To ensure harmful bacteria does not grow during the sometimes very long trip from the treatment plant to your home, we add a very small amount of chlorine to keep the water disinfected and safe to drink.
Your water averages about 1.3 parts per million (ppm) of chlorine when it leaves the treatment plant and about 1.16 ppm in the distribution system. The EPA maximum contaminant level is four ppm.
Our field staff use chlorine as an indicator of good water quality. When they are out in the field taking samples and the chlorine levels are good, they can be sure that there is no bacteria in the line or in your drinking water.
Taste can differ and those that live closer to a drinking water treatment plant may taste more chlorine in their water than those that live farther away. Remember, 1.3 ppm of chlorine disinfects the water but is not harmful. If you don’t like the taste we suggest filling a pitcher up with tap water up and letting it sit overnight. If you use a filter please make sure to replace it regularly!
One sprinkler running for 10 minutes can use up to 170 gallons. Think about how many sprinkler heads you have, how long they run for and how many days/week they run? It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where you are using almost 40 ccfs (30,000 gallons) per month.
Our pricing structure is designed to encourage conservation. The more gallons you use the more a gallon costs.
Customers call requesting that we inspect the meter for inaccuracies but most of the time, it’s a leak or irrigation. That doesn’t mean that equipment problems don’t occur though so, if you don’t think its a leak or your irrigation system causing the high bill, call 311 so Charlotte Water can investigate.
Smart irrigation technology uses weather data and soil moisture data to determine the irrigation needs of a landscape. These generally include the use of sensors and controllers to effectively manage your landscape irrigation.
You can incorporate smart irrigation technology with best practices below. However, you can always incorporate these ideas of efficient irrigation with a current system you already have.
Seasons change, so should your system. Familiarize yourself with the settings on your irrigation controller and adjust the watering schedule regularly to conform with seasonal weather conditions.
Evaporation is highest in the afternoon. Avoid irrigating between noon and 6 pm.
Play “zone” defense. Schedule each individual zone in your irrigation system to account for the type of sprinkler, sun or shade exposure, and the soil type for the specific area. The same watering schedule rarely applies to all zones in the system. Make it a date.
Inspect your irrigation system monthly. Check for leaks, broken or clogged heads, and other problems, or engage an irrigation professional to regularly check your system. Clean micro-irrigation filters as needed.
Get your head adjusted. Correct obstructions in sprinkler heads that prevent sprinklers from distributing water evenly. Keep water off pavement and structures.
OtherOutdoor Water Conservation Tips
Water your lawn slowly. It is difficult to get water to soak into the soil in Charlotte. If you notice water running off the lawn or pooling, stop the sprinkler and give the soil time to absorb the water.
Be mindful of how much water you are using for your lawn. Lawns only need one inch of water, including rain, a week.
Consistently remove water-hogging weeds.
Mulch to retain moisture. Mulch around trees, shrubs, and flowers to help the soil retain moisture and prevent weeds.
Wash Fido outdoors in an area of lawn that needs to be watered. You’ll have a clean dog and a watered lawn. Be mindful of the dog shampoo you use, because the soap will soak into your lawn with the water.
Plant more trees! And then more trees. Eventually you’ll have less lawn. Turfgrass is not native to Charlotte. Which means it needs water, usually more than provided by Mother Nature. Converting lawn to native trees and shrubs cuts back the need for outdoor watering substantially. And don’t forget the mulch!
Leave lower branches on trees and shrubs and allow leaf litter to accumulate on the soil. This keeps the soil cooler and reduces evaporation.
Since 2001, water consumption for an average family of four in Mecklenburg County has gone down from 11 Ccfs (8,228 gallons) per 30-day billing cycle to 7 Ccfs (5,236 gallons) per 30-day billing cycle. We attribute this to increased water conservation measures as well as the installation of more efficient appliances and irrigation systems.
So problem solved right? Well, not exactly. We can always do more and who doesn’t like a challenge? So besides the usual stuff like not running the tap while brushing your teeth or taking shorter showers, what other ways can we conserve water? If you can’t think of any, not to worry! We’ve got you covered with ideas for your bathroom and your kitchen.
Bathroom Conservation Ideas:
Update your showerheads and faucets. Water-efficient showerheads and aerators for faucets can significantly reduce the amount of water you use. In fact, installing a water-efficient showerhead is one of the most effective water-saving steps you can take inside your house. Go to the EPA’s WaterSense website for more information.
Take shorter showers. If everyone in the United States shortened their shower by one minute every day, we could save 85 billion gallons per year.
Place a bucket in the shower to collect the water while it is heating up. Use the water on plants or to refill a flushing toilet.
Toilets are not trash cans, only flush the toilet when necessary. This helps conserve water and helps reduce sewer overflows.
Don’t leave the water running when brushing your teeth or shaving.
Fix that leak! A faucet drip of two tablespoons a minute adds up to 105 gallons a week of water wasted. Question on fixing or checking for a leak? Check out our tips on fixing at-home leaks.
Kitchen Water Conservation Ideas
Cook food in as little water as possible, this also helps retain foods nutrients.
Run the dishwasher only when it is full and during off-peak hours for maximum savings.
Dry scrape your dishes, the dishwasher will take care of the rest
Use your disposal sparingly, it wastes water and puts stress on our sewer system
Don’t forget an aerator for the kitchen faucet!
Laundry Water Conservation Ideas:
Use the lowest water level setting on the washing machine for light or partial loads whenever possible.
Use cold water as often as possible to save energy (which uses water) and conserve hot water for uses that cold water cannot serve.
General Home Ideas:
Chuck the melted ice from your lunch to-go cup in a desk plant or house plant. [Not the soda, the melted ice. A little bit of sweet tea will be okay]
Temporarily move houseplants outside in the rain. Water from the sky is free!
Insulate hot water pipes to save energy and water. Remember water is an integral part of creating energy, and energy is necessary to treat drinking water. Conserving water conserves energy and vice versa. Check out our Energy and Water Nexus article for more information.
Have any other creative ways you conserve water? Let us know in the comments section and we will share them on Twitter.
Thanks to the Water Use It Wisely website for the tips.
Charlotte Water is thrilled to continue the tradition of celebrating National Drinking Water Week within our communities. Drinking Water Week recognizes the vital role water plays in everyday life for both water professionals and the communities they serve.
This year, Charlotte Water is excited to host a day of family fun at the Quest Nature Center on May 6th, 2023, from 11 am to 3 pm. There will be games, guest exhibitors, and many family-friendly activities!