Water Wisdom Ideas

1. TEST your water to be sure it's safe to drink from the tap. 

2. If it isn't, find out how you could provide filtered water for drinking. Commercial filters for filling water bottles are available.  

3. Avoid bottled water - only if your water is free of lead and other contaminants. Encourage folks to bring their own reusable bottles. 

4. Test your toilets to find out whether they are leaking. It's simple - add food coloring to the tank, and see if it appears in the bowl over an hour or two, when there is no flushing. If the color appears in the bowl, replace the flushing mechanism. 

When renovating, install high-efficiency dual-flush fixtures, with signage so folks know how to use them! 

5. Reduce water use in older toilets, if possible, by adding one or more glass bottles of water to the tank. The bottled water will reduce the amount flowing through on each flush. Calibrate carefully to be sure it still flushes well! 

6. Install point-of-use water heaters if bathrooms and kitchens are far from the water heater. In a church, there may be no need for a water heater tank at all, saving energy and water. 

7. Plant water-managing landscaping: rain gardens in low spots, drought-resistant deep-rooted prairie plants (butterfly gardens) elsewhere. Don't automatically water lawns - check the forecast first, water in the evenings, and make sure no overflow is running into the gutters. 

This is one of the butterfly gardens at Homewood: St. Andrew, and the book on planting them.