Our water use

Onondaga Lake ©Janet Allen Onondaga Lake

Central New York is blessed with water resources, but we also have problems. Onondaga Lake until recently was one of the most polluted lakes in the country, due to Solvay Process waste being dumped in the lake for many years. It has recently been cleaned up by Honeywell (which had purchased the property) under court order.

Fortunately, our latest County Executive scrapped the plans for expensive 20th century gray infrastructure solutions for the green infrastructure Save the Rain project.

Onondaga Creek also has had problems, one of which is that people have used it as a dump. John worked with ESF students as well as community groups to help clean it up.

A clean Onondaga Lake and healthy Onondaga Creek would be wonderful community assets!

Our own water use

Hedgerow ©Janet Allen
Our hedgerow along the road

We try to conserve water and keep it clean both inside the house and out.

Our yard care affects not only helps conserve water, but keeps it clean. Because we don't have much lawn—not much different from concrete in terms of runoff—the water that lands on our property has a chance to soak down into the soil and recharge the aquifer.

And because we grow native plants, not lawn, we don't have to water our plants.

We have a number of rain barrels John made at various parts of the yard. Photos of the rain barrels and more are on Our Habitat Garden website.

Drain next to the road ©Janet Allen
The drain they added near the road

One of the Save the Rain projects happened to take place on our street. This is a drain they installed on our corner to deal with stormwater runoff. In our block, this resulted in narrowing the street, so we gained about two feet of land for our use (though still technically owned by the town).

We do a lot inside the house, too. We choose low-flow toilets and run only full loads of dishes and laundry. We do lots of little things like not leaving the water running while we brush our teeth, etc. etc.