Express-News Weekly Column
Saturday, November 25, 2000 Submitted by Calvin Finch, Ph.D.,
Director of Conservation, SAWS, and Horticulturist
CONSERVE WATER AND HELP
PAY FOR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS
Are you looking for a way to
help pay for your holiday presents? Conserve water this winter
and your sewer bill will be reduced for a whole year.
Annual sewer bills are based
on the average monthly water consumption between mid November
and mid March.
Winter averaging takes place
during the coldest months of the year, since most water consumption
goes toward use in the home and is returned to the sewer system.
Outdoor water use, like watering lawns or washing cars, is typically
lower over the winter months. Therefore, a more accurate reading
of a customer's demand on the sewer system can be taken in the
winter. All indoor water goes into the sewer and must be treated,
so it is logical to determine sewer rates by this method.
To get the lowest sewer rate,
therefore, it is important not to use extra water in the winter.
Limit irrigation to only what is absolutely necessary. St. Augustine
grass only requires one-half inch every three weeks in the winter
if you do not get rain during the period.
Accomplish further savings by
examining your indoor water use. SAWS will help you do this by
offering a free audit to identify in-house leaks and offer other
advice on how to reduce unnecessary water use. Call 704-7354 to
schedule the free home audit. On the average, these audits take
thirty minutes if you do not have an irrigation system. If you
have an irrigation system, it'll take about one hour. These audits
are able to help the typical homeowner save enough money on water
and sewer bills to buy a good portion of the family's Christmas
If you are not interested in
the audit, here are a few things to check for yourself:
· Check your faucets and toilets
for leaks and have them repaired. · Add a new washer to stop drips.
· Install low flow plumbing fixtures such as aerators on your
faucets and showerheads. You can pick up free aerators, showerheads,
a leak detection kit, and conservation information at any SAWS
Customer Service Center.
The centers are located at:
· Main Office, 1001 E. Market St.
· West Side Service Center, Las Palmas, 803 Castroville Rd., Suite
· East Side Service Center, 3930 E. Houston St.
· Practice water-saving habits as not running the water in the
bathroom sink while shaving or brushing your teeth.
· Consider replacing old toilets with a low-flow one or replacing
your washing machine with a high efficiency model. SAWS offers
rebate programs for both. Learn more by calling 704-SAVE or by
visiting the SAWS website at www.saws.org.