Most residents in Carlisle gets their water from their well, and most of the wastewater in Carlisle is disposed of in septic systems and leach fields. It is therefore very important to manage the household products we use, the pesticides we use in our yards and what we dispose of into our leach fields such as chemicals, hormones, and endocrine disrupters (pharmaceuticals, etc).
Water Efficiency in Your Home
Most of us in Carlisle do not pay for water or sewer other than the electric cost for pumping water from our wells and paying the “Honeywagon” pump our septic systems and paying to upgrade our septic systems when they fail. There are number of opportunities to reduce water use in homes and save money. EPA has a program called WATERWISE that can help you identify water efficient products and appliances to help reduce your water use at home.
What can you do?
- Faucet Aerators – reduce water use from 2.2 gallons per minute (GPM) down to 0.38 – 0.5 GPM in sinks and reduce water use in kitchen sink to 1.5 GPM. Since we only pay for pumping costs in Carlisle, water and sewer costs currently do not contribute to a payback on an investment in aerators. However, the energy savings alone will pay for the new showerhead in about 12 months
- Showers – switch out your showerhead from a 2.5 GPM showerhead to a 1.0 – 1.5 GPM. You will save water and you will save energy. In Carlisle the energy savings alone will pay for the new showerhead in about 12 months.
- Toilets —Water use in toilets can be reduced from 3.5 gallons per flush (GPF) down to 0.8 1.28 GPF.
- Leaks — Identify and repair leaks in the plumbing system. A leak that fills an 8 oz cup in 30 seconds wastes over 65,000 gallons per year. Toilets are especially prone to leaks and can waste 200 gallons per day without making a sound – That’s 73,000 gallons per year.
- Checking for Toilet Leak — Check for leaks in toilets by adding food coloring to the toilet tank. If color appears in the bowl without flushing, there is a leak.
Gate Tube Water Saver — This is a simple way to save about 25% of the water in all toilets. The bowl always fills first. While the tank is filling, water continues to pour into the “already filled” bowl. This bowl water has no place to go but down the drain. The tank must completely fill in order to stop the bowl from overfilling and wasting water. The Gate Tube fills the tank faster eliminating water waste.
Water Efficiency in Your Yard
Approximately 58% of the water used in most homes in Carlisle is used for irrigation. Americans use about 7 billion gallons of water for landscaping every day. Watering your lawn just once consumes about 180 gallons. Irrigation can be reduced significantly by using drought resistant plantings and grasses as well as correctly watering plants. Plants and grasses should be water long enough to enable the roots to be saturated about once a week. This will enable the roots to grow deep, giving the plants strength to combat diseases and pests.
What can you do?
- Don’t waste water irrigating when it is raining or when the soil moisture is high.
- Installation of a satellite based irrigation system prevents over watering and can save as much as 50%
- Use organic compost fertilizer instead of chemicals and the roots will grow deeper resulting in less watering
- Use drip irrigation
- Water plants and grass at night or early morning to reduce evaporation
- Use greywater or rainwater to irrigate
- If you use a sprinkler system use a system with larger drops and not a misting sprinkler system to reduce evaporation