Most of the water usage in a household is in the bathrooms (75% of
total consumption) and maintaining a yard. Here are some simple ways to
monitor usage and make repairs so your household isn’t paying more for
water usage than necessary.
Home Maintenance Ideas
- As much as 200 gallons of water per day can be wasted by a
silent toilet leak. You can check for leaks by putting a few drops
of food coloring in the toilet tank. Without flushing, wait 15-30
minutes. If the color appears in the bowl, you have a toilet leak.
Repairs should be made immediately. Sometimes a ‘shimmer” on the
surface of the toilet bowl water will be evident and is another way
to confirm that there is a leak.
- The flush valve or “flapper” located in the bottom of the toilet
tank will eventually wear out and require replacement. Upon
replacing the flapper, be sure to have it properly seat against the
contact at the bottom of the tank.
the toilet overflow valve for the correct water level in the tank by
removing the tank lid and verifying that the water level is
approximately one inch below the overflow valve. Always make sure
that the water in the tank is not running into the overflow tube.
Normally, the arm of the ball float can be adjusted in order to
bring the water level to the desired height. Check the positioning
of the refill tube in relation to the overflow tube to ensure that
there is no siphoning effect when the tank is refilling.
- During remodeling or toilet replacement, consider installing a
1.8 gallon low flow toilet, which uses approximately half the water
per flush compared to the conventional types.
- Install aerators on water faucets and showerheads.
- Purchase water efficient washing machines and dishwashers.
Operate with only full loads.
- Routinely inspect water back-up sump pumps and repair dripping
- Inspect the furnace humidifier overflow valve for excessive
water flow (if equipped).
Tips for Efficient Lawn and Landscape Irrigation
minimize evaporation, water lawns between 12:00 am and 4:00 am
during the hottest summer months. Utilize sprinkler rain shutoff
devices to avoid unnecessary watering.
- Review your sprinkler manufacturer specifications for gallons
per minute usage in order to establish irrigation guidelines within
your household budget for water consumption.
- Irrigate lawns for a maximum of 20 minutes per zone every other
day during drought periods and much less for landscape beds.
Frequent over watering can actually be detrimental to your lawn and
- To ease demand on Detroit’s water supply system and save the
City of Northville water customers money, residents are asked to
limit their outdoor sprinkling to every other day. Residents with
even house numbers are asked to only sprinkle their lawns on even
calendar days, and residents with odd number addresses are asked to
only sprinkle their lawns on odd calendar days. (Use the last number
in your address to determine if you have an even or odd numbered
- Be observant for breaks in underground lines or sprinkler heads
that may contribute to a system leak.
your grass at a height of approximately 3 inches or higher and use a
mulching blade so that the clippings act as a natural fertilizer and
also hold in moisture.
- Use a larger part of your yard for landscape beds as opposed to
lawn area. Landscape beds require far less irrigation than lawns.
- Use plenty of mulch in your landscape beds to hold in moisture
and plant deep-rooted flowers and shrubs that are more drought
Conserve water to help control rates. By working together as a
community, we can make simple changes in our water usage that will have
an impact on the water rate charged by the Detroit Water and Sewer
Department. Here are ways you can help.
Step One: Economize!
- Look at your water habits developed over a lifetime. A lot of
water goes down the drain because we have always thought of water as
being plentiful and cheap. Typically, inside your house, bathroom
facilities constitute nearly 75% of the water used. Become conscious
of the amount of water you use, and look for ways to use less
whenever you can.
- The City of Northville can get penalized if it uses too much
water during peak pumping times for Detroit. Therefore, residents
are asked to water their lawns at night between the hours of 12:00am
until 4:00am and in the afternoon from 11:00am until 4:00pm.
Step Two: Repair Leaks!
- A leak of just one drop per second wastes 2,400 gallons of water
a year. Leaks are one of the great enemies of your water
conservation program and they can’t be taken lightly.
Step Three: Install Water Saving Devices
- There are many devices you can buy and install fairly easily to
reduce your water consumption. These include faucet aerators; flow
regulators for shower heads; and displacement devices for toilets to
reduce water consumption. Investing a little money, time, and labor
can have big paybacks to reduce water use.
Step Four: Reuse Water
- Unused or slightly used water is often suitable for other
purposes, even with no treatment or filtration. When maximum
conservation is called for, make the most of any water before you
let it go down the drain.
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