Protecting Stream Flow

A dripping faucet wastes
20 gallons of water every day.
That’s 6000 gallons of water
a month, 72,000 gallons a year.

Avoid locating structures and storage containers near the stream bank.
Any structure built within reach of floodwaters is subject to damage or loss and may decrease the stream’s ability to accommodate flood flows safely. Structures such as storage sheds, patios, and decks require removal of the stream’s natural protective vegetation and often decrease the stability of vulnerable slopes. Construction disturbs the soil and vegetation, adding to the sediment buildup in the stream.  The best way to accommodate floodwaters is to avoid constructing improvements in the flood zone and maintain the area in its natural state.
Avoid diverting water or damming the stream.
Water diversions and dams significantly affect the life of a creek by reducing water flow, and constructing or modifying dams always requires a permit.  Avoid taking water directly from streams, especially during the dry season when natural flows are low. The safest approach to good stream care is to avoid altering the watercourse unless the modification is needed to resolve an existing bank problem. Seek advice from the appropriate agencies.
Encourage infiltration.
Pave only when necessary. Paved surfaces increase runoff during storms and peak flows in streams, adding to flooding and erosion problems. Paving also results in lower flows during the dry season by reducing groundwater storage.  If you are planning to construct walkways, patios, driveways, or stormwater drains, consider alternatives that maximize permeable surface area. This allows more rainwater to soak into the ground on site.
Practice water conservation.
Every drop of water you save, whether through landscaping with drought-tolerant plants, reducing personal consumption, installing drip irrigation, and avoiding other water-using activities, contributes to maintaining a healthy stream environment in your stream or the source of your communities water supply. Contact your local water supply agency, EMC, or SWCD for more information on water conservation practices.

What You Can Do To Conserve Water

1. Check your water meter while no water is being used.  If the dial moves you have a leak.
2. Turn off your water and hot water heater when going on a trip.
3. Test for a leaking toilet by adding food coloring to your tank. Without flushing note if any coloring appears in the bowl after 30 minutes.  If color appears, you have a leak.
4. Place two-half gallon plastic bottles filled with water in your toilet tank.  This cuts the number of gallons used per flush from five to four.
5. Run the dishwasher only when you have a full load.  Use the cycles with the least number of washes & rinses.
6. Don’t run water continuously when washing dishes.
7. Add your garbage to the compost or trash instead of putting it down the garbage disposal.  Disposals use a great deal of water, and they add solids to a possibly overloaded sewer or septic system.
8. Wash Clothes only when you have a full load.  Set the water level control appropriately.  The permanent press cycles may use an additional 10 to 20 gallons of water.
9.  Install a water conservation shower head.  They are inexpensive and reduce flow by at least 25%.
10. Take short showers instead of baths.  Baths can use 30 to 50 gallons of water.
11. Do not let water running in the sink while brushing your teeth or washing your face and hands.
12. Water your lawn during the coolest part of the day.

Tips Menu | Watershed Home