The main things that everyone can begin to do to be wise with their water are:

Presentations

Interested in booking a presentation for your group to learn more about water conservation in Camrose? Fill out and return the Water Conservation Presentation Request Form to the Engineering department.

Water Conservation Kits

The City of Camrose has begun to sell water conservation kits to increase awareness about saving water. The kits contain items that can be added to household showerheads, sinks, and toilets. It also contains items that can detect leaks that can flag an appliance for repair, potentially saving hundreds of litres every day.

There will be a total of 50 water conservation kits for a cost of $20 each. But, a few lucky winners may win one by entering their name in the draw at City Hall or at the Aquatic Centre. Either way, the water conservation kit is a great investment and will save the buyer much more than $20 in the end.

Getting a water conservation kit is a small step for saving in a big way. Water conservation in general is beneficial to all. It saves money on the water bill and lowers strain on the water infrastructure. In turn, this will lessen the need for constant repairs and upgrades.

Storm Drain Pollution

Storm drains are designed to remove excess water from paved streets and parking lots. This drainage leads to the Battle River. From there, it drains into Camrose's water supply at Driedmeat Lake. This means any items or hazardous chemicals dumped into the drains go back to the lake untreated. This pollutes the lake and the drinking water of over 20,000 residents.

It is not uncommon that lawn care products can runoff into the storm drains after a heavy rain storm. The City encourages the replacement of synthetic fertilizers with compost. You can pick up free compost at the local landfill.

We also encourage you to keep storm drains clean of litter. And, always make sure hazardous chemicals are not released in the storm drain.

Water Conservation Tips

For the Bathroom

Tips for the Toilet

Your toilet can be responsible for 90% of all leaks. To find out if your toilet has a leak:

  1. Drop some food colouring in your toilet tank
  2. Wait
  3. If you see the colour flowing into the toilet bowl, you have a leak

If you have a leak, it may be time to get a new flapper valve, or you may need to replace or fix the handle.

If your toilet uses more than 6 litres per flush, it may be time to replace it with a more efficient model. The yearly Toilet Rebate Program can give you the chance to save money while saving water.

Tips for the Shower

  • Take shorter showers
  • Replace your showerhead with a low flow version
    • Available at most local hardware stores or from the Water Conservation Kits

Tips for the Taps

  • Check all faucets. A leaky faucet may just need a new washer.
  • You can install high efficiency faucet aerators available at most local hardware stores or from the Water Conservation Kits

For the Kitchen

  • Thawing food under the tap wastes water. Take food out of the freezer early to allow plenty of time to thaw in the fridge.
  • Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge instead of running the tap for cold water.
  • Clean fruits and vegetables in a partially filled sink.
  • Steaming vegetables uses less water while keeping more nutrients in the food.
  • Run the dishwasher only when it is full, and use the energy saver or shortest cycle.
  • Don't let the tap run continuously when washing dishes by hand. Use the second side of the sink for rinse water.
  • Turn taps off tightly, but gently so they don't drip.

Reminder: Never put garbage of any kind down the drain.

This includes:

  • Cooking fat and greases
  • Paints and solvents
  • Pesticides and other chemicals
  • Toxic household cleaners

Instead, use durable containers to store these hazardous products. Then, dispose of them at the Household Hazardous Waste Roundup. It takes place at the Public Works yard (4402 - 51 Avenue), every third weekend in June, and every second weekend in October.

For Outside

Don't water until plants need it.

Plants tend to die from over-watering rather than under-watering. For many garden plants, let your finger judge whether the plant needs water. Stick your finger near the base of the plant and if it is dry than the plant needs to be watered. A withering plant is another sign that it needs to be watered. Only use as much water as necessary.

Prioritize watering needs.

Most lawns, not including Kentucky Bluegrass, will become dormant if not watered. Watering is not always needed, and the grass will recover when the rain returns. Lawns only need about 2 inches of rainfall. Let your lawn “go gold” and save the money, water and effort.

Keep off your grass.

Avoid walking on grass and mowing lawns (do not remove more than 1/3 of the blade of grass) in periods of drought. These create more stress for the grass and will need more water. Leaving the clippings will also help the soil keep its moisture.

Help the neediest plants first.

Focus watering on new plantings, vegetables and tender annuals. Native plants and most perennials can wait for the next rainfall to arrive.

Cover your swimming pool.

Covering your pool will help reduce evaporation. An average-sized pool can lose about 1782 litres per day if not covered. Pool covers cut water losses by 90% while keeping it much cleaner.

Use a broom to clean driveways and sidewalks.

Sweeping paved areas will clean them without wasting water. This also stops the washing of organic matter and fertilizers into storm drains.

Don't let water run while washing your car.

Get the car wet, and then turn off the water while you wash the car with a bucket of soapy water. Try to wash your car on the lawn so none of the water is wasted. During drought season consider not washing your car but if it is necessary, consider using recycled water.

Don't use sprinkler for entertainment.

Running through the water or hose is a fun way to keep cool, but it comes at the cost of hundreds of litres water in a short amount of time. Also, running on the grass will compact the soils and lead to a less healthy lawn.

Try to water with the weather.

Water when temperatures are lower and winds are calm to avoid evaporation. Avoid windy days as it will cause the water to evaporate quickly and carry the water where it is not needed.

Don't water pavement.

Position sprinklers so that water is aimed directly at lawn and garden areas rather than sidewalks, paths, and driveways. Consider using organic mulches next to sidewalks and curbs to reduce run off.

Large drops, less waste.

Use sprinklers that spray large drops rather than mist. This lowers losses through evaporation. The large droplets will also help the roots stronger against heat and drought.

Use watering cans, whenever possible.

For a few patio plants, watering from a container is better than watering with a hose.

Capture and recycle rainwater.

Place rain barrels or buckets beneath your down spouts. 1,000 sq. ft. of roof surface will collect 1590 litres of water in every inch of rainfall. Not only does it save water, but rainwater is much better for your plants than tap water.

Native planting.

Consider growing drought tolerant plants or try xeriscaping. Native plants have adapted to thrive in our area. These types of plants can survive with less than an inch of water a week.

Keep weeds out of flower and vegetable gardens.

Weeds are known for stealing water from other prized plants. Remove weeds by hand whenever possible. This helps avoid the water loss to unwanted plants.

Wayne Drop

Wayne DropWayne Drop, our super hero, seeks to put a stop to water wasting. Watch for him around Camrose and be a water super hero yourself! Find little ways to conserve water in everything you do. It will make a difference for your watershed, your utility bill, and the life of water infrastructure in Camrose!

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