Conserve Water and Save Money this Summer

Conserve Water and Save Money this Summer

In addition to keeping ourselves cool and hydrated during the summer months, we also have to pay mind to our plants and yards. With excess heat burning down, keeping plants and grass healthy requires a lot more water. Check out six tips for how you can conserve water and save money this summer.
infographic describing six tips to conserve water and save money during the summer months

Please feel free to print and share our 6 Tips to Conserve Water & Save Money Infographic with attribution to Tata & Howard, Inc. A high-resolution pdf can be downloaded by clicking here.

Check For Leaks

Walk around your landscaped area to make sure there are no leaks your watering systems.

Sweep Up Messes

Rather than using a hose to spray a mess away, use a broom to clean patios, decks, and sidewalks.

Mindful Car Washing

Avoid wasting water with a running hose. Instead, fill a soapy bucket with water so you can wash and rinse as need.

Mulch Planted Areas

Mulching flower beds and planted areas can help retain moisture and prevent weeds. Two to three inches of mulch should do the trick.

Timely Watering

Water your lawn and plants early in the morning or later in the evening. This will prevent the water from being quickly evaporated by the sun.

Reuse Rainwater

Collect water in rain barrels so you can later water your outdoor plants without running the hose.
We hope you will consider these tips as you aim to conserve water and save money this summer.

2019 Summer Interns

2019 Summer Interns

Tata & Howard is excited to welcome the newest group of summer interns to our team! As a company focused on continued learning, we are thrilled to play a role in teaching the next generation of engineers.  Without delay, please join us in welcoming our new summer team members!

JONATHAN – Marlborough Office

Jonathan is a rising senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is studying Civil/Environmental Engineering with a focus on water resources.

On campus, Jonathan is the Vice President of Engineers Without Borders, an organization that works to implement water solutions to communities in Africa. He also works in the Engineering Office of Student affairs where he advises engineering students. In addition, Jonathan serves as a student ambassador for engineers looking to study abroad.

Outside of his studies, Jonathan enjoys playing soccer as well as spending time outside with friends and family, be it on the beach or hiking.

This summer, Jonathan hopes to obtain experience in the environmental engineering industry while making connections here at Tata & Howard. He comes to our Marlborough office inspired to provide solutions for people who lack safe drinking water.

MARLEE – Marlborough Office

Joining us for a second summer internship, Marlee is a rising junior at Villanova University. She is studying Civil and Environmental Engineering and will also minor in Sustainability Studies.

She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and serves as a peer mentor for freshman engineering students through the University’s CEER PEERs program. Marlee also is a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority where she is involved with the Philanthropy Committee.

Marlee is excited to build upon the relationships she built last year with members of the T&H team, and is eager to gain more insight as to how environmental engineering is applied in a consulting setting. Working with our engineers, she is most interested in exploring water quality and helping people gain access to clean water for everyday use.

In her free time, Marlee loves spending time with her friends, listening to music, and reading. This summer, she plans on taking beach trips to Cape Cod, spending time at the lake in Vermont, and enjoying the great outdoors. 

ALEX – Waterbury Office

summer intern alex will be working in the waterbury ct office

Alex attends the University of Connecticut and majors in Environmental Engineering. This summer he will be joining us in our Waterbury, CT office.

During the school year, he serves as a Research Assistant to two professors, and is a member of a bioenergy group on campus. Alex is most interested in water treatment and quality engineering and pipe systems.

In his free time, he enjoys cooking, hiking, and kayaking. When he isn’t in the field with T&H engineers, he will be working at a wedding venue in Portland, CT.

EMILY – Waterbury Office

Summer intern emily - will be workin in waterbury, ct office

Emily will be joining Tata & Howard in our Waterbury, CT office for the duration of the summer.

A rising senior, Emily studies Environmental Engineering at the University of Connecticut. At UCONN, she keeps busy as a member of the Society for Women Engineers while also playing women’s rugby and intramural sports.

Emily is excited about her role at T&H this summer, and hopes to use her experience in deciding what her first career move will be upon graduating next year. Fueled by an interest in marine renewable energy, Emily wants to use her engineering degree to help create clean energy. Additionally, she also has an interest in big water structures such as dams.

This summer, she plans to camp, bike, and travel to new places to explore and hike new mountains.

We are excited to have all of our summer interns on board!

How to Handle Increased Summer Water Demand

The summer months often go hand in hand with increased water demand and decreased supply. An influx of tourists combined with summer drought and increased outdoor water usage often leaves water systems feeling the pinch. Traditionally, water conservation has been limited to water use restrictions. However, increasing water efficiency is another way to address limited water supplies, with the added boon of providing economic and environmental benefit.

Efficiency = Conservation

Water efficiency reduces water usage that is unnecessary or wasteful. Rather than focusing on limiting the minutes per day a homeowner can water his lawn, efficiency focuses on accomplishing water objectives by utilizing only as much water as is needed. For example, we now know that flushing a toilet is just as effective with a 1.6 gallon flush as it is with a 3.5-7 gallon flush. Further, we know that water that drips out of a leaky faucet can waste up to 20 gallons per day, and that leaking municipal pipes waste exponentially more water. Increasing efficiency and reducing waste are two major ways in which we can all help to conserve water.

Municipal Efficiency

Considering that 10-30% of our nation’s clean, treated drinking water, or seven billion gallons per day, is “lost” before it ever even reaches the consumer, municipal efficiency is best accomplished by conducting routine water audits. Water audits help to identify the causes of water loss and develop strategies to reduce this loss — and recapture lost revenue. Most utilities in the U.S. conduct infrequent water audits and are likely suffering substantial losses without even knowing it. Repairing our nation’s hidden underground infrastructure will also increase water availability, lower operation and maintenance costs, reduce the need for new sources and costly treatment plants, and diminish impacts from drought and climate change. But repairing and replacing pipes is costly, so utilities require a methodology by which they can accurately pinpoint the most problematic areas in the distribution system, thus investing their limited infrastructure dollars where they are needed most. Water audits, which consider both real and apparent losses, are the most efficient, cost-effective way to accurately assess and address lost water.

Residential Efficiency

Washing vehicles on the lawn without detergent is environmentally friendly.

Residential water usage is also a key factor in water conservation. The biggest residential outdoor water guzzlers are summer activities such as lawn and garden watering, car washing, and water-based recreation, while the biggest water indoor guzzlers are, in order, toilets, washing machines, showers, sinks, and leaks. One of the keys to successful conservation is to stop thinking about limiting water usage as “going without” and to start thinking about it as doing the same — or more — but with less. Challenging ourselves to accomplish our water-based tasks with less usage will naturally lead to a more water and cost efficient household. The best part is that conservation doesn’t just ease our wallets, but also provides endless benefit to the environment and our community.

Lawns

When seeding a lawn, select a turf mix that matches your site conditions and climate, and improve the health of your lawn by regularly aerating, dethatching, and adding compost. Mow lawns to the highest mower setting so that the roots are shaded and help the soil to retain more moisture. And speaking of water, water deeply but infrequently, and only in the early morning to avoid evaporation. This will encourage drought resistance and deep, healthy plant roots.

Gardens

native-plants
Root systems of Non-Native vs. Native Mid-Atlantic Plants. Source: Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

Choose native, drought-resistant plants and group plants with the same watering needs together, preventing over- or under-watering as well as minimizing the need for supplemental watering. Also, mulch around plants to help the soil retain moisture and to reduce evaporation. Finally, think about installing a rain barrel to be used to water non-edible plants.

Maintenance and Recreation

Clean walkways and driveways with a broom, not the hose, and inspect all outdoor water fixtures for leaks. Check pools and spas for leaks, regularly service pumps, and cover them when not in use to reduce evaporation. Finally, don’t leave the hose running when washing vehicles, or better yet, drive through a car wash. Commercial car washes use less water than washing the car at home, and are legally required to manage their gray water runoff to avoid pollution.

Indoors

Install water efficient toilets that use only 1.6 gallons per flush, and regularly check toilets for leaks. Leaky toilets are most often fixable by simply installing a new flapper. Try taking shorter showers and install water efficient showerheads. Only run the laundry or dishwasher when completely full, and consider replacing older models with newer, more water efficient ones. Repair leaking faucets and install water efficient faucet aerators to reduce water usage, and wash fruits and vegetables in a pan of water rather than running the faucet. Bonus: use the spent wash water to water house plants.

In Conclusion

Summertime is a time for family and fun, and water restrictions shouldn’t put a damper on summer activities. Conscientious residential water usage combined with consistent, well-implemented municipal water audits results in a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly water system. Water conservation and efficiency benefits both consumers and municipalities, and provides a more sustainable water system for future generations.

 

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