Conservation encouraged

Officials ask community members to change watering habits

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— A few behavioral changes can save gallons of water, along with the community's money, officials say.

The Mount Werner Water & Sanitation District and the city of Steamboat Springs are encouraging property owners to conserve water.

Jay Gallagher, manager of the Mount Werner Water & Sanitation District, is willing to meet with community groups to discuss water conservation; call 879-2424 to schedule a meeting or ask questions. Visit www.mwwater.com for conservation tips. The city of Steamboat Springs can also answer questions; call 879-2060 and ask for the water division.

Although this summer is shaping up to be a dry one, conservation is always an issue, said Jay Gallagher, manager of the Mount Werner Water and Sanitation District.

"Conservation is something we encourage for all years," Gallagher said.

Users of water include private homeowners, hotels, restaurants and property managers. People from each of those sectors can take action to reduce water use, Gallagher said.

He said everyone benefits from saving water.

If the city's demand for water increases, then more bays -- water filters -- will be needed. A bay can cost $600,000 to $800,000 to build, Gallagher said.

"It's the community's money," he said. "You save a dollar for every gallon not used."

Officials will distribute leaflets describing ways to save water.

The tips include:

Avoid watering on windy days.

Water only when your lawn is "thirsty." If you walk on your lawn and it leaves footprints, the lawn needs to be watered.

Water in several short, 10-minute sessions, spaced 30 minutes apart. Set sprinklers to operate after 8 p.m. and prior to 6 a.m.

Clean sidewalks with a broom instead of a hose.

Fix leaky faucets and make sure that sprinkler heads are in good repair.

Do laundry more efficiently by doing full loads. Hotels can add placards to rooms encouraging customers to reuse towels and sheets.

"How we use our water is a very important decision for the citizens of our community, and we can all benefit from it," Gallagher said.

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