February EcoTip Blog: Water Conservation

By Joshua Baker

This month we’ve decided to focus our EcoTip blog post on water conservation and efficiency because it’s always a good time to conserve water! Not only is conserving water good for the environment, but it can also help save you money. Luckily, Portland Water Bureau is kindly currently offering FREE water conservation kits for Portland  residents and commercial properties! The kits for residential buildings include a shower timer, a bathroom faucet aerator, toilet leak detection tablets, toilet fill cycle diverters, and kitchen faucet aerators. For commercial buildings, the kits contain these items in addition to a sample of a dual-flush handle, a sample of water saving 2.4 gpf toilet diaphragm kit, a sample of water saving 0.5 gpf urinal diaphragm kit, and a high efficiency pre-rinse sprayer. For residential buildings, click here to place your customized order. For commercial buildings, simply email conserve@portlandoregon.gov to request devices. 

In addition to ordering these free kits, there are other ways you can conserve water. One simple way to conserve water in the shower is by replacing your showerhead with a water-efficient one. Showerheads typically last about 10 years but as they age they may wear and leak or the nozzle heads may plug or enlarge, causing them to use more water. Taking this into consideration, if you have a showerhead that is older than 10 years, it may be a good time to replace it. Luckily there are many great options for sale so talking to a representative at a local plumbing or hardware store (i.e. Broadway Ace Hardware in the Lloyd) about your options is a great idea. You can also conserve water while doing your dishes by operating the dishwasher with full loads only. Make sure to load dishes properly so that the water reaches all dish surfaces because improper loadings may make it so that you have to rewash the dishes. Put your bowls on the top rack facing the center so that water is able to reach all surfaces. On the bottom rack, place cookie sheets and large platters along the outer edges so that they don’t block detergent and water from other dishes. The bottom rack is the proper place for casserole dishes, large pots, and serving bowls. Make sure to  put them at a slight angle so that water can reach them properly! Put glasses on the top rack in between tines instead of over them to prevent rattling or tine marks.  Employ one or both of these tips and you’ll be saving water in no time!  Thanks for reading and if you have any EcoTips you’d like to share with us please reach out to emma@ecolloyd.org!