Hot, dry weather across many areas of the country is already creating severe drought conditions while the more extreme summer days are still nearly a month away. Simple repairs to major water-wasters in and around the home along with innovative water conservation products from Lowe's can help consumers save water while easing the pressure on their wallets.
"As the summer approaches, we encourage everyone to make water conservation a priority in and around the home," said Michael Chenard, Lowe's director of environmental affairs. "There are simple and often inexpensive product solutions that can help consumers save money on everything from the laundry to the lawn, and they also save gallons of water that might otherwise go to waste. And, just like energy savings, water conservation is important not only in the dry summer months, but all year round."
INSIDE THE HOME
The single largest water-wasting room inside the home is the bathroom. It's estimated that nearly 20 percent of all toilets leak, which can waste 200 to 500 gallons of water per day. Start conserving by checking toilets frequently for leakage. If your existing toilet can't be salvaged, consider the EcoQuantum Dual-Flush Toilet by Mansfied (187796/187778, $248). This toilet, available by special order at all Lowe's stores, uses up to 40 percent less water than standard toilets.
The kitchen and the laundry room run a close second to the bathroom when it comes to water usage inside the home. Studies have shown that if a family of four replaces its regular aerators with low-flow aerators throughout the house, more than 1,700 gallons of water can be saved per year. Additionally, installing the Delta 547 "E-Flow" lavatory faucet can save water and dollars using motion sensors that deliver a water stream when activated by a wave of the hand (89235, $374, special order). Of course, replacing an old washing machine with an ENERGY STAR(R) qualified unit such as a Samsung 3.8 Cu. Ft. Front Load Washer (256007, $1,398) can help a household save up to 50 percent less energy while using only 18-25 gallons of water per load.
OUT IN THE YARD
The yard is the leading cause of water consumption outside of the home. And while creating lush green lawns and colorful blooms increase our home's curb appeal -- it increases water usage too. Some simple steps to help plan for the upcoming season include checking for leaks around outdoor spigots, making sure sprinkler heads and valves work properly and using drip irrigation to water small areas such as flowers and shrubs. These affordable products can also help to prevent your lawn from being a water guzzler:
- The Swan(R) 50' Sprinkler/Soaker Hose (9235, $9.98) is made of 65 percent recycled tire rubber and designed for use on the ground surface. It's dotted with holes on one side to gently spray upwards and it can also be buried under a layer of mulch to provide small amounts of water directly to the roots with little waste.
- A Greenscapes 15-Gallon Treegator(R) Junior Pro Slow-Release Watering Bag (136872, $21.42) provides once-a-week tree and shrub watering solution which saves time, water and money.
- The Gilmour(R) Digital Electronic Water Timer (Item #: 36660 $39.98) can help to prevent over-watering and runoff by allowing you to schedule early morning watering times on preferred days. It also helps free up valuable time for other projects around the home. "The best tip is to first consider how and when to water your landscaping," Chenard adds. "By choosing the right hose or sprinkler, and applying water at the best time of day, usually in the morning, you will be rewarded with a healthy lawn and garden, and a water bill you won't be afraid to open."