The Village of Burr Ridge takes pride in the natural beauty that enhances the community, including the Village's hallmark woodlands, ponds, and wetlands. These cherished landscapes have been carefully preserved over the years, serving not only as a source of community identity but also as essential components of the environment. The connection between valuing these natural surroundings and understanding the significance of water conservation is evident. The woodlands, ponds, and wetlands rely on clean, abundant water to flourish. By practicing water conservation, the community fulfills a crucial role in maintaining the delicate balance and sustainability of these ecosystems. The community's efforts to preserve these natural surroundings align with broader environmental conservation goals. Responsible water use is a fundamental part of safeguarding these invaluable assets, ensuring they remain a source of pride for the community today and for generations to come.
Clean Water Tips for Households
Here are some practical tips to keep your household water use in check, provided by the DuPage Water Commission:
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clear debris from driveways, sidewalks, and patios.
- Wash a car with a bucket and sponge. Use a shut-off nozzle on your hose so water doesn’t run while you are washing the car. A free-flowing hose uses up to 300 gallons of water each hour.
- Check for leaks. Look at pipes, hoses, faucets, and couplings. Leaks waste a lot of water. Even a small leak in a garden hose may waste as much as 700 gallons per day.
- Save 3 gallons of water per minute by turning off the water when brushing your teeth, shaving, etc. National averages indicate that indoors, about 70 percent of our water is used in the bathroom.
- Check your toilet for leaks. Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If the coloring appears in the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a wasteful leak that should be repaired at once. Even a small leak can waste thousands of gallons a month.
- Use your automatic washing machine for full loads only. It uses up to 60 gallons per load.
- Consider changing to water-saving plumbing. Low-flush toilets and low-flow showerheads seem to be the biggest water savers.
Water Conservation in Your Home
Inside your home, small changes can make a big difference in conserving water, provided by the DuPage Water Commission:
- A leaky faucet can waste up to 150 gallons/month, and a leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons/day.
- Only use your dishwasher when it is full.
- Keep a pitcher of water in your refrigerator so you do not waste tap water waiting for it to get cold.
- Use a cup full of water when shaving instead of keeping your water on.
- Turn the water off while brushing your teeth.
Water Conservation Outside Your Home
When it comes to outdoor water use, consider these practices to save water, provided by the DuPage Water Commission:
- Deep soak your lawn. Water about one inch once a week (twice if it’s very hot for several days). Water infrequently, but thoroughly, so moisture soaks down to the roots. This creates deeper, healthier root systems that are more water-efficient and drought-tolerant.
- Water early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce evaporation. Avoid watering on windy days. Position sprinklers so water doesn’t land on paved areas and run off into storm drains.
- Help soil hold water. Add organic materials such as compost or peat moss. Keep your lawn and garden weed-free. Weeds can rob plants of water and nutrients. Lay mulch three inches deep around trees and plants to retain moisture, slow evaporation, and discourage weed growth.
- Consider installing drip irrigation systems around trees and shrubs. These systems allow water to flow slowly to the roots, encouraging strong, deep root systems. Drip systems also reduce evaporation.
- If you don’t have an automatic sprinkling system, use a kitchen timer or buy a sprinkler timer. You can waste a lot of water in a short time if you forget to turn off the sprinklers.
Tips for Landscaping
For landscaping, consider these tips to reduce water usage, provided by the DuPage Water Commission:
- Create a master landscape plan. Include existing structures, shrubs, and streets. Your plan will help you install or modify your landscape in phases, reducing initial expenses. In the planning stage, decide how zones of the landscape will be used. Group plants with similar watering needs together.
- Compost and cultivate. Clay soil absorbs water so slowly that the water runs off the surface very quickly. Adding an organic amendment such as compost helps clay soil absorb and retain water.
- Consider grass and ground cover. Use turf where it is practical and functional. Grass can require more water, maintenance, and nutrients than most other plants. One inch of water once a week is just right for most lawns. Water twice a week only during a heat wave. Ground covers, low-water-using plants, and mulches are good choices where there is little foot traffic. Steep slopes, sharp angles, and narrow driveway or sidewalk strips are ideal places for ground cover. Established ground cover reduces weeds and prevents slope erosion. Hardscape is another option. Use rock, concrete, or wood for paths, patios, and other areas of interest.
- Remember that every plant has its place. Different plants require different amounts of water and sunlight. They also need compatible soil conditions to survive. Group plants according to their needs.
- Water wisely. The greatest water waster is watering too much, too often. Deep, infrequent watering produces a deep-rooted lawn, which is more water-efficient and drought-tolerant. Plants and shrubs thrive when they have the right amount of water. Consult your local nursery and landscape professional to get advice on giving plants the right amount of water. Use mulches. Organic mulches, such as aged manure, compost, or bark chips, increase the ability of soil to store water. They also help prevent weeds and reduce soil erosion. Apply three inches of mulch in open areas for weed control and less around plants to allow water to reach the roots.
- Keep up the maintenance. Pruning and pest control will keep your landscape healthy. Fertilize when necessary. Control weeds as they compete with plants for light, nutrients, and water. Thatch and aerate your lawn once a year in spring or fall so water soaks into the ground and reaches the roots more easily.
- Check for leaks in your irrigation systems. Make every drop count.