©2018 Mahoning Valley Water Inc.  Water Conservation Part III      Our final issue on water conservation discusses water saving techniques for the kitchen, laundry, and lawn care.      Twenty-five percent of the daily household water used occurs in the kitchen and laundry, and again, much of this water is wasted.  The following are some ideas to help conserve water: Kitchen Using aerators on faucets break up the stream of water, making it clean more effectively, and increases water pressure by partially restricting the flow. Remove ice trays from the freezer a few minutes before you need them so you won't have to use water to free them. Thaw frozen foods in the same way. Always use a lid on pots. Use the least amount of water possible when cooking vegetable and other foods to save water and maximize the nutrients in the food. Water left over from boiling foods can be used in soups and casseroles and will add extra vitamins and nutrients. Try to use crock pots and pressure cookers as they use less water and save energy as well. When boiling water, boil only the amount you really need, instead of a whole pot. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge to eliminate the necessity of running water for several minutes until it gets cold.  This can save anywhere from 1 to 4 gallons of water per drink. Instead of letting the water run while you peel vegetables, stopper and fill the sink to clean all the vegetable at one time. Run the garbage disposal unit only when it is full or consider the more environmentally friendly option of composting vegetable peelings in your garden. Most dishwashers are designed to clean very dirty dishes without rinsing.  However, if you must rinse the dishes, soak them briefly in soapy water and load them directly into the washer. Run your dishwasher only when  you have a full load, since each load uses 12 to 17 gallons of water. Use the pre-wash, rinse-hold, and scrub cycles of your dishwasher only when necessary.  If dishes are not that dirty, a shorter cycle may suffice. If your dishwasher is not cleaning properly, check for clogged pumps, sticking rotors, leaking hoses, etc. When you wash dishes by hand, soak them first in a sink full of soapy water, and be frugal with the rinse water. Use low-sudsing detergents - they require less rinsing. Use scrubbers, steel wool pads, and sponges to remove dirt instead of relying on water pressure. Adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vinegar to your wash water cuts grease more readily than hot water alone. Laundry Care      Because automatic washers use anywhere from 30 to 60 gallons of water per load, the best way to conserve water is to reduce the number of loads and increase the size of the loads.  We would all have fewer clothes to wash if we only washed them when they were really dirty.  If you use a bath towel only once, is it really dirty?  By reducing the amount of laundry considered "dirty", you not only save water, but you save wear and tear on your washer, dryer, and the clothes as well. If your washer has a variable load control, always use it to adjust the water level to fit the size of the load. You save 15 - 19 gallons of water by using a suds-saver control. Only run the washer with a full load if you cannot adjust the water levels on your machine. Look for machines with water or energy-saving controls when buying a new machine. Using softened water gets clothes cleaner and requires less detergent and rinse water. Lawn Care      Proper lawn care is an important part of water conservation and, best of all, water conservation practices generally result in a greener, healthier lawn.  The following tips will help you cultivate a better lawn and save water at the same time. Water early in the morning as less water will evaporate. Let your grass grow slightly taller in the summer ( to approximately 1 1/2").  The longer blades of grass will provide shade for the roots reducing water loss. Mulching a garden or lawn improves absorption and reduces evaporation. The key to successful lawn irrigation is to water slowly, deeply, and infrequently.  Really soak a lawn by applying an inch or more of water (until the grass is soggy), but let it dry out between applications. Water on cool days when possible. Lawns that are frequently aerated absorb water better. Do not use sprinklers that emit water in a fine mist.  Too much evaporates.  Do not allow sprinklers to run unattended, use a kitchen timer to remind you to turn the water off. Dig basins around trees and shrubs to collect water that would normally run off or evaporate. Keep a record of waterings noting areas watered, date watered, and amount of water applied.  A 1/2" hose at normal household pressure carries 600 gallons of water per hour, a 5/8" hose carries about 1,000 gallons of water per hour, and a 3/4" hose carries 1,900 gallons of water per hour.      Clean, potable water is a precious resource.  Remember, water conservation has to begin at home and only you can  make that happen.  Please make water conservation a way of life. MAHONING VALLEY WATER