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Tips for Residents

    • Curtail outside watering—grasses naturally go dormant in the summer heat, but they’ll green up again in the fall. Landscape with native plants and trees that are adapted to New England’s climate and minimize lawns. 

    • Conserve household water by installing low-flow shower heads and toilets. Don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth or rinsing dishes and always wash full loads of clothes.  For more information regarding household water savings, visit www.h2ouse.net.

    • Consider rainwater a resource. If your roof runoff is connected to pavement or sidewalk, re-route it to a rain barrel or cistern or dry well, or to land where the water can penetrate the ground rather than run off. Rain barrels store water that can be used for landscaping.

    • Use a bucket to catch shower water as it warms up, then use the water for your most precious plants. 

    • If you must water outside (and we highly discourage this), water deeply once a week to encourage deep roots that are less susceptible to low rainfall periods; shallow, frequent watering causes shallow roots that dry out quickly in the heat. Do not install automatic sprinklers. They could quintuple your water use, and that costs money. 

    • Keep your pool covered; or even better, don’t have a pool. Evaporation takes up lots of water. 

    • Reduce your power consumption, which may require large volumes of water for power plant cooling. 

    • Maintain your septic system properly. Septic systems are the best means of keeping water local, rather than sending the water to distant wastewater treatment plants. Have them inspected annually and pumped out regularly. 

    • Check your town’s water use, and pay attention to the "unaccounted" water, which is water pumped or withdrawn from a source that gets lost on the way to homes and businesses. This can reduce 20%, 30%, or even 50% of the town’s water withdrawals! Make your voice heard. 

    • Review your town’s policies and bylaws to ensure they promote sustainable water resource practices. Support land use strategies that protect water resources beyond the tenure of elected officials.

Download a CRWA stormwater factsheet with tips on how to reduce stormwater pollution


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