Last month, Sarasota City Commissioners proposed a 6% increase, each year for the next two years.

If approved, this will amount to 4 straight years of rate hikes for Sarasota. Utility officials say the hikes are needed to keep up with maintenance on infrastructure, which is 60 to 70 years old in some areas.

While we certainly understand their needs, we thought you would appreciate a few water conservation tips for your home and garden that will keep the hikes from affecting your bottom line and, as a bonus, help you protect the environment.



Flushing: A single flush can down several gallons of water. Keep a wastebasket in the bathroom so you are not tempted to flush a single tissue and don't ever flush sanitary products, diapers, cotton balls, cotton swabs, or anything other than toilet paper down the toilet, it's bad for the plumbing and it wastes water.

Brushing: Don't leave the water running while you brush. You only need it on while you rinse and maybe for a second if you like to wet the toothpaste before brushing.

Showering: Keep a bucket handy so you can collect the water that is not warm enough to shower in. You can use the collected water for gardening, cleaning, or even to flush the toilet. Shutting the water off while you lather up will save a lot of water too.

Washing Dishes: Use a tub for dishes that need soaking and keep the water off while scrubbing, you only need it for rinsing.

Boiling Water: Save the water used for boiling eggs or steaming vegetables to water plants.

Installing Regulators: Faucet regulators will keep the water from shooting out at full strength and prevent waste.


Watering: Watering in the mornings, when it is not as hot out, means that the water will not evaporate as quickly, so the roots stay healthy throughout the day, and don't just shoot a stream of water across the yard, aim the water at base of the plants, where it's needed most.

Irrigating: Drip irrigation systems are easily installed and they can help you conserve water.