As temperatures rise, use water wisely

BELLEVILLE  – With temperatures rising across the state, Illinois American Water is reminding customers to use water wisely. “From keeping hydrated to playing in water sprinklers, as well as running air conditioning and watering lawns, water plays an important role in warm-weather fun and responsibilities. We are proud of the service we provide and want to be sure folks are using water wisely,” said Mike Smyth, vice president of operations. The following tips from Illinois American Water can help consumers use water more efficiently, plus identify and prevent leaks, a significant source of water waste.


  •  Water your lawn only when it needs it. An easy way to tell is to simply walk across the grass. If it springs
    back you don’t need to water, but if you leave footprints, it’s time to water.
  •  Set your lawn mower one notch higher to make your lawn more drought-tolerant.
  • Consider using drip irrigation or a rain barrel to water your outdoor plants, and water in the early
    morning or in the evening. As much as 30% of water can be lost to evaporation by watering midday.
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your sidewalk, driveway or patio.
  • Forego the hose and wash your car with a bucket and sponge instead, which uses only a few gallons to do
    the job, while a hose left running can waste as much as six gallons per minute.
  • Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are full and adjust the water level of your washing
    machine to match the load size. If you have a water-saver cycle, use it. In addition, newer, high-efficiency
    washing machines use less than 27 gallons of water per load, compared to between 27 and 54 gallons a
    load with traditional machines.
  • Keep a pitcher of cold tap water in the refrigerator. You will avoid the cost and environmental impact of
    bottled water and you will have cold water available for warm days without running the faucet.
  • A short shower is better than a bath. A full bathtub can require up to 70 gallons of water, while taking a 5-
    minute shower uses only 10 to 25 gallons.
  • Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can save 8 gallons per day.
  • Regularly check your toilet, faucets and pipes for leaks and have them fixed promptly. An easy test for
    toilet leaks from EPA WaterSense: Place a drop of food coloring in the tank. If the color tints the water in
    the bowl without flushing, there is a leak.