Lifted water restrictions isnt free-for-all

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 10, 2006

To relief of sports car owners and green thumbed gardeners throughout the county, all Shelby County watering restrictions have been lifted as of two weeks ago.

Calera residents may now water their lawns whenever they wish.

Alabaster citizens can wash their cars when it strikes their fancy.

Even the county, which only had &8220;voluntary&8221; restrictions in the first place, has said essentially: &8220;Go ahead; it&8217;s okay; use as much water as you want.&8221;

But just because you can use as much water as you like, it doesn&8217;t mean you have to.

Sometimes people tend to go overboard when you tell them something is free. Or in this case, you tell them they can take as much as they want.

They over do it, and take, take, take or use, use, use.

Just because water restrictions have been lifted doesn&8217;t make consumption a free-for-all. Conservation still must be used.

After all, it saves you money, cities a lot of headache, and it helps the environment.

We should still practice what we learned growing up: turn the faucet off when brushing your teeth, curb the long, long showers, and fix leaky pipes.

But there are many things you can do to save water and money.

First, if you have an old bathroom, consider an upgrade.

Older models of toilets, faucets and showers all use more water than nicer, newer fixtures.

Replacing a toilet that is more than ten years old will save you around $1,000 in a decade.

If you don&8217;t have money for a home renovation or if you have a new home, there are still little things you can do.

uMinimize faucet use not only when brushing your teeth, but also when shaving and washing dishes.

uDon&8217;t pre-rinse dishes unless you need to. Most new dishwashers don&8217;t require pre-rinsing.

uSave lukewarm water for watering plants and other uses while you wait for hot water in kitchens and showers.

uShorten your showers by a minute or two and save thousands of dollars a year.

uTake showers instead of baths and save dozens of water each day.

There are also things you can do outside, like washing your car at a place that recycles its water, and make sure you are actually planting the right plants and grass for ourtempature and climate.

Please do your part to help the situation not be as severe next summer. Cities like Calera and Alabaster, Mother Nature and your wallet will appreciate it too.