Conservation Tips

The City of Brantford encourages you to conserve water in many ways.

Indoor conservation

Use these tips to reduce the amount of water wasted inside your home.

General tips

  • Monitor your water meter to detect leaks. Read the meter when no appliances are operating to see if water is leaking. Compare multiple readings to detect issues.
  • Check your faucets for leaks. Leaky faucets can waste a lot of water throughout the day.
  • Look for high efficiency appliances such as low-flow toilets.
  • Consider replacing old household appliances as they can waste a lot of water.
  • Repurpose used water from your fish tank to water your plants or garden.

Bathroom tips

  • Don't let your water run when you brush your teeth or shave.
  • Don't take long showers
  • Install low-flow showerheads.
  • Check for toilet leaks.

Kitchen tips

  • Keep a jug of drinking water in your fridge to avoid running the tap for cold water when you want a drink.
  • Only run your dishwasher when it is completely full.
  • Reduce the number of drinking glasses by keeping the same water glass for the whole day.
  • Soak dirty pots in a small amount of water in the sink to reduce the amount of water you may need for rinsing.

Laundry tips

  • Only put full loads in your washing machine, or set the water level according to the load.
  • Buy high efficiency washing machines to save water. Front load machines use less water than top load machines.

Outdoor conservation

Use these outdoor conservation tips to save water outside your home.

Irrigation tips

  • Use rain barrels to harvest rainwater and reuse it for gardening purposes.
  • Install an efficient irrigation system to water plants.
  • Rely on rainfall to water your garden.
  • Follow the Water Conservation by-law.
  • Apply mulch around plants and shrubs to keep them moist.
  • Set sprinklers on low.

Cleaning tips

  • Sweep your driveway regularly to avoid washing it often.
  • Use a bucket and sponge to wash your car. Hoses can waste a lot of water.

Recreation tips

  • Use a swimming pool cover to avoid water evaporation during the summer.
  • Use small squirt toys to keep kids cool during hot days.
  • Let your kids play around the sprinklers when you water your lawn.
  • Avoid using decorative fountains outside your house.

Lawn and Garden Care Tips

Healthy, well-maintained turf grass with deep roots is very resilient and can handle limited periods of drought by going dormant. A healthy lawn that pales to yellow under these conditions will usually bounce back to its former green colour with a good rainfall. And remember that during heat waves, some plants will droop because of the heat rather than lack of water. Here are some tips on how to make your lawn healthy and strong:

Watering your lawn
Since lawn watering accounts for more than 60 percent of home water use, the quickest and easiest way to reduce a water bill is to eliminate over-watering and runoff. It is recommended to irrigate no more than once a week. Deep and infrequent irrigation encourages grassroots to grow deeper in search of water, making the lawn more drought-tolerant. Dry soil can only absorb water so fast. To eliminate water runoff, it’s better to water your lawn for three 10-minute sessions, with each session a half-hour apart to prime the soil to accept more water, than it is to water steadily for 30 minutes and cause run-off. 
Check to see if your lawn needs water by inserting a trowel 2 ½ -3 inches in the soil. If the soil is damp, your lawn doesn’t require water. Similar tests can be done by squeezing the soil; moistened soil will hold its shape. Compacted soil can cause several lawn problems. To eliminate this problem aerate the soil.
Aeration encourages the exchange of air, moisture, and plant nutrients. Aerate your lawn in the spring and fall to loosen the soil and reduce runoff.  After each aeration, top-dress the area with compost. This will keep the soil loose and hold water near the roots.

Your lawn is comprised of millions of individual grass plants. Like any other living thing, these plants eventually die. It is important to over-seed once every year to keep your lawn thick and healthy. A dense lawn will crowd out weeds like dandelions and crabgrass that crop up in bare or thinly covered patches. Seed with pest-resistant grasses such as perennial ryes and fescues and avoid high maintenance grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass. Plant in bare patches, add some compost or soil and water until the grasses become established.

 Mowing your lawn
Raise your lawn mower so that it cuts at a two-and-a-half to three-inch height to shade the roots and hold in moisture. Always keep the mower blades sharpened to reduce the damage done to the grass. 
 Grass recycling
Leaving grass clippings on the lawn not only reduces landfill volume, it also provides many benefits such as improving lawn quality by putting nutrients back into the soil. Grass recycling also saves you time and money, it doesn’t create thatch, and all mowers can grass recycle.

Top-dress gardens with mulch. Not only will it discourage weed growth, it will help to keep the soil cool and reduce both evaporation and erosion. Mulches can be organic, (bark & wood chips), or inorganic, (rock & gravel).

 Drought tolerant plants
First, choose drought-tolerant plants. Drought-resistant plants save you time and money while increasing the natural beauty of your garden. Better yet, Xeriscape! Xeriscaping means simply landscaping with slow growing, drought tolerant plants or native species that should require no more watering than what is provided by rain.
 Rain barrels
Rain barrels capture the water from your eaves trough and are a great way to store up water that can be used for watering anytime, regardless of local watering restrictions. In addition to saving money on your water bill, and managing excess stormwater, rain barrels provide gardeners with an abundant supply of unchlorinated, rainwater for their plants and flowers.
When to water

During hot weather in the spring and summer, water before 9am to reduce water loss due to evaporation. Hand water dry patches rather than increasing the overall watering time.

Watch our water conservation videos for more information.