Although the recent rains have taken the outdoor watering burden off everyone's back, there could be a monster lurking right around the corner.

The holidays are fast approaching, and with them comes more family, more friends, cooking, cleaning and indoor water use. To keep from creating an abnormality of a water bill, the Prairielands Groundwater Conservation District offers a few simple water conservation practices to put in place before the first turkey exits the oven.

More family, more friends at home

Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save around two gallons per minute. If you brush for a full two minutes as dentists recommend, that’s a water savings of almost four gallons every time you brush.

Adhere to using one glass for water per person per day. Each person reusing their glass cuts down on the number to wash.

For cold drinks, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap.

When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up. However, a short shower uses less water than a full bath.

More cooking, more cleaning

Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety.

Wash fruit and vegetables in a pan of water rather than running water from the tap.

Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food wastes instead and save gallons of water every time you would have used it.

Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.

Keep in mind that a dishwasher uses less water to clean a full load of dishes than doing them by hand. Energy Star dishwashers use between four and six gallons of water per load, depending on the cycle selected. If washing dishes by hand is necessary, fill the sink and rinse the dishes when they have all been scraped and scrubbed.

When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.

Small adjustments such as these will reduce your daily water consumption, but more importantly, their daily practice can lead to them becoming long-term habits. Over time, these habits can add up to some significant savings of water and money, and instead of creating a monster your water bill will only be a ghost of its former self.

For more information about water conservation, visit the Prairielands Groundwater Conservation District website at www.prairielandsgcd.org.