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It’s been a beautiful, sunny and dry summer out here in Newfoundland.  I didn’t realize that it could be so dry out here!  So dry that there’s actually a total ban on the outside use of water, including the watering of lawns, vegetables, shrubs, trees, etc in Mount Pearl, St. John’s and the surrounding area. In addition, Mount Pearl has a year-round conservation order, which limits the times that one can water their lawn with a sprinkler, etc.

I’m glad that the Mount Pearl takes water conservation seriously. I think installing water meters on all of the homes would help too.

We’ve been thinking a lot about our water usage in the last few weeks and have done a few things of our own.

1.  Rain barrel — we’ve been looking to purchase a rain barrel to help with the watering of our garden.  They run around $100, so to be frugal, Mel made one for us out of a plastic garbage bin (new, of course!), mesh screen, a water spout and silicon (came to about $20 total). Mel plans to make around 3 of these for us!

2.  Flexible gutter spout extension – It’s  a plastic thingy that extends and flexes, which you can use to divert the water from your gutter to your garden or into the rain barrel (rather than the water just draining onto our driveway, as it was doing previously). $20 at Kent’s.

3. Low flow showerhead – We had this on our last place in Calgary, but I’ll admit we didn’t bother to replace the showerhead until yesterday. They run about $14 at Canadian Tire.

4. Selective toilet flushing – For a while, we’ve been practicing the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down”.

5.  Low flow toilet – We had one installed in our last place, but we haven’t purchased one yet for this home. We plan to do this soon. They are currently on sale at Kent’s for about $150.

6.  Use of greywater —  This one is new for us.  For a couple of days, we put a large bowl in the bathroom and kitchen sinks and when the bowl filled up, we used the water to water our flower and vegetable garden. You can also save the water in your bath, bail it out and do the same thing. When we started doing this, we realized how much water is used in our household without a second thought.

You can also use greywater to flush your toilets (i.e., pouring greywater down the toilet to flush it). We didn’t collect enough greywater to try this, but I heard that this works.

Anyway, these are a few of the simple things that we’ve been doing to conserve water. I know that there are many more — feel free to share your stories.

Happily, it’s been a rainy weekend out here and the earth and plants are all breathing a sigh of relief. I look forward to seeing how our rain barrel worked!


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