Water Conservation Tips for Your Home and Landscape

by James Florence


Water conservation is always a priority in California, but it’s even more important during times of drought, which is why now is a great time for Bay Area residents to focus on minimizing their usage and waste. Here are some helpful tips from three Diamond Certified Expert Contributors on how to maximize water conservation in your home and on your property.

1. Go low-flow. According to Jamie Rogers, president of Rogers Remodel Inc., one of the simplest ways to conserve water in your home is to replace faucet aerators, shower heads and toilets with low-flow models. “Modern low-flow faucets and shower heads can cut water usage by more than a gallon per minute,” he says. “You stand to save even more by replacing an old toilet. While some outdated models can use up to seven gallons per flush, newer models use less than one gallon.” Altogether, by choosing low-flow plumbing fixtures, you’ll be able to save hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water every year.

2. Install a hot water recirculation pump. While replacing aerators and shower heads can reduce the amount of water that comes out of the spout, there are also devices that reduce the amount lost down the drain. Since this commonly occurs while waiting for hot water to reach a faucet, Leigh Marymor, owner of The Lunt Marymor Company, recommends installing a hot water recirculation pump in your bathroom. Activated by an on-demand motion sensor, the pump “recirculates” the standing water in the hot water line, rerouting it through the cold water line and returning it to the water heater to be used at a later time. At the same time, the pump pulls hot water directly from the heater and provides it to the point of use. By keeping water in the plumbing system rather than putting it down the drain, a recirculation pump can drastically reduce water waste in your home.

3. Convert landscape sprinklers to drip irrigation. In addition to water-saving techniques in the home, there are ways to conserve water in your garden or landscape. According to Tim Rivas, owner of Rivas Landscape Group, one of the best ways to do this is to convert your existing sprinklers to a drip irrigation system. “Traditional sprinkler systems distribute water inefficiently, resulting in water loss from wind and evaporation,” he explains. “While installing a brand new irrigation system can be expensive, converting your existing system to drip irrigation is a simple and affordable way to incorporate water-saving technology. By delivering water directly to your plants’ root zones, you can make your watering more efficient and help reduce the presence of weeds.”