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Letting yellow mellow saves gallons of water

I talked to Alameda County Water District GM Paul Piraino today, and asked him the kind of question that makes the Argus the best damn edition of the Oakland Tribune in all the world.

What saves more water: Not flushing after you pee or not running the water while you brush your teeth?

It’s basically a tie, depending on your toilet, he said. Running the faucet for a minute while you brush uses about two gallons of water. Not flushing once saves between 1.5 and three gallons, although if you have a really old toilet, you could be saving as much as five gallons.

It’s hard to quantify the loss of having someone’s urine splash you while you pee.

Water conservation tips

Conservation Tips:

Indoor Water Conservation Tips
• Repair running toilets and leaky faucets.
• Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, washing your hands, and shaving.
• Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when you have full loads.
• Replace old toilets with newer, water efficient models.
• Install water saving devices such as low flow shower heads and faucet aerators.
• Take shorter showers.
• Upgrade to a new, water efficient washer.
• Don’t let the water run while you wash dishes.

Outdoor Water Conservation Tips

• Turn off your sprinkler system in the winter, and only turn on in the spring if we have a prolonged dry spell.
• Adjust sprinklers to avoid watering the sidewalk or driveway.
• Prevent irrigation runoff by watering for shorter periods.
• Use mulch to retain soil moisture.
• Switch from spray irrigation to drip irrigation where feasible.
• Choose native and drought tolerant plants for your landscape.
• Wash your car at a carwash.
• When cleaning your sidewalk or driveway, use a broom instead of a hose. If you do use a hose, make sure it is equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle.

Matt Artz