Water Conservation Programs & Resources

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Water Conservation Frequently Asked Questions

Carwash Certification Program: For More Info Click Here


Resources on How To Be Water Smart Inside Your Home: 

Install a WaterSense Labeled  Products: 

  • Install a WaterSense Labeled Toilet: For more information on the Toilet Rebate Program: CLICK HERE
  • Install WaterSense Labeled faucet aerators on ALL sinks: Pick up a FREE aerator at the Office of Utility Billing at City Hall (For more info Click Here).
  • Install a WaterSense Labeled showerhead: Pick up a FREE at the Office of Utility Billing at City Hall (For more info Click Here).

Fixing Leaks:

Water leaks can waste thousands of gallons of water each day! Fix them IMMEDIATELY once you identify them. If you see a water leak in the road or street, please report it to the Water Utility Department: (434) 970-3800.

Detect and Chase Down Leaks with this Checklist! Click Here

How to Find a Leak Using Your Water Meter:

  • Watch this helpful video on how to use your water meter to find a leak at your house: CLICK HERE
    •  Thank you to The Saving Water Partnership for providing these great instructional videos! Please keep in mind that this video references rebates for utilities in Seattle, for a list of rebates that apply to the City of Charlottesville, please Click Here.
    • Disclaimer: These videos are for educational purposes only, Charlottesville always encourages using professionals when doing any updates or work on your home. 
  • For more information on how to read your water meter: Click Here

How to Fix A Leaky Toilet:

  • Use leak detection dye tablets (or food coloring) to check if you toilet it running:
    • Remove the toilet tank lid
    • Put one dye tablet in the top tank of the toilet
    • Replace the lid and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes (don't flush!)
    • If you see blue dye/or color in the bowl of the toilet you have a leak, most likely you have a worn flapper
  • Watch this helpful video on how to fix your leaky toilet: CLICK HERE
    •  Thank you to The Saving Water Partnership for providing these great instructional videos! Please keep in mind that this video references rebates for utilities in Seattle, for a list of rebates that apply to the City of Charlottesville, please Click Here.
    • Disclaimer: These videos are for educational purposes only, Charlottesville always encourages using professionals when doing any updates or work on your home. 

How to Fix A Leaky Faucet:

  • Watch this helpful video on how to fix your leaky faucet: CLICK HERE
    • Thank you to The Saving Water Partnership for providing these great instructional videos! Please keep in mind that this video references rebates for utilities in Seattle, for a list of rebates that apply to the City of Charlottesville, please Click Here.
    • Disclaimer: These videos are for educational purposes only, Charlottesville always encourages using professionals when doing any updates or work on your home. 

Other Resources:


9 Easy Ways to be Water Smart Inside Your Home

In addition to fixing leaks and appliance replacements, there are many easy habits to adopt to lower your water usage in your home. Check out these tips and see if you can fit them into your everyday routine!

Kitchen

  1. Scrape Plates: Scraping your dirty plates instead of pre-rinsing before placing dishes in the dishwasher can save up to 20 gallons.
  2. Full Loads: Running only full loads of dishes rather than handwashing can save 5-10 gallons.
  3. Aerators: Install a WaterSense labeled aerator on your faucet. You can get one for free from the City of Charlottesville!
  4. Water Pitcher: Always have cold drinking water by storing a pitcher of water in the fridge instead of letting the sink run until the water is cold.
  5. Compost Pile: Dispose of your food waste into a compost pile instead of the garbage disposal, which takes a lot of water to function.
  6. Thaw in Fridge: Thaw your frozen foods in the fridge overnight or a bowl of water. Running the sink over frozen food wastes a lot of precious water!

Bathroom

  1. Turn off the Tap:  You don’t need the sink to be running while brushing your teeth, shaving, or even scrubbing your hands!
  2. WaterSense Products Install a WaterSense labeled toilet, showerhead, and aerator to save big! Make sure to take advantage of the rebates and freebies the City of Charlottesville offers!
  3. Shorter Showers:  Using a water efficient showerhead and shortening your showers to under 5 minutes can save 10-25 gallons every time you shower! This practice is even more important when you consider that a bath uses a whopping 60 extra gallons!


6 Easy Ways to be Water Smart Outside Your Home

Are you passionate about conserving one of our most precious natural resources? Or are you looking to save a few extra bucks on you water bill throughout the hot summer? Either way, check out these easy ways to be smarter with your water outside!

1. Maximize Rainwater:Take advantage of natural rainfall by installing a rain barrel. For more information on the Rain Barrel Rebate Program: CLICK HERE

2. Water Early: Early mornings are typically when heat and wind are lowest, which means water is less likely to evaporate before your plants can soak it up!

3. Water Wisely: Figure out how much water your lawn and plants really need. It is probably much less then you think!

  • Guidelines for watering plants? CLICK HERE
  • Most grass varieties in Virginia only need approximately 1" of water per week in the summer. If grass springs back after you step on it, it doesn't need to be watered.
  • Check the weather report for how much it rained previous and any predicted rain: http://w1.weather.gov/obhistory/KCHO.html
  • Also consider removing some of that grass and putting in drought tolerant plants. This will mean less work and watering long term, and more water and money saved!

4. Create a Water-Wise Landscape: A water-wise landscape requires less water because it works with local natural forces (sun, temperature, and precipitation). Simple things such as preparing soil properly, choosing native plants, and mulching your gardens can prevent use of excess water. To learn what plants are local to your area, use this tool from County of Albemarle with a searchable database: http://www.albemarle.org/nativeplants/. Learn even more about water-wise landscapes with this brochure.

5. Use the Right Hose: Did you know there are different types of hoses? Keep reading to find out which hose better fits your needs.

  • Soaker hoses are a great way to slowly water your plants; however, don't forget to put them on a timer and make sure it is set to apply the appropriate amount of water.
  • Regular hoses can be great too as long as you use a spray handle adapter that allows you to turn your hose on and off. Make sure you aren't over watering your plants and you are watering in the morning and late evening.

6. Fix Outdoor Leaks: A broken sprinkler can waste 25,000 gallons of water in six months. Prevent this water loss by checking your sprinkler for leaks at both the sprinkler head AND where if connects to the hose.  

  • Watch this helpful video on how to fix your leaky outdoor faucet: CLICK HERE
    • Thank you to The Saving Water Partnership for providing these great instructional videos! Please keep in mind that this video references rebates for utilities in Seattle, for a list of rebates that apply to the City of Charlottesville, please Click Here.
    • Disclaimer:  These videos are for educational purposes only, Charlottesville always encourages using professionals when doing any updates or work on your home. 
  • Watch this helpful video on how to protect your outdoor spigots from freezing: CLICK HERE
    • Thank you to The Saving Water Partnership for providing these great instructional videos! Please keep in mind that this video references rebates for utilities in Seattle, for a list of rebates that apply to the City of Charlottesville, please Click Here.
    • Disclaimer:  These videos are for educational purposes only, Charlottesville always encourages using professionals when doing any updates or work on your home. 

Other Resources:


Resources on How to Be a Water Smart Resident: More Coming Soon!


Resources on How To Be a Water Smart Business:

Conserving Water in Your Restaurant

Restaurants and other businesses have the opportunity to be leading role models in sustainability. Restaurants in particular have a huge potential to reduce their monthly water and energy bills simply by changing a few common practices and upgrading to water efficient appliances. Over time, these water use reductions can have great impacts on local waterways and global demand. Keep reading to learn why it is so important that restaurants start conserving water and how they can achieve big savings.

Top Reasons to Save Water

  1. Lower Your Bills: Reducing water usage will not only lower your water bill, but also your energy bill. Heating water has a direct effect on your kitchen’s energy consumption. In fact, a typical kitchen can reduce water consumption by 10-25% with low-cost changes.
  2. Rising Water Cost: Water rates are expected to rise between 5-15% every year in the United States. This will have an impact on your business and profits.
  3. It’s a Good Investment: The money you save from your initial reductions in water and energy can fund investments in the more expensive, longer-term conservation upgrades (to save even more water, energy, and money)!
  4. Promote Sustainability in the Industry: Restaurants have huge potential for savings, which can have a significant impact on our country if all restaurant operators comply. For example, if 5,000 full-service restaurants in the United State reduced water consumption by 10%, the water they saved could supply over 29,000 Americans with water for an entire year, not to mention the $11,962,500 they would save collectively per year!
  5. Help Tackle this Global Issue at the Local Level: Reducing water demands locally reduces the environmental impacts resulting from water treatment and the sewer systems. A lot of energy goes into treating and transporting water, so reducing this impact will do great things for local watersheds and wildlife habitat.

Best Steps to Save Water

  1. Water Use Assessment:  You can either contact a local water utility to perform a water audit at your business or conduct one yourself. The audit should include an inspection of all water uses, including refrigeration, sanitation equipment, cooking equipment, irrigation, restrooms, etc.
  2. Pay Attention: Check your water bill each month because a significant increase in the bill can be a great indication of a leak. Check your equipment each quarter to ensure no leaks in things like faucets, toilets, and hoses. If there is a leak, you can use a drip gauge to estimate the water wasted each day and each year. TIP: Get FREE leak detection dye tabs in the FREE Water Conservation Kit from City Hall.
  3. Change a Few Practices: These easy changes in routine are free, yet can lead to big savings over time! Try to think of other ways your staff can easily conserve water every day!
    1. Consider only offering water to customers on request to conserve drinking water. You could also offer a water pitcher with reusable cups.
    2. Another easy habit to change is thawing frozen products under running water. Instead, plan ahead and thaw in a fridge.
    3. Try to use your in-sink food disposers less, as they are very water intensive. Instead, try using a strainer to catch food products and dispose of them in compost or trash bins. TIP: Learn about composting options  in Charlottesville.
  4. Upgrade Appliances: Installing updated appliances and other equipment can save you thousands of gallons each year, which will lead to significant drops in your monthly water bill.
    1. Low-flow Aerators: Installing 0.5 gpm (gallons per minute) aerators on faucets instead of the typical 2.2 aerators can save 12,300 gallons and $140 annually per faucet. Plus, aerators are typically less than $10 or free from your water utility! TIP: Get FREE aerators in the FREE Water Conservation Kit from City Hall.
    2. Low-Flow Pre-Rinse Spray Valve: Replacing a 2.25 gpm nozzle with an efficient 1.2 gpm nozzle can save around 28,000 gallons and $550 per year in water and energy utilities.
    3. Energy Star® Dish Machine: Modern ENERGY STAR® dish machines use about half as much water as an inefficient traditional machine. Depending on how often the machine is used per day, this upgrade could save close to $930 annually.
    4. Energy Star® Ice Machine: The more water-efficient machines are only air-cooled, rather than water-cooled. The air-cooled machines can save 326,700 gallons and $3,700 in operating cost per year! This means that the machine would pay for itself in less than two years!
    5. Energy Star® Combination Oven: Believe it or not, this is one of the most water intensive appliances in your kitchen! Replacing your standard oven with an Energy Star® qualified oven can save $600 in water bills annually, along with thousands in energy costs!
    6. WaterSense® Toilets:  Older toilets can use 4.5 gallons per flush, which costs about 3.5 cents more per flush than the efficient WaterSense® toilets at 1.28 gallons per flush. Because restaurant bathrooms are flushed so often, this upgrade can lead to $1,250 savings each year! TIP: Take advantage of the City of Charlottesville’s  toilet rebate program.

Source: Commercial Kitchens Water Use Efficiency and Best Practices Guide by Alliance for Water Efficiency, 2017

Other Resources:
WaterSense Commercial Buildings
WaterSense H2Otel Challenge- Information for Hotels
WaterSense Managing your Water & Tools
WaterSense Best Management Practices
Additional WaterSense Resources

If you would like a copy of the Commercial Kitchen Guide, contact Charlottesville Water Conservation at  waterconservation@charlottesville.org.


Resources on Water Conservation & Kids: More Coming Soon!

Back to School List: Water Conservation Edition

Here at Charlottesville Water Conservation, we have created our own back to school list!  These are great tips and tricks to save water and be sustainable as you prepare for the school year.

  1. Reusable Water Bottle: Only 1 out of 5 plastic bottles is recycled, and it takes almost 700 years for them to decompose. Make sure a reusable water bottle is in everyone’s backpack this year to stay hydrated and reduce waste.
  2. Shorter Showers: Now that the first day of school is quickly approaching, it’s time to get back into the daily morning routine! Try to limit everyone’s shower to five minutes or less to save 10-25 gallons! As a bonus, get a free WaterSense labeled showerhead from City Hall and save even more!
  3. Clean (water-friendly) Laundry: Running full loads on cold saves a lot of water AND it is better for your clothes!
  4. Reusable Lunch Containers: Planning on sending the kids to school with packed lunches? Consider getting reusable containers and lunch boxes instead of single-use baggies. 
  5. Donations: Has your family accumulated school clothes that no longer fit? Donate them to a local charity! This is a great way to declutter your house and find a second use for your old clothes.
  6. WaterSense Games: Get the kids ready for school by testing their “water sense” with EPA WaterSense’s fun games and teaching them why it is important to save water. 

Back to School List, Water Conservation


Are you a City teacher or youth community leader looking for water conservation education? We offer water conservation educational classes and activities. For more information, please contact the Water Conservation Program Coordinator: Click Here.


Environmental Resources & Green Incentives: For More Information Click Here

 



Don't see something here or are looking for information on something specifically? Contact the Water Conservation Program Coordinator via email or phone (434-970-3877).

Logo- Charlottesville is for Water

 

Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

Acrobat Reader Flash Player QuickTime Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer