutes can save 15 to 30 gallons of water.
“In our region, the dry season is typically from October through May,” Glicksberg said. “Water conservation needs to be practiced year-round. During the dry season, we need to be especially vigilant about conserving water.”
Visit https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/property-owners-and-renters/water-and-sewer/lower-bills-and-water-conservation to learn more about the many ways you can save water and lower your water bill, or call the Water Conservation Team at 663-3295 for more information.