Six tips to help you save water on Leap Day.
By Jay Adams
Woo-hoo! If you want an extra day to get things done, we proudly present Monday, Feb. 29, 2016.
This is a leap year, a day needed to get our Gregorian calendars back on track with the Earth’s revolution around the sun. Roman general Julius Caesar is credited with introducing leap years more than 2,000 years ago.
While the extra 24 hours will keep us in sync with the universe, it also will have an impact on our monthly water consumption. Based on water-use data, Denver Water customers will likely use about 110 million gallons more water this February due to the extra day. (Don’t worry, Denver Water has a rolling billing cycle, based on days, not months, so you won’t see an impact from Leap Day next water bill.)
Still, every bit of water savings count, so what can you do to save a few drops? How about going an entire day without water? That’s an idea floated by high school students at the Denver West Campus.
They’re taking part in Denver Public Schools’ Challenge 5280, a competition among high school students to raise awareness about community issues. The Denver West students accepted Denver Water’s challenge to encourage conservation of our state’s most precious resource.
The team created a video showing what life would be like if we didn’t have water: no showers, no toilets and no drinking fountains.
“Water is precious,” said Misael Espino, Denver West Campus student. “We really wanted to show people that if we don’t start saving water now, that this is what our future could look like.”
The students admit that going completely dry for one day may sound a little extreme, but their video highlights simple steps you can take every day to conserve. Typical Denver Water customers use about 45 gallons each day inside their homes — mostly from toilets, showers and washing machines.
Since shutting off the tap for 24 hours probably won’t work for your lifestyle, use this Leap Day to check out Denver Water’s indoor water- saving ideas:
- Take shorter showers.
- Install water-efficient faucet aerators.
- Switch to water-efficient shower heads.
- Get a $150 rebate by replacing toilets with WaterSense-labeled models that use an average of 1.1 gallons per flush or less.
- Perform a self-audit of your home to see if you have any leaks.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and washing dishes.
And in case you were wondering, it takes the Earth approximately 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds to circle the sun. Leap Day adds 24 hours to the calendar every four years to catch us up.