See how many folks in your area have taken the water conservation pledge. See all the blue water drops? They represent the individuals and organizations that have taken the “I’m In” pledge, just like you!
City of Atlanta
Mayor Kasim Reed has set a goal for Atlanta to become one of the top ten sustainable cities in the nation. Achieving this goal will improve the quality of life of Atlanta’s citizens by enhancing the environment, while at the same time, supporting job creation and long-term economic growth. The City of Atlanta is committed to improving its aged drinking water infrastructure by finding leaks and repairing or replacing those pipes. The Mayor’s goal is to reduce system water loss from leakage by 50% between now and 2015. The City is also focused on reducing the water demand among customers in one of the largest consumer groups – Atlanta’s multifamily residential communities. This sector currently uses approximately 20% of Atlanta’s daily production. Through Atlanta’s new multifamily toilet rebate program older water wasting fixtures will be replaced by WaterSense toilets with the potential for saving up to 3 million gallons of water a day. Smart planning and conservation now will help insure the future stability of our region’s water supply.
In response to the 2007 drought, Gwinnett County began a concerted effort to reduce water usage in its facilities and daily operations. All County departments have taken positive steps to conserve water. Some of the initiatives implemented include: • Fleet Management — discontinued use of its car washing facility. • Facilities Management — installed .5 gpm (gallons per minute) faucet aerators, made valve adjustments to reduce flows on fixtures, urinals were reduced from 1.6 gpf to 1.0 gpf (gallons per flush) and toilets were reduced from 3.5 gpf to 2.4 gpf. The County has also discontinued irrigation for all facilities under the division’s jurisdiction since October 2007. • Corrections — discontinued all irrigation and modified laundry and kitchen procedures to be more efficient. Minimized washing of fleet vehicles. • Fire and Emergency Services — discontinued all irrigation, installed .5 gpm aerators on 228 faucets, replaced 149 showerheads with 1.5 gpm models, reduced all toilets to 1.6 gpf and replaced nine kitchen sanitizers with energy efficient, low water use dishwashers. All nozzle testing is performed using a drafting pit that allows for water recycling. Testing for relief drivers employs reuse water from the plants and holding tanks that catch the water as it is sprayed. These modified testing procedures save the County several million gallons annually. • Sheriff’s Office — replaced flush valves on all inmate toilets to reduce flow by one gallon per flush, reduced the number of scheduled showers for inmates, reduced laundry operation by a day and half per week, changed kitchen operations to eliminate use of the pot wash and use of the dishwasher for tray washing and discontinued use of china and silverware in staff dining rooms. They also installed a tank system to catch rainwater and reclaim condensate water from HVAC unities. This system provides up to 2,100 gallons of water that is used for housekeeping and shop purposes. • Community Services and all grounds since October of 2007. They also eliminated pressure washing of pavilions, playground equipment and restrooms, reduced backwashing to once every three weeks at seasonal pools, reduced frequency of wet mopping for cleaning purposes and reduced frequency of pool deck cleaning. Through these efforts, Gwinnett County pledges to save over 6 million gallons each year.
Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy
School staff, administrators, students, parents and volunteers came together to develop a water-efficient landscape at Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy. The school installed a rainwater capture system and stormwater control system. The school uses this system of rainwater catchment, stormwater controls and vegetative planting to educate its students on the environment. The school grounds incorporate plants, cisterns, rain gardens, a compost pile and pervious pathways. The school is a pilot project for the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SSI), which is similar to the LEED certification that buildings can receive for green building except that SSI applies to landscapes.
When I re-landscaped my yard, I made a conscious decision to make it water-friendly. The front yard is very sunny. I reduced the amount of turf grass by two-thirds and planted a species of grass that can withstand Atlanta’s hot summers and still look good with a minimum of watering. Plantings included drought-tolerant shrubs and plants like sasanquas, lavender and yarrow. The backyard is very shady, so I have no turf there. I chose shade-loving native plants and shrubs – trillium, mayapple and oakleaf hydrangeas. I had two large cisterns installed under my back deck to capture the rainwater that flows off the roof. I almost never have to use city water in my yard.
As a family we are committed to water conservation and continue to save water by using high efficient appliances and low flow toilets, faucets and showerheads. We check for leaks often and fix them quickly! We're teaching our 8 month old to turn off the water when brushing his teeth and washing his hands. We're going to start composting instead of using the garbage disposal so often and no more prewashing those dishes before putting them in the dishwasher!
Cobb County conducted water audits of all government facilities. Upgrades to low-flow products were made to 479 toilets, 126 urinals, 133 showerheads and 50 sink aerators, resulting in water savings of almost 30 percent in the county’s public buildings and 8 percent in the detention center, the largest water account. Cobb County now requires all new government buildings to install high-efficiency plumbing fixtures such as WaterSense certified toilets, urinals and faucets. In addition, Northwest Wastewater Treatment Facility provides reuse water to the county’s Cobblestone Golf Course for irrigation.