Don’t let the rain change your ways: Water-saving still urged

We’ve had (and are having) some rain, and water-saving has topped the city’s request, but don’t stop now, the regional water utilities are imploring you in this update:

Fall has arrived, but consistent fall rains have not. Everett, Seattle, and Tacoma remain in the second stage of their drought response plans. The water systems rely on fall rains to fill the reservoirs so there is enough water for people and fish. Customers in the region have reduced their use over the past eight weeks by a total of 14 percent. The cities are asking their customers to continue to reduce their water use.

This time of year is critical in the salmon life cycle, as they migrate back from the ocean and travel up their native rivers to spawn. Both the amount and temperature of water in rivers affect their ability to conserve energy, avoid predators and successfully spawn.

… The total water level in SPU’s reservoirs is at 74 percent of what would be typical for this time of year.

In addition to assuring drinking water for people, Seattle Public Utilities continues to provide beneficial flows for salmon, steelhead and trout to supplement lower-than-normal natural conditions in the Cedar and South Fork Tolt rivers, the water sources for Seattle’s regional water system. Chinook and sockeye salmon are spawning in the Cedar, and adult chinook salmon are spawning in the Tolt River. Juvenile steelhead and coho continue to rear in both rivers.

Over the last eight weeks, the region has collectively cut back water use by 14 percent. The water system managers appreciate what people have done to cut back and thank them for their efforts. Continued water use reductions are needed until fall rains return in earnest and fill our reservoirs to normal levels.

Here are steps that customers can take to reduce water use as the weather continues to cool:

Outdoor water-saving tips:

· If you haven’t already, stop watering: As temperatures cool and days get shorter, lawns and plants enter the initial phase of dormancy when no water is needed.
· Weed and mulch: Add 2-3 inches of mulch to the soil surface.

Indoor water-saving tips for residents:

· Reduce showering time
· Check for and fix leaks
· Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes
· Turn off the tap while brushing teeth or shaving
· Don’t pre-rinse dishes
· If purchasing fixtures/equipment, choose water-efficient models

Indoor water-saving tips for businesses:

· Encourage reduced showering times at your facilities
· Serve water only on request
· Check for and fix leaks
· Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes
· Provide new towels only on request
· Check cooling towers for overflow and excessive blowdown
· If purchasing fixtures/equipment, choose water-efficient models

The next round of regional water use reduction results will be released the week of Oct. 19. Find a graph illustrating the savings and more water saving tips at

And if you want the deep-dive details on where Seattle’s water supply stands now – check out these graphs.

1 Reply to "Don't let the rain change your ways: Water-saving still urged"

  • Northwest October 7, 2015 (12:38 pm)

    The recommendations above plus a number of other measures have always been standard practice by this local water consumer. “No refill on my water thank you.”

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