Easy ways to conserve water
July 3, 2008 · Updated 1:34 PM
"Conserving water doesn't come naturally for most people who live west of the Cascades.In the Northwest we are used to being around so much water all the time, we are such waste hogs, Oak Harbor Utility Service Coordinator Rhonda Kirchhoff said, adding the drought may be a good chance for the community to learn about water conservation.Kirchhoff is basically a professional water conservationist. Under the city's longtime water conservation, her job is to educate the community about water conservation through speeches at the school and local groups, hand out educational materials and audit individual homes to determine where water is being wasted.Her water audit is free. Residents can reach her at 679-5551, ext. 443.Here are some water saving tips from Kirchhoff:* Learn to read your water meter.* Install low-flow devices. Use toilet tank displacement devices or install vacuum flush toilets.* Make sure dishwashers and washing machines are fully loaded before running.* Check all faucets, pipes and toilets periodically for leaks.* Install water saving shower heads.* Do not use the toilet as a waste basket. * Keep drinking water chilling in the refrigerator, a running faucet wastes three to seven gallons per minute.* Turn off the water while shaving, brushing teeth, etc.* Don't wash dishes under a running faucet.* Take shorter showers. Save five to 10 gallons for each minute you cut back.* Use a broom instead of a hose.* Take shallow baths.* Use a rain barrel for watering plants.* Install short flush toilet flappers. "