Sarasota County’s Public Utilities Department has asked the community to conserve water as the area has entered its dry season but water demand has remained high.
Rather than a shortage of water, distributing it properly and at a normal pressure could become a challenge. The best way to combat possible water distribution issues is to limit the use of water outdoors, according to Public Utilities Director Mike Mylett.
“Right now we are seeing an increase in water demand. People are asking to use a whole lot of water,” Mylett said. “Our dry season starts in March and goes through May. Between now and then, people are using a lot of water, especially with irrigation.”
The best way to assist with water distribution is to use less water when watering lawns and plants. But those who not use water for irrigation can also help with the cause by using water conservation practices.
“The biggest bang for the dollar is to limit outdoor water usage — that’s where we see our larger demand this time of year,” Mylett said. “The others thing you can do is to change your water fixtures to low-flow fixtures. That means your toilets and your showers, those types of things.”
According to the Public Utilities department, the average county resident spends $850 a year on water. The website has also provided instructions on how to reduce that cost, as well as helpful measures to maintain the county’s water infrastructure.
Paying attention to the weather could be key for those with gardens, lawns and outdoor green spaces. If at least half an inch of rain falls in a week, watering green space is not necessary. Every week of skipped irrigation could save 300 gallons of water per 1,000 square feet.
Reducing water usage inside of homes was also a point of focus for the Public Utilities Department. Reducing shower time from ten to five minutes can conserve 7,300 gallons of water annually.
Fixing a leaky toilet was another tip presented by the Public Utilities Department. Toilet leaks can be tested by placing a dye tablet or food coloring in the toilet tank. If there is color in the bowl after 30 minutes, the toilet could have a leak.
More information on how to conserve water can be found on the Sarasota County website under Public Utilities.