Why Be Water-Efficient?
Water efficiency means using our water resources more wisely. It means adopting technology we already have so our homes, offices, industries and appliances use less water to do more and waste less. It is common sense and easy to do.
Water Quality – Due mostly to local geological conditions, certain wells provide better water quality than others. If there is adequate storage to meet demand, Concord Water can manage the system to optimize the quality of water. As demand increases, we need to activate all our water resources, including those that may provide water with a color that is objectionable to some customers.
Peak Usage Issues – The Town’s water production facilities work hardest when called upon to keep up with demand during peak-use seasons (usually from May through September). During high-demand days, the water level in storage tanks my drop causing a decrease in pressure for some customers. If demand is too great, the Town may have to impose a ban on outdoor water uses to ensure adequate water for basic needs and emergency use, such as fire-fighting.
Water Withdrawal Restrictions – The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulates how much water we can pump from our wells and use from Nagog Pond. Controlling usage during peak periods is important to stay within permitted levels.
Cost – Concord water utilizes a seasonal tiered rate system to calculate water bills. The more water you use, the higher per unit you pay. Being water-efficient will keep your water and sewer bills low.
Reduce Wastewater Flows – Whether you have a private septic system or are part of the municipal collection and treatment system, excessive water use can shorten the life of your septic system and take up valuable capacity at the Town’s wastewater treatment plant.
Trends in Water Consumption:
Over the past ten years, many residents have installed water-efficient fixtures and appliances and are becoming mindful of outdoor water use, resulting in a decline of water consumption. However, state regulators are looking closely at public water suppliers’ summer water use, in particular how much residents use.
The DEP has adopted new regulatory guidelines that suppliers like Concord would need to adhere to if certain standards are not met. One such standard is called “Residential Gallons Per Capita Day, (RGPCD)” or in other words, how much water each resident uses in a day. The threshold established by DEP is 65 gallons; in recent years Concord’s RGPCD hovered around 70 gallons. If we continue to exceed that standard, the state is likely to require the Town to adopt mandatory outdoor watering restrictions under certain conditions.
However, there is good news. Over the past decade, you, our customers, have changed water use habits and installed water-efficient appliances to the extent that average residential use the last five years is 12 percent lower than the previous five years’ average.
While progress has been made, more can be done:
·In-ground irrigation system owners need to make sure their systems are maintained and operating properly. Find a certified contractor at www.irrigation.org.
·According to Town Bylaw, all irrigation systems must have an operable rain sensor that is located in a spot where it can be reached be rainfall (not under an eave).
·Lawns don’t need to be watered every other day. In most weather conditions, once or twice a week is usually sufficient.
·Concord’s relatively older housing stock means there are still a lot of old 3 to 5 gallon per flush toilets out there. Since toilets are the top water user inside the home, replacing them with new models will reduce water use, prolong the life of your septic system, and cut sewer bills for those with sewer service. This is a great time to take us up on our rebate offer.
Save dollars and cents with WaterSense, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) labeling program that provides information on products and programs that save water without sacrificing performance. In fact, every average household that fully adopts water efficient products and practices saves 30,000 gallons per year—enough to supply a year of drinking water for 150 thirsty neighbors.
Labeled products have significant water savings over traditional products, just as the~EnergyStar label has come to represent significantly more energy-efficient equipment. Using WaterSense labeled products and services will save you at least~20 percent of water over average counterparts.
Right now there are currently over 200 models of high-efficiency toilets certified by WaterSense and more than two dozen irrigation professionals in Massachusetts who are program partners.
By looking for the WaterSense label when making purchasing decisions, you can reduce your water bills and conserve resources for future generations. As a Promotional Partner with the WaterSense program, Concord Public Works will help keep you informed of the latest WaterSense products and opportunities. For more information, please visit www.epa.gov/watersense.
Free Water Conservation Devices
Concord Public Works wants to help you conserve water. Stop by our office at 135 Keyes Road weekdays 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Rain Gauge – Keep track of rainfall to avoid over-watering your lawn.
Leak Detection Kit – A simple test to determine if you have a leaky toilet.
Dual Setting Flip Aerator with Swivel for the Kitchen – A swiveling aerator that has a full flow for filling pots, a wide spray for rinsing fruits and vegetables, and a flow restrictor for use when washing dishes.
Low-flow Showerhead – An attractive, high-quality showerhead that uses 1.75 gallons per minute that doesn’t feel “low-flow.” Cut your shower water use in half.
“Water Miser” Garden Hose Nozzle - Enjoy watering your garden with this six-spray pattern nozzle that ranges from a fine mist to a high-powered spray.
Shower Timer – Helps you keep your showers to five minutes.