Drought - How are you conserving water?

lecorbeau(7b)February 12, 2008

I'd like to hear some ideas on water conservation. As much as I love my plants, I like having water even more. I mean what if we do run out of water?? It's possible. So I only use water for the plants that otherwise would be wasted.

To conserve water:

I have bought a 34 gallon garbage can on wheels. I am only washing clothes on weekends now so that I can catch the rinse water in the can and roll it out to the yard. Then I can use it to water ornamentals (but not edibles). This should not be done if the run-off would go directly into a stream. By going through the soil, it will be filtered before it reaches the water table. It also needs to be used within 24 hours so bacteria don't multiply.

Like many people, I also have rain barrels, and that's what I use for edibles. In addition, we catch the water from the spigot while waiting for it to heat for a shower. That's only about a gallon and a half, and we've limited showers to alternate days, but it's good clean water.

We save in a lot of small ways, too, but these are the main ones.

What creative ways have you come up with to save water?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like the idea of conserving water as here in Lancaster county, we have the same problem.
In addition, wife saves water in large bowl as she waits for the hot water to get to kitchen sink. She then dumps the water collected in bowl, dumps into a pail, of which I water established plants, pecan tree, apple trees, etc.
We also use water collected in shower, as it warms up, to
flush the toilet.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 7:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I use the trashcan on wheels too, rainbarrels,Aqua spikes, etc. The most important thing I did outside was to rethink plant choice and location to conserve as much water as possible. This year I'm fairly well established unless things go from bad to worse and up here near the VA line we've had a fairly good steady rain total over the past few months. With gardens,like all hopeful things in life, sometimes you just need to walk by faith.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 7:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

conserving water?

I use botteled water for
coffee,tea and cooking
as well as for the dog
I have a flash hot water system
heats water as need reducing the
time it takes to get it to the faucet
thus saving water
a chemical composting toilet
uses no water
several rain barrels
In the shower I wet down
shut off water soap up then
rinse off maybe two min max in the shower
as for the gardens they still have not
been planted,only some mature trees that
I let stay some native azealas but thats
it.I did plant out some 3000 spring bulbs
this fall so we shall see what happens

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 9:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When I was in 6th grade we went to a "Conservation Camp" for a week as a class. Sorry if this grosses anyone out but, we were taught, "If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down". So the whole family follows this rule, 4 of us, and I know it cuts down on the gallons we use. We've done it since we purchased the home because we are on a well.

Also, my husband and I have greatly reduced the number of showers we take. We both average only 2 a week. I'm a SAHM, so it's easier for me. We take sink baths. Fill up the sink with warm sudsy water and wash with a cloth. My girls are young enough so they can share the tub and again, they only take about 2 baths a week, 3 depending on how grubby they get :)

As a family we try and use hand sanitizer as much as possible instead of using soap and water. I fill the girls cups with an appropriate amount of water for them to brush their teeth. Even at 3 and 4 they know not to let the water run, and they'll tell you, "We're in a drought".

I haven't done it yet, but I do plan on having my husband set up some rain barrels in the back corner of my house. Being on a well, I'm so paranoid about our water, but as a plant lover, I'm really torn about letting all the plants die off, or going dry. I know I won't feel so guilty if I'm using rain water to keep my plants sustained.

I don't know why I haven't done it yet, but I will bring a bucket into the shower now, to catch the water that is wasted while the shower heats up. Again, no guilt about watering the plants. I shall do this as soon as I log off the forum.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 10:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just ordered a rain barrel from Pitt county. I have my gutter extenders pointed to my garden beds. I'm planting in my backyard clover which doesn't need watering untill the dead of summer. I may start using clover as a mulch/ nitrogen conductor/cover crop for around my bushes and trees. It's worth a shot. Short showers, wash cycles,etc.. So far in Greenville NC the drought is not total. Linda

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 3:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
corin99(7b Triangle NC)

Here's a water saving idea. It provides water for your plants and fertilizes them at the same time!

Here is a link that might be useful: Save Water in the Garden

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 7:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tammy Kennedy

i'm pretty sure we had a similar thread not so long ago- so check for that one to get additional ideas.

deirdre, forgive me for asking, but what's SAHM? i 'm probably just clueless. we practice the nice little rhyme, too. :)

we're on a shallow 100' well, and are very careful with our usage and have been for a long time. we take short showers, use the water bucket trick (and have for years- use for flushes mostly), and also have a water saving 'button' installed. you push it when you've gotten wet so you can soap up and it leaves just a trickle running so the temp doesn't get messed up. the big boxes sell them and they are only like $5. much easier than trying to get the right temp with soap in your eyes! :) i average about 3-4 showers a week, hubby needs one daily because of his work. we double up when i take mine, and with the button i figure we only have it actively running for about 4 or 5 mins for 2 of us. my daughter still only needs about 2x a week, and my son is now a teen and takes one each morn- but a very short one. they're in winter swim team now, so they get some of their showers after practice. we only run laundry or the dishwasher when it's full. we wear clothes at least 2x, use bath towels several times, and leave sheets go at least 2 weeks. never leave the water on when we're brushing or shaving. i'll have to get some bottle of the hand sanitizer- hadn't considered that. i think when it gets hot again, we'll switch to paper products for dishes. i've been resisting because i don't like the waste and they use water to make them, but i guess they aren't necessarily made in a drought region. does anyone know if foam is better environmentally if you recycle it?

i recycle my fish tank water for my indoor plants, and at times use the pond for outdoor ones. we just got a couple pickle rain barrels, though since we don't have gutters, it takes a while to fill them! been leaving tubs, wheelbarrows, misc out when we have rain to collect water, too. we have a 2' gravel walk right along the house with hard packed solid clay that slopes away from the house under it, so that water that comes from the roof runs into the beds i have right at the roofline waiting there. i've put down wallpapering trays to help catch that runoff, and pout that into the rain barrels.

i plan to mulch my beds heavily this year. i'm spreading 6 mo old horse compost now (which absorbs water like a sponge!) and putting chopped leaves on top of that, so i'm hoping that under the mulch i'll spread later will help things survive. i'm going to try and plant as much as i can of my pot ghettos so i have much less to try to keep alive this summer. some of it will be easier to keep alive in pots- those thing will get potted up with moisture crystals so they don't dry out as fast. before the rain the moisture in my ground was nice and workable. like someone said on another forum, it should be wet this time of year, though.

i plan to concentrate on my hardscape (something i tend to neglect anyhow) to ease the gardening bug if it's just to dry to have anything. i am doing some winter sowing, but it's mostly shrubs, wildflowers & stuff that takes forever -more than a year for some of it- to come up and won't hurt sitting around waiting. i'll probably throw out some clover seed this spring on our lawn area such as it is while there's some soil moisture to get it going. we already have some clover, but i'd love to have it mostly clover.

carin99- that's an unusual idea. somehow considering the city has conniption fits about people even thinking about reusing dishwater or clothes water, i can't see them happy if they found someone 'sprinkling'. if things get bad enough i may consider running a hose off our washer out the window to out back 2 stories down where we couldn't get caught. most of my gardens are in front, but i'd sure hate to lose our big trees because of the drought, and the bushes i can't really plant because they'd be way too hard to water are out back.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 8:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lots of good ideas. I do the mellow yellow thing with the toilets, too. Last weekend I had to wash some things with bleach (rarely do this) so instead of using the rinse water for the garden, I took it to the bathroom for toilet flushing. I've got to find a better way! Thank goodness that can is emptied. I was thinking it would be great if the state or cities offered tax incentives or assistance if you buy a low-flow toilet. After all, it will save on tax payers' dollars if the governments don't need to build new reservoirs. Our toilets are 30 years old, so they are real water hogs.

I wonder about the hand sanitizers. Do they get rid of viruses, too. I've been wetting one hand, turning off the faucet, and lathering up with soap before turning the faucet on again to rinse briefly. With the hand sanitizers just being rubbed in, I'm not sure it's effective. Does anyone know?

Another thing we do is, instead of scraping and rinsing the dishes before washing, we use our paper napkins to wipe off as much as possible into the garbage. Then the washing takes less water.

I have heard something about the price for water service going up. That will be a good incentive for most people who haven't thought about it much to start conserving too.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 9:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

SAHM = stay at home mom.

great ideas here on water conservation.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 7:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

before I moved here I spent almost 12 years living without running water in a cabin I built by myself (water table was polluted and I didn't get electricity until half way through those years). It was supposed to be somewhat grander but I lost my job in the beginning of the construction phase. A single person can get away with a lot of water use reduction - but a couple or worse a family with children can't do things at the same level. I was lucky in that my job had showers (I got laid off but went back to work for them as a part time employee). During that time Oklahoma went through a massive drought with no real rain for three years!!! so rain barrels meant nothing. I used to haul water home in the bed of the truck with the help of a used water bed bladder. I would hand pump it into the rain barrels between the cabin and the garden. I used to half fill a metal wheelbarrow and park it over a campfire to heat it up to steaming hot in the winter. In the summers I would just use a small stock tank left full all day to heat up in the sun (highs routinely over 100 degrees). I had to haul water for dog to soak in also since it stayed so hot for months on end AND i had livestock that needed to drink everyday (thank god I mostly had llamas and they don't drink much).

Anyway - after all that I learned how to make do with less, and I now know that I can handle it if I have to but I don't really want to go back to that restricted way of living. I'm not really wasteful but I am also not extreme in my conservation efforts.

I plan to haul my rainbarrels back here over Easter. I plan on rigging up a way to haul bucket loads of water up from the small creek (which will run dry most likely). I plan on reducing the number of plants I water - but I need them to break dormancy to see who's alive and who's dead first. I plan on re-working the veggie gardens soil and only planting a few things this year. And I plan on not running inside the house to use the bathroom when I'm outside working in the garden - but the leaves have to emerge on all the bushes first!!!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 11:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow, John - your OK story is incredible and 'there but for the grace of God go we'. And your 'al fresco relief station' rocks!

I'm about as ready as I can be, I guess. Two 65 gal rainbarrels, full now due to this week's rain - will ration that as needed and hope they get replentished by rain at least occasionally. Veggies will be in water miserly EarthBoxes again - very conservative and effective. Am going to invest in a few four quart watering cans to catch 'waiting for the hot' flow in the kitchen. The 4 qters are easier to handle to spot water outside droopys and will make a 'design statement' lined up on the kitchen counter - gotta find the right color!

Wiping down dishes w/napkins rather than rinsing pre-dishwasher is a great idea - can't put mine in too yucky as I only run the dw every week or so and they dry on too much. Used to have a great plate licker in my former dog, but don't want this one to get into the habit of counter-surfing for dishes so she hasn't been encouraged to develop the technique. I like the idea of using hand sanitizer (takes so long to get warm water, lots of waste), but what I've seen is a bit pricey - gotta shop it out a bit. Ice maker in my freezer is posessed and over produces despite repair efforts. When turned off, it won't dispense the bin contents - have to figure out how to slow it down, but meanwhile the excess cubes are going to the gardens.

Will do the tub bucket for flushing in my bathroom and am going to try a brick or half brick in each tank for water displacement, minimal water use, when company flushes. Sorry, but not flushing just is not an option for me. It's just me, so laundry is minimal and I have the front loader - just doin' my part!

Last year there was a notice of availability of 'gray water' for free at the water treatment plant in Raleigh. Anyone know if that still stands? Trick is, one has to have a truck w/one of those big round tanks and some sort of pump. Might be a good cottage industry business for someone - kinda like a paper route, subscription watering! Just a thought .......

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 10:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm usng reasonable measures. My area is OK right now but I am sure upstream use will further affect me this summer. I do want to put in some rain barrels, it's the right "be prepared" thing in my opinion to do, even if the drought goes away tomorrow. I also plan to put in a well. I'm also in the process of designing my beds now, I'm going to incorporate soaker hoses in the designs and figure out a good easy way run them. I put in my lawn last year, and I used Bermuda grass for the drought tolerance. I also used only a reasonable sized lawn even though I have 15 acres. I'm letting the majority of the property just do the natural thing. I'll take in other land as I have needs for it. I have a lot of plans (greenhouse, water garden, ect) but no need for the maintenance of a lawn there. I actually had a green lawn last year when my friends at work had nothing but brown. That was always a big issue for me with my last house, I had fescue and without a lot of care and maintenance, and a lot of water, it looked horriable when Charlotte water restrictions came into play. Charlotte has had water restrictions for several years running, the price of poor resource planning and management. I also use reasonable measures in the house. Run DW and Laundry only on full loads, use the small load for delicates. I'm like Zigzag though, gotta flush when used. But I do have new efficient toilets. I also put in a hose to route the water from my AC to plants. That kept a Black Magic Elephant ear in my landscape very, very happy all year! It's amazing how much water that produces!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 10:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Okay, so I'm on a roll today :o) ........ another annoyance I keep reading is the 'know-it-alls' espousing xerioscaping, lamenting that landscapers et al should embrace this. Well, even drought tolerant plants need water for the first couple of years to establish their deep root systems to be drought tolerant. Duh!

My yards went in over five years ago and are now, indeed, drought tolerant to a large degree. Doesn't mean I don't worry about them or water when I can. I wish they'd direct their venom toward the vast, green lawn water hogs and leave us gardeners alone!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 12:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I really like the bucket in the shower idea and then using that water to flush. My husband gave me a kentucky rain-barrel last year and I'm always surprised at how quickly it fills up even after a short rain. I'm going to buy two more ;^) We've got lots of gutters! I too will be working on hardscape and soil improvement rather than planting. I'll get my flower fix with container plants on my patio.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 1:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LOL Zigzag, seems like we see eye to eye on a lot. :-) The one that always kills me is some of the folks I've worked with with their upscale neighborhoods and HOA's that fine people if their yards turn brown or don't look just so. One girl I worked with was in process of having all of the landscaping in her yard completely redone by a professional. Her neighbors complained about the weeds and bare yard and got the poor girl fined when the landscaping wasn't even complete! What idiots!! You are so correct, all plants have to get themselves established. And it does take time. I just feel fortunate I was able to get enough of a root structure established I didn't have to water my Bermuda as much as I did fescue when living on a subdivision lot. I could plant nothing but Cactus out here on my sand, but it would die as well without some water. And I actually have native cactus growing on my property. I don't know about anyone else but I see a lot of folks trying to completly change what all of us have been growing in our gardens for years to a completly different kind of landscaping and gardening. A lot of what I'm seeing is people thinking this drought will never end. It always has and it will this time as well. We didn't become Arizona overnight!! Now I am a supporter of managing as best you can, researching and planting the best plants for your area, and taking reasonable conservation measures at all times. However, the sky isn't falling yet. We should all be taking advantage of any alternatives we can to make it through a tough time.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 7:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yeah, nannerbelle - we do seem to be channeling to some degree! You make a good point that the drought is not forever, so moderation in planting changes is the key. I remember TriangleJohn detailing that very thought a while back. I've been here for but 15 years now and have noticed a definite climatic change, but it's not earth-shaking .... yet. We all just need to be good guardians of our earth and roll with the punches.

As much as I appreciate the sight of uniformly green neighborhoods, I bristle at some of the HOA ridiculous requirements that do not take conditions into consideration. My 'hood is small and the HOA mgmt. a bit lax so we have some pretty sad lawns, but nobody can accuse us of water abuse or overuse! (Finally the yard slackers have a leg to stand on!).

I sit back quietly - no grass on my little tenth of an acre, just keepin' the plants & trees alive!


    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 8:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Exactly Zigzag, I would love to read TriangleJohns post if you can point me in the right direction. I'm a life long resident (40+ years) of the Greater Charlotte area these cycles aren't much different than I've ever experienced. The biggest difference I'm seeing is the huge explosion in population in this area. Actually the drought in 1986 seems much worse to me. Hay wasn't even growing in the fields that year, my horses were in desperate need. There was no grazing for them. Crops were very much withering on the vine in all gardens. My personal well in a very rural area, surrounded by dairy farms dropped to a dangerous level. But things did come back. Now with the rise in population, and the influx of new housing, we do have a problem. Hince why I say we need to be very cautious and press our leaders to build infrastructure and plan for the future. They aren't giving a single thought to anything right now except for areanas and high rise condos!! The future isn't in high rises that lay more concrete and asphalt than green, nor is it in overwatered football fields (as Charlotte did for HS Football). All of this is where I'm seeing the Charlotte area pushed toward. And HOA's, don't even get me started on that. I could rant for days on that one!! :-) That is why I moved into the middle of nowhere and choose to telecommute to my job instead of going to an office every day.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 11:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Outside...I just haven't watered. Inside I've changed the faucet to low-flow types. It has come in handy and the difference as far as comfort is almost non-existent. It feels good to save water.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 12:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Isn't is just amazing how fast you can fill up a bucket?? All this water just from letting the water warm up.

I also put my facecloth into my glass measuring cup, add just about enough water to cover the cloth and then --- warm it all in the microwave for one minute!! Works like a charm for me!!


There is one idea mentioned previously that I think needs a ***NOTE OF CAUTION***

I remember putting a brick inside the back of the toilet. Eventually, it just crumbled up and left a big mess. Yes - it was there for a long time.

I now use a plastic container such as a filled up quart soda bottle, milk bottle, etc. No crumbling brick to discolor the inside of the toilet tank. The plastic container is just as effective as the brick. It does the same thing - displaces the water; therefore less water is used to fill up the tank resevoir.

OK - have said my 2 cents worth.

Nice to hear people as passionate as I am about conserving water. We had a well that used to go dry and then we had to lug water from the neighbors - and they didn't live that close to us. Once you have lugged water, you do these kinds of things automatically.

We were conservationists and recyclers before everyone used those words!! Everyone else used to call us CHEAP - lol, lol. Oh the times they do change don't they??? lol

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 1:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tammy Kennedy

just an fyi- we were in home depot last night and grabbed a little kit that was $10 that had 2 faucet restrictor/aerators, a low flow massaging shower head, a low flow straight/spray end for kitchen sinks, a diverter for your toilet (didn't know exactly what that does except something about saving some water in the toilet) and colored tablets to check for leaks. it all comes in a flow meter bag to check your gpm flow on your shower head/faucet, etc. i thought that was a pretty great deal! i'd been watching for a low flow shower head for a while (nobody seems to have them), so i'll be anxious to try it tonight and see how i like the feel. we'll use it regardless, but it does make it more palatable if we enjoy the feel. now i need to find a low flow handheld one for the kids. anyone know where or if one of those can be found? i like the way the faucet works, now. i did note that the diffuser that was on it before was only allowing 2.2 gpm, and this one cuts it down to 1 gpm. the lit said that most faucets are 4 gpm, so i feel like we weren't doing too bad before. i also bought some hand sanitizer for the sink for most hand washing. still gotta get that 2 liter bottle in the back of the toilet downstairs.

tony's piece was well thought out, and i agree with the bulk. i had noticed the same thing- the lakes and water that wasn't being tapped for our thirsts were doing just fine; not very low at all. the area is definitely developing too fast with too little infrastructure.

the gist of what john said was don't just go and plant cactus- in a few years we're liable to have a wet year and you'll lose all of that stuff. moderation is the key- and knowing we have these up and down cycles. i do tend to think that with the growth, we are in a dryer trend for the long haul, no matter how rainy some years may be. more people simply use more water, period.

lhendri, i really wish that you were in the majority, not ahead of the curve. unfortunately, most folks don't conserve til they have to, almost till it's too late. sad.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 9:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Quick tip on the hand sanitizer, both Big Lots and Dollar Tree sell the larger 12 oz container for only $1.00. It's not the name-brand Purell stuff, but it works just the same. With two young kids, we go through a lot of this stuff, so I usually buy quite a few.

Having read through this post, I now know what I want for my birthday and Mother's Day . . . rain barrels.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 2:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
blossom_in_the_sun(7b Garner/NC)

Stay at home mom here,
Taking care of my Mother and 3 children.
The children all know how to conserve water.

We try to use paper plates and cups when possible.
I use a facial tissue to wipe off sticky utensils.
I have switched to the foam dish detergent, I find one squirt will do a sink full of dishes , pots, with very little water. (only rinsing) the detergent calls for the use of very little water.

The first thing I have started doing is not turning my faucets on full blast.
I lowered all the floats in my toilets and the rules in the home are " If is yellow let it mellow, If it is brown, It's got to go down"
I started buying a better quality toilet paper, so not as much is used.
Bucket is used to catch warm up water in shower, which in turn is used to help the brown go down...
Another bucket catches shower water.
Wet up, Turn off, soap up and rinse off.
I keep a Large watering container in the kitchen to collect gray water from the dish rinsing ect.. from another plastic container that sits in the sink. I am outside watering this and that a couple times a day.
I warm up kitchen water in the microwave for small amount and catch larger amounts in a large pan and warm on the stove.
I will wet a wash cloth with cold water and heat in micro for face and quick clean ups.

I will occasionally use semi clean gray water from the sink to heat up on stove to cut through grimy pots and pans.

Rain barrels
I only wash full loads of clothes.
I am sure there are more things I do, but I cant think of any at the moment.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 8:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

lhendri - thanks! Your cautions on the brick make complete sense and are well taken. Guess the 'brick in the tank' must be something our grandpappies did way back when and the image stuck. Tonite I de-labeled a 2 liter Coke bottle, filled it up (waiting for the hot) and it fits perfectly in the tank. The flushing action does not seem to be compromised - folks, we have a winner!

deidre, maybe I'll run into you at the Dollar emporiums - thanks for the tip!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 10:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

About hand sanitizers -- my husband is a physician and washes his hands a million times a day. He says that hand sanitizers do not kill all viruses/ germs, and that old-fashioned soap hand washing (you don't even need anti-bacterial) for 15-20 sec is the best method. Germs simply can't stick that way. We wet our hands then turn off the water to lather, then turn the water back on to quickly rinse.

Most of the things we do were mentioned by others -- I fill up empty gallon bottles with my kids' bath water (they only bathe twice a week if possible). This is very time consuming, but the water is great for the lawn and non-edibles.

I save a lot of water in the kitchen. We rinse food off with dirty water, and even scrub the dishes with it, then place in the dishwasher and run it when it's jam packed. I read somewhere that this saves 70% on traditional dish washing. We catch all the sink water from rinsing produce, rinsing dishes, etc., and use it on ornamentals/ grass. I use chemical free detergents and the water has never seemed to harm anything. Again, it's time consuming and I know some people can't carry a bucket out of the kitchen several times a day. Thanks for all of the great ideas!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 8:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Where do you find the foam dish soap you mentioned? Is there more than one brand?

Also, to you and livvyliv, about using the dirty dishwater outside: I noticed on one website that gray water is from the laundry, but the water from the sink is considered black water. I suppose this means the larger amounts of grease and possibly protein would make it harbor more dangerous bacteria. I don't know for sure, but it's worth looking into.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 10:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think my second home is a dollar store, so yes, we may definitely cross paths some time LOL!!

Livvyliv, thanks for the tip on the sanitizer. We do use soap and water when appropriate, but for everyday run of the mill stuff we use the sanitizer most often.

I love the tip about putting the cloth in the microwave. It's so obvious, but I never thought of it before. It will definitely cut down on water use. I operate on the principal that every drop counts.

Also, the last time I showered, with the bucket of course to save water, I shut the water off to lather and then turned it back on to rinse. Of course, I always knew I could do this to save water, but I never thought I'd be able to handle the cold. I'm always cold and I do so love my hot, hot, showers, but I know it's for the greater good, and so I tried it. It wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be, and now I know that I can do it again in the future.

If only we drank soda, I'd be putting bottles in my toilets. I guess I'll have to "suffer" again and go and buy some Coke for the cause!!!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 4:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Some of you may know me already, you may have met me at the Raleigh Plant Swaps or our paths may have crossed out at the fairgrounds while getting things ready for the state fair. I am the near constant companion of TriangleJohn, a human you guys like to call TJ, that I like to think of as "park walker", "food provider", "pillow fluffer".

There are some things I feel must be discussed concerning the current drought conditions and water restrictions, things that you guys have adapted to easily but that I am struggling with.

First of all, when I am at the park or deep in the woods of our backyard I am there to sniff ANIMAL smells! The last thing I enjoy smelling is TJ scent!! This guy may never use indoor plumbing again. He is marking his territory from the wrap around porch to the banks of the creek 300 steps away!! No bush or shrub is sacred. He just relieves himself whenever and where ever he wishes. But this is not the worst of my indignities. What is up with this current habit of "if its yellow, let it mellow...." I dont drink Mellow Yellow. I go to the bathroom to drink WATER! Fresh water. This mad science experiment has got to stop. IÂm thirsty. John says he once owned a cat that could flush the toilet but so far I havenÂt mastered the trick (if I only had a thumb) and our current housecat is too old to even use her litterbox I doubt she will teach me anything useful. I am at my wits end.

Please. Think of your pets!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 6:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
mad_about_mickey(**7* *N.C.)

Oh, poor Tammy Faye...At least we don't have any snow, so he can't be writin' his name in that !! LOL And don't eat yellow snow either..... just in case !

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 10:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
aisgecko(7b Raleigh)

I sympathize with you Tammy Faye. My cat drinks out of the toilet too, and she hasn't mastered flushing either. Luckily we have fish ponds outside (and they are good for plant watering and toilet flushing in a pinch). It's especially disturbing to girls to "let it mellow" because sometimes there's a splash effect and who wants to hover over their own toilet?! And don't let me get started on what time of the month it is...
I also find it disturbing that it's suddenly better to use paper plates. (I'm not criticizing the use by any means, just lamenting the need for it). What really saddens me is that (I'm so cynical) I believe as soon as the drought is over people will revert to their old wasteful ways and in no way prepare for future. Not the people here, of course. gardeners are much more in tune to being eco-friendly. But the population in general. I'd like to see a re-thinking of the way everything is plumbed in new building. Even with this severe drought the building codes make it impractical to plumb houses for greywater usage. I want this drought to end, but if the upshot is that people start to rethink water usage then at least something good will come from it. Water is a renewable resource IF we use it properly. I'm sure a lot of you feel as I do, whew, I just needed to get it out. -Ais.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 9:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tammy Kennedy

amen, ais! i wish you were wrong about people reverting, but am afraid it's true. unless it turns into along term climate change, they're bound to go back at least part ways. i really hate going to disposable plates, too. it feels really, really wasteful.

poor tammy faye. just nip him a little and he'll probably give you an extra water dish. can't help you with the yellow water in the backyard, tho....

deirdre, there's a little push button valve thingie that home depot sells and it's the slickest thing. you put it between the shower head and pipe and just push the button and only a trickle comes out (which i let run down my back to keep me warmer). it keeps the water the same temp, so that when you're ready to rush you just push the button again. it also helps if you have a bathroom heater in your exhaust or put a space heater in there. then you don't get so cold. i'm always freezing, too, but there's something refreshing about getting toasty, then a bit cold and getting toasty again. sorta like a mini spa, right? :)

i'll be the first to admit when it's monthly visitor time, i use the upstairs toilet a lot or flush a bit more. no need to traumatize the boys.

a follow up on that little kit i bought a few days ago is the low flow shower head that came with it is great. as is the kitchen faucet head/spray thingie. our sink can't have a separate sprayer, so we already had a push/pull sprayer end, and this is about the same, except it also has a built in valve to hold the temp just like the one that's made for the shower, in addition to it being low flow. that will be really nice for when i'm refilling my fish tanks or for rinsing dishes after washing when doing the pots & pans. will have to remember the microwave trick to warm up washclothes.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 11:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry about the previous post. Tami can get mighty uppity at times.

You'd think a dog that can type a message could learn how to flush a toilet! I'm just saying....

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 12:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
blossom_in_the_sun(7b Garner/NC)

carolinakate: I found it at kroger or food lion on the degergent isle. It is a Dawn brand and actually labeled hand soap.(I suppose because you are washing by hand) It seems a bit consentrated for the washing of hands.

Unfortunately I have no animals in the house, except Checks the Turtle and some gold fish. Our dog passed last Mother's Day, havent had the heart to get another. She didn't drink from the toilet, She never got into that habit in 14 years.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 8:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, Blossom.

For a long time, we always had to leave the bathroom doors shut because the dog would "roll" the house every chance she got. There's something about pulling that paper and running that she just can't resist. By the time we realized we could relax about the doors if we put the rolls in the holder so the paper goes down the back and out the bottom, she had never developed the habit of drinking from the toilet.

We have two and a half baths, and three people. By designating a particular bath for each person for regular use, we don't have to worry about offending the next user by not flushing. If a guest drops by, we just make sure the powder room is presentable. So you might consider some similar arrangement if you're flushing out of consideration for the next person. If it's just a personal aversion, then this won't help. Oh, and we don't have a second storey, so that makes it easy for us.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 3:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, I'm feeling a bit ornery today so bear with me. The water crisis this area is facing didn't happen overnight - and many have debated the 'blame' ad nauseam.

What galls me is that topics such as bathroom behavior and flushing etiquette are now mainstream and this is just not right. I can deal with 'no sprinklers, no car washing, no hose watering' but when the powers that be start telling me how to brush my teeth or flush my toilet I get ornery. That the governor's wife does 'public service messages' on tv about dish and clothes washers is just too over the top! How humilitaing is that? Humiliating for her and insulting to the populace.

Personal hygiene is not a news item. A poster above alluded to personal 'time of the month' issues - this has no place in public rhetoric and the circumstances that led to that defensive post are just wrong. Not the post or poster, the circumstances, please don't read me wrong.

Personally, I'm dealing with a life threatening illness and no way, no how is any politician or newspaper article going to alter my personal care criteria for the 'water cause'. I didn't create this mess - have always been very conservative. But I'm not going to compromise 'for the public good' - I'm going to take care of myself first. So there.

And I will keep my gardens alive - by hook or by crook. I installed rain barrels, hardscaping and drought tolerant plantings way, way before it was 'fashionable' - I've done my part. So there, again.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 5:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Everyone is different. Take what you can use and leave the rest. The aim is to exchange ideas. I don't think anyone on this forum intended to preach.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 12:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Please understand that I didn't intend for my vent to be directed at this forum or any of its members.

It was directed at this stupid City and its stupid problem. I am just so tired of their lame excuses and increasing restrictions.

I apologize if I offended anyone.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 1:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tammy Kennedy

i've reread through this a couple times looking for that link to tony's article to show my Dh, and can't find it. was it in a different thread? am i or was i hallucinating? help!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 10:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Tami, it's in the Water Restrictions thread - I just topped it.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 11:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Tammy Kennedy

thanks so much zigzag! i was going nuts. i knew i'd seen it but couldn't figure out where. tammy

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 3:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I kinda understand where zig is coming from but the current drought situation and possibly the 'Inconvenient Truth' movie really have got people talking about conservation. And I mean moreso than normal and more seriously. I just hope all the talk is followed by lotsa walk - that they continue to adopt conservation measures into their everyday life.

Since our drinking water system is tied to our sewage system there really is no round about way to discuss one without the other. It does step across the line but we are in a crisis situation so modesty gets tossed out the window.

I have always said that we need to wake up. There is only so much drinkable fresh water on this planet. Most of it is tied up in the polar ice caps. If drinking water is so precious, why would we stick with a system that uses fresh water in our toilets??? I guess someday humans will figure some alternative out. It just seems that it takes so long to get any real change. We worry about the ocean AFTER we catch the last fish, we miss the shade of the redwood AFTER we cut the last one down.

We can send a man to the moon....

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 11:29AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Greenville South Carolina Plant Swap
Greenville Glen will be hosting a Spring Plant Swap...
WANTED: Raleigh Area seed swap?
Raleigh Area seed swap?
Rain barrels and soaker hoses
Here I am a aqain and gonna pester y'all one more time....
Potatoes in Raleigh
Can anyone recommend potato varieties to grow in Raleigh?...
Looking for some medium tomato ideas
I am not really interested in growing the biggest tomato....
Sponsored Products
Prichard modern sectional sofa
Interior Define
Bly Wall Unit - Medium Medium
Joybird Furniture
Ripple Pendant
Table Lamps: 1-Light Table Lamp Coffee Finish CLI-LS450115
Home Depot
Vig Furniture - Transitional Fabric Lounge Chaise - AW228-190 -...
Great Furniture Deal
Red Juicer
$89.99 | zulily
Pure Rugs | Normand Natural Cowhide
Offset Single Bowl Stainless Steel Sink
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™