Water Conservation Tips of the Week: Use a Dishwasher and Car Wash Saves Water

The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District Drought Preparedness Campaign:

[Stock image from Pixabay.com]

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This week’s water conservation quick tips are about washing items by machine versus by hand. Tip #1 is to use your dishwasher (if you have one) to wash dishes rather than wash them by hand. Contrary to popular belief, washing dishes in a reasonably full dishwasher is more water and energy-efficient than doing the same dishes by hand in almost all cases. Believe it or not, researchers at the University of Michigan have studied this topic:

“Laboratory results indicate that … in most cases, machine dishwashers use less water, energy, soap, and require less time doing physical work than manual dishwashing. Although the sample size is small, these use-phase results are in agreement with previous studies.” (Environmental Research Communications, February 12, 2020; https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/2515-7620/ab716b)

Similarly, hand washing your vehicle wastes water and sends the soapy water down the storm drain and into local creeks. Tip #2 is to use a waterless car wash product or go to a commercial car wash. Most commercial car washes recycle their water and the soapy water goes into the wastewater system to be treated before release.

On the horizon: Lake Mendocino is expected to drop below the threshold set by the State Water Board this week, leading to additional water rights curtailments in the Russian River watershed. Tune in next week for more information about this topic and how you can conserve even more.


Categories: Drought

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