en-USes-MX
Search

Water Conservation

Conservation Tips

Although almost 80 percent of Earth is covered with water, only 3 percent of the planet's water resources represent fresh water. Less than 1 percent of all water is available for human consumption; the rest is ocean saltwater or freshwater that is bound up in glaciers and polar ice caps. Of the water available to humans, animals, and plants, only a tiny fraction is used as drinking water. Most of what is consumed is used to create electricity, grow crops, run factories, and for household and sanitation needs.

If we all work together to conserve water, we can help assure a bright and prosperous life for future generations.

Recycling Bottom Links Section

City of Monterey on Facebook City of Monterey on You Tube Contact the City of Monterey City of Monterey News Delivered to You City of Monterey on Twitter

Environmental Programs
Contact Info


Mailing address:
526 Pierce Street
Monterey, CA 93940
Terrasas@Monterey.org 
Phone: 831.646.5662
FAX: 831.646.3405

About Recycling

Battery & E-Waste Recycling
Repair & Donation Directory
Junk Mail
Special Event Recycling
Single Use Carry Out Bags 

Environmental Links 

Green Business Certification
Alternative Transportation
Recycling & Waste Enclosure Standards & Guidelines (PDF)

Site Map - Index of Pages

plain banner

About Monterey
Plastic Bag Ordinance - Monterey switches to reusable bags
img2
Water conservation tips
img3
Recycling
img4
Safe handling of hazardous waste
img4
Cash for bottles and cans
img4
Learn about zero waste

Environmental Programs Submenu

Subscribe to ECO News!

Subscribe to ECO News!
Subscribe to
ECO News!

Water Saving Landscaping Ideas

Car Washing Tips

Wash your Car Efficiently

Few people realize that washing our cars in our driveways is one of the most environmentally UN-friendly chores we can do.  Unlike household waste water that enters sewers or septic systems and undergoes treatment before it is discharged into the environment, water runs off from your car goes right into the storm drains. After all, that water is loaded with a witch’s brew of gasoline, oil and residues from exhaust fumes -- as well as the harsh detergents being used for the washing itself. 

What can you do?

  • Go to the car wash - Most locations reuse wash water several times before sending it to a treatment plant. Also, a commercial car wash use up to 60% less water than the average homeowner.
  • Choose your soap wisely - Use biodegradable, phosphate-free, water-based cleaners only. Wash soaps contain what are known as "surfactants". These are used to help break the surface tension of the dirt particles on your car. While your car may look great when you're done washing, one must consider where all that soapy water has gone.
  • Play on the Lawn - Wash on an area that absorbs water, such as gravel, or grass. This can filter water before it enters groundwater, storm drains, or creeks. Grass and other plants absorb the chemicals and other contaminants, thereby reducing the amount of pollutants that ends up in the storm drain.
  • Raise Funds a Better Way - One last caution: Kids and parents planning a fundraising car wash event should know that they might be violating clean water laws if run-off is not contained and disposed of properly. When planning a car wash fundraiser, try developing a partnership with a commercial car wash facility, or use a safe location. Consider a fund-raisers to sell tickets redeemable at local car washes, enabling the organizations to still make money while keeping dry and keeping local waterways clean.
  • Clean it up -After washing your car, always empty wash buckets into sinks or toilets where it will filter to the sanitary sewer for treatment. Also, try to sop up or disperse those sudsy puddles. They contain toxic residues and can tempt thirsty animals.

Outside

Maximize

In the Kitchen & Bath

The Toilet

  • Check for leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. Color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes if there’s a leak.
  • Check for worn out, corroded or bent parts.
  • Consider purchasing LowFlow toilets that can reduce indoor water use by 20 percent.
  • Install a toilet dam or a bottle in the tank to reduce water needed for each flushing.
  • Avoid unnecessary flushing. Dispose of tissues, insects and other waste in the trash.
  • Adjust or replace the flush handle if it frequently sticks in the flush position and lets water run constantly.

The Shower/Bath

  • Replace your showerhead with an ultra low-flow version, saving up to 2.5 gallons per minute.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • In the shower, decrease the flow to achieve a comfortable temperature instead of increasing the hot or cold water.
  • For baths, close the drain before turning the faucet. To balance the initial burst of cold water add only hot water later.
  • Turn off the tap while shaving, washing your face or brushing your teeth.

The Kitchen

  • Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile for food waste instead.
  • Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run for a cool glass of water.
  • Use the refrigerator or a microwave instead of running water to thaw frozen foods.
  • Consider an instant water heater on your kitchen sink so running water heats up quicker.

Washing Dishes

  • For hand washing, fill one sink with soapy water and quickly rinse under a slow stream of water from the faucet. Use the dirty water to run your sink disposal if necessary.
  • Fully load automatic dishwashers; they use the same amount of water no matter how big of a load.
  • Look for water and energy saving options with new dishwashers.

At Work

Maximize