When heat waves strike, it is important to take care of yourself, loved ones, neighbors, and your property. Our bodies need water and regulated temperatures to function properly. Hot or humid weather requires extra water intake, even before you feel thirsty. When outside or without air conditioning, you need to find ways to stay cool to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat waves often lead to increased water use, so reducing water wasted outdoors by evaporation or overwatering will help save money on your bills. Follow these tips:
- Hydrate! Drink extra water to make up for fluid lost through sweat. Keep a pitcher of tap water in the fridge so you can easily pour cold glasses of water. Put out extra water for your pets.
- Stay cool using the power of water. Use a spray bottle with cold water to spritz yourself. Wear wet towels or bandanas on your shoulders or head, or fill a bucket and soak your feet.
- Water smart. Water your plants or lawn in the morning or early evening. Use an automatic shut-off nozzle for your gardening hose to control the flow.
- Set sprinklers properly. Water the garden or lawn only – not the street or sidewalk. Set sprinklers to water low to the ground or invest in drip irrigation, to avoid water evaporating before it hits the soil.
- Align your playtime and watering needs. When kids want to cool off, use the sprinkler in an area of the lawn that needs water or have them play when you’re already watering.
- Do not open fire hydrants. It is illegal to open hydrants without permission. An open hydrant decreases water pressure and could present a safety issue if there were a fire nearby.
- Cover the pool. If you have a backyard pool, cover it when not in use to make sure the water stays in it instead of evaporating.