Dive into our “water issue” for spring tips and to-do’s!

Find and Fix Common Household Leaks

It takes just a few minutes to identify and repair leaky toilets, faucets and showerheads in your home—and your efforts could save you $$ on your water bill. Left unattended, such faulty fixtures and connections can amount to the loss of nearly 90 gallons of water per household, per day. That leaves a hefty water bill for you and the loss of valuable water to Hampton Roads. Finding and fixing leaks in your home or business is the subject of Fix-a-Leak Week, March 18-24. Ready to get started?

Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 15 minutes, there’s a leak. An old or faulty flapper may be the cause, which you can easily replace following the new flapper product instructions. 

For leaky faucets, check the faucet washers and gaskets for wear and replace them if needed. 

Repair leaky showerheads by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench. 

Fix other showerhead leaks with a few tools and hardware, which you will recoup in water savings.

Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks. 

Check the garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench. 

Inspect irrigation systems each spring (before use) for damage due to frost or freezing.

Repairs such as these are easy to do and could save you about 10 percent on your water bill. For more on this topic, make your way over to this page for more tips!

Put Rain to Work in the Yard This Spring

April showers bring May flowers—making March an ideal time to get a jump on the spring growing season. An easy, affordable way to put nature’s watery bounty to work is by installing a rain barrel on your property. This home improvement will help prevent rainwater from entering the storm drain and store it for later use on lawns, gardens and indoor plants. This alone makes rain barrels a valuable use of “free water.” But by averting polluted runoff from the yard, it helps to keep soil erosion and flooding at bay, too.

Look for ready-to-install rain barrels in local hardware, home and garden and do-it-yourself stores across Hampton Roads. Or, for less than $100, you can make one by following instructions at this link. If you need more guidance, register for one of our low-cost askHRgreen.org rain barrel workshops at locations throughout Hampton Roads this spring. Attendees pay just $25 for the barrel and assembly kits to construct during the workshop and install at home. Keep an eye out for workshop announcements by following us on our cool Green Living Blog or become a Bay Star Home for access to early registration.

Green Eggs and Ham for Lunch? Here’s How to Pack it.

Whether it’s “National Pack-your-lunch Day,” (March 10) or not, it’s always a good day to make green choices. To keep your sammies and veggie sticks fresh and crisp (without all the plastic), check out our tips for packing a green lunch on the go whether it’s a special day or not… 

Forego plastic sandwich bags, plastic wraps and throw-away utensils by using items you have on hand: clean jars with lids, leftover take-out food containers, and your own cutlery. 

For a moderate price, invest in beeswax food wraps and durable glass or stainless-steel food containers, which will pay off in dollars and less food wasted. 

Pack your favorite reusable beverage container

Use cloth napkins

Avoid individual and “snack-sized” packages of chips, crackers, yogurt, etc. Buying such items in bulk and placing servings in smaller, reusable containers will cut down on product waste—and money, too. 

Consider foods that you don’t have to pack at all, such as fresh fruit. A banana has its own wrap! 

Now put it all together in a portable lunch tote that you can use again and again and again! 

Team Up to Clean Up with the Great American Cleanup!

Join askHRgreen.org on March 22-23 for the 2024 Hampton Roads Great American Cleanup. Since 2019, Hampton Roads volunteers have cleared more than 196 tons of litter from our parks and playgrounds to waterways and byways. Join an organized cleanup event or start your own!

Keeping communities clean and green is everyone’s responsibility, and it is more fun when we can join a group to keep our region clean and green. Look for details here!

Imagine St. Patrick’s Day Without Water

Devoted followers will know askHRgreen.org promotes Imagine a Day without Water on October 20. Knowing some may be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by quaffing a brew or two, we offer a gentle reminder:

Beer is 95-99% water.

And it is provided courtesy of the local water and wastewater systems that relay a steady flow of H2O to and from homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and emergency outlets across the region.

So … if you will be raising a glass and singing “Molly Malone,” be sure to toast our region’s local water workers, too—and the necessary systems that keep Hampton Roads humming! 

Meet the People Who Power askHRgreen.org

This Issue: Laura Tworek

In this issue, we are shining the askHRgreen.org spotlight on Laura Tworek, Media and Communications Coordinator with the City of Virginia Beach. As a member of the askHRgreen.org Water Awareness Committee, she lends a hand to increase public awareness of the vital role water plays in the quality of life of Hampton Roads. 

How long have you served on the Water Awareness Committee, and what is your group’s “elevator pitch” when describing your work? I started serving on the Water Awareness Committee right after starting my job with Virginia Beach Public Utilities, so about 5.5 years now! The Water Awareness Committee does a great job at promoting water conservation in Hampton Roads, whether the outreach is about fixing leaks, planting native species or taking shorter showers. But that’s just one portion of all the amazing things askHRgreen.org promotes, so I always try to spotlight all committees when I’m describing the organization to someone new.

Fix-a-Leak Week takes place this month, with the message of water conservation. What does this topic mean to you professionally and personally? Even if a leak isn’t constant or noticeable outright, it can still waste an extraordinary amount of water over time.

This can impact how much someone is paying for water, so we definitely want to give people the tools to avoid that. Some people may not notice a leak if it is silent or intermittent, which is why it is so important to take the time to check around their homes for leaks. Fix-a-Leak Week is the perfect time to do that, so we promote it through askHRgreen.org and Virginia Beach Public Utilities channels.

In your job with Virginia Beach Public Utilities, you “work for water.” What are some of the jobs available in this field and what experience is required?There is a role for everyone in the drinking water industry, from people just starting out in their careers to seasoned pros. We have roles in customer service, accounting, engineering and GIS, to name a few. Or, if you’d rather not be at a desk, we have crews out in our community every day maintaining our drinking water infrastructure. A common theme I see among all water workers is an eagerness to learn and a desire to help better their community.

Which askHRgreen.org water awareness promotion have you enjoyed the most—and why?Imagine A Day Without Water in October has been my favorite. I think it’s great that we’ve partnered with local breweries on this promotion because it drives the point home that without water, a lot of the things people enjoy in their everyday lives wouldn’t exist.

When you’re thirsty, which beverage do you prefer? Tap water out of my reusable water bottle of course!