City requests residents and businesses conserve water

July 7, 2020

With ongoing high temperatures and no significant rainfall in the forecast, The City of Norwalk in coordination with South Norwalk Electric and Water (SNEW) and First District Water Department is asking residents and businesses to reduce or eliminate non-essential water use. As a result of hot and dry conditions coupled with unprecedented high water demands, parts of southern Fairfield County are hitting initial drought triggers. Since more people are working from home as a result of COVID, water usage is at an all-time high.

“Norwalk residents, business owners, and community leaders continue to work hard to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Mayor Rilling said. “Now, with the hot weather upon us, I know we can bring that same effort to another community challenge: conserving water. Some parts of Fairfield County are hitting initial drought triggers. We need to take steps now to conserve water, before we get to that point in Norwalk. Small steps can add up to make a big difference. Every drop counts.”

Residents and businesses are being asked to reduce their water usage now in order to limit the need for stricter restrictions later. It’s critical that everyone works together to ensure that there’s enough water for critical services and needs.

Below are some simple water conservation tips:

In the Bathroom

  • Turn off the running water while you brush your teeth (save 1 to 5 gallons of water per minute).
  • Turn off the water while shaving. Fill the sink with a little water and rinse your razor in that (save 1 to 5 gallons of water per minute).
  • Install low-flow shower heads and toilets (save 1 to 5 gallons of water per minute). Take shorter showers. You can save 2 to 10 gallons for every minute you cut back. Or take a shallow bath instead (short showers with a low-flow head uses less water than a bath).
  • Get running toilets fixed. A running toilet can use as much as 30 to 500 gallons of water per day. If the toilet handle frequently sticks in the flush position letting water run, replace it or get it fixed.
  • Check your toilets for leaks. Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If the coloring begins to appear in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately. Even a small leak can waste thousands of gallons a month.

In the Kitchen

  • Don’t use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food in the fridge or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
  • Rinse vegetables and fruits with a sink full of clean water rather than running the water the whole time.
  • Don’t run the tap to get cold or hot water. Keep a bottle or pitcher of drinking water in the fridge instead of running the water to cool it. Heat water in the microwave.
  • When washing dishes by hand, don’t keep water running. Use sinks full of water to wash and then rinse.
  • Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run over them while you scrape.
  • Reuse the water left over from cooking foods like pasta and vegetables to water house plants.
  • Run only full loads of dishes in your dish-washing machine (save up to 15 gallons of water per load).

In the Rest of the House

  • Run only full loads of clothes in your washing machine (save up to 23 gallons of water for every load you don’t run).
  • Use high-efficiency appliances if possible.
  • Get leaky faucets and pipes fixed. A small drip can waste up to 2,700 gallons per year.

Outdoor Watering

  • Limit or eliminate lawn watering. If you must water do so after 10 p.m. or before 10 a.m. to avoid evaporation.
  • Keep sprinklers from watering pavement. Position them so that water lands on the lawn and shrubs.
  • Treat brown spots in the lawn with the hose instead of running the entire sprinkler system.
  • Wash your car at a commercial car wash that recycles its water (look for the automatic drive-through car washes, the manual ones often don’t recycle water). Or use a bucket and/or hose with an automatic shut off nozzle at home.
  • Don’t hose down your driveway. Sweep it instead.

For additional water conservation tips and resources, visit 100+ Ways to Conserve Water — Water Use It Wisely.