Water Conservation

Amherst County Service Authority is committed to promoting the wise use of water. Water conservation saves not only our shared water resources, but also provides financial savings to our customers.

Suggestions for Home Water Conservation

In the bathroom:
  1. Check your toilets for leaks, particularly the flush box high level adjustment. Test your flush tank flapper valve by putting a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl, you have a bad flapper valve that should be repaired immediately.
  2. Check faucets and pipes for leaks. The smallest drip from a worn washer can waste 20 or more gallons a day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds.
  3. Replace your old toilet with a low-flow toilet. Ultra low-flush toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush. Old toilets use three to six gallons per flush.
  4. Do not use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket.
  5. If you have an older toilet, place an inch of sand in a quart-size bottle, fill it with water, and place it in the tank away from the operating mechanism. You can save five or more gallons a day through this procedure.
  6. Install water-saving showerheads or flow restrictors. Your local hardware or plumbing supply store stocks inexpensive, easy to install fixtures.
  7. Place a bucket in the shower to catch water while it gets warm. Use this captured water for watering house or garden plants.
  8. Take "Navy Showers". Use only enough water to get wet, and turn the water off. Lather up, then turn the water back on only long enough to rinse off.
  9. Turn off the water while you are shaving and brushing your teeth.
In the kitchen and laundry:
  1. Use your washing machine and dishwasher only for full loads.
  2. Check faucets and pipes for leaks
  3. If you wash dishes by hand, do not leave the water running. Use the least effective volume of detergent, to minimize rinse water volumes.
  4. Use the garbage disposal less often.
  5. Do not let the faucet run while you clean vegetables.
  6. Keep a bottle of chilled drinking water in the refrigerator.
  7. When replacing dishwashers or washing machine, look for low demand "water wise" models.
  8. Don't defrost frozen food in running water. Plan ahead and defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator.

       *Most outdoor water waste occurs through water-intensive landscaping and improper outdoor watering.*

  1. Plant only landscape plants native to Central VA. They are best adapted to our climate, and will need less, if any, supplemental water.
  2. Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets, and couplings. Check frequently and keep them drip-free.
  3. Water your lawn only when it needs it. A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If it springs back up when you move, it does not need water.
  4. Water deeply and less often. Deep watering encourages healthy growth.
  5. Water only between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. to minimize water loss due to evaporation.
  6. Make sure you are watering your yard, not your driveway, or the street.
  7. Use a broom instead of a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.
  8. Wash your car with a bucket of soapy water, using the hose only to rinse.
  9. Do not let your children play with the hose and sprinkler.
  10. Decrease your turf area to 25 percent of your yard. Increase mulched beds, trees, vines and ground-covered areas to 75 percent.
  11. Mulch retains moisture, cools the ground and decreases the need for watering.
  12. Mow your grass at the right height. Check with your nursery, or the Virginia Extension Office, for specifics on your type of grass.
  13. Install a rain gauge in your lawn to measure when your grass actually needs watering.
  14. Consider using rain barrels to capture downspout water for outside plants. (The Robert E. Lee Soil And Water Conservation District has periodic classes on how to make your own rain barrels).
  15. Suggestions for Businesses to Reduce Water Use

Begin by doing a thorough audit of all water uses by the business. Include everything, including coffee making, toilet flushes, floor mopping etc. Use this as a starting point in looking for areas to cut back on water use. Check for leaks and correct any immediately. Recognize that investment in water saving devices now, will save money in the future.

  1. Check for leaks, particularly toilet flush box high level adjustments and flapper (flush) valves.
  2. Offer hand sanitizers for customer use.
  3. Replace old toilets with a low-flow 1.6 gallon per flush model, or place a soda bottle full of sand in the tank.
  1. Reduce mopping and cleaning use of water as much as possible without threatening health, safety, or environment.
  2. Plan ahead and thaw food in the refrigerator or microwave rather than under running water.
  3. Capture rinse water and re-use for mopping floors.
  4. Install low-flow faucets or finger tip control valves on high flow units.
  5. Pre-soak dishes rather rinsing under running water.
  6. Amend menus to include items that require less water in the preparation or clean-up.
  7. Use water used for boiling vegetables or noodles to pre-soak dishes.
  8. Install on-demand, point-of-use hot water dispensers rather than running water until hot.
  9. Run only full loads in dishwasher and sanitizers.
  10. Use ice flakes instead of ice cubes. Ice flakes use half the water.
Dining Rooms:
  1. Only serve additional fountain drinks, water and iced tea when requested.
Office Spaces:
  1. Water plants using recycled water. Consider using condensate from a dehumidifier.
  2. Mop less frequently. Sweep or vacuum first.
Laundry Rooms:
  1. Run only full loads of laundry.
  2. Do not use pre-rinse cycles on washers.