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Conservation tips for Water Awareness Month
Toilets are notorious for their silent leaks and can steal thousands of gallons of water.

With May recognized as Water Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time for some indoor and outdoor water conservation tips:

— Toilet leaks: Toilets are notorious for their silent leaks and can steal thousands of gallons of water. Put a few drops of food coloring to the tank. Do not flush. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within about 10 minutes. Check the toilet for worn out, corroded, or bent parts, especially the flapper valve. Most replacement parts are inexpensive, readily available and easily installed. Flush immediately after completing test, since food coloring may stain the tank.

— Replace showerhead: Install an ultra-low-flow version. Switching from a high-flow showerhead to a high-efficiency showerhead can save thousands of gallons of water a year. All showerheads manufactured in the U.S. must restrict flow to 2.5 gallons per minute or less. Some models use even less water.

Run dishwasher when it's full: Don't waste water using the dishwater for small loads. Load the dishwasher fully before operating. Many newer dishwashers require little or no advance rinsing of dishes. Read the instruction manual for your machine to determine if you can minimize rinse water usage.

— Re-circulating pumps: Swimming pools, fountains and ponds should be equipped with re-circulating pumps. These water features should also be checked annually for hidden leaks or other problems. Avoid installation of ornamental water features (such as fountains) unless the water is recycled. Locate where there are minimal losses due to evaporation and wind drift.

Mulch: Put a layer of mulch around trees, bushes and plants. Chunks of bark, peat moss or gravel slow evaporation, help the soil retain moisture, discourage the growth of weeds, and provide essential nutrients.

— Hose nozzles: Attach an automatic shut off spray nozzle to your hose, so that water doesn't run freely when you stop watering or set the hose down.

— Water in cycles: For the healthiest and most water-efficient lawn, try to water in several short watering cycles rather than one long one. Three 5 to 10-minute sessions spaced 30 minutes to an hour apart will allow your lawn to better absorb moisture than one straight longer session, and there is less water run off

— Drip Irrigation: Install a drip irrigation system for watering gardens, trees and shrubs. Drip irrigation provides a slow, steady trickle of water to plants at their roots through a network of hidden pipes and hoses. The systems are regulated by a controller that can be adjusted for different levels of watering according to the needs of the plants. Drip irrigation systems reduce over-watering, inefficient watering, weed growth, and the time and labor involved in hand watering.


For additional ways to conserve water visit

Brought to you by the City of Turlock Municipal Services Department.   For questions or additional information, contact Municipal Services at 209-668-5590.



Review your water bill monthly to check for unusually high use:  Check water meters at night or during times when no one is home to detect for leaks. There should be no flow when all water using fixtures have been turned off.