This segment marks the third installment in our series on water conservation and addresses water conservation tips. In our previous discussion, we explored the significance of water conservation on a broader scale. Secondly, we delved into the specific importance of conserving water within the context of Hot Springs Village.

Given the scarcity of freshwater resources on our planet, it is imperative that we prioritize water preservation and avoid unnecessary waste. Water, indispensable for life and sustenance, holds immense value, and its conservation is paramount for the well-being of both present and future generations. As populations increase, the burden on our freshwater supplies will become greater.

Hot Springs Village is currently blessed with an ample water supply at a low cost. Unfortunately, that cost will keep rising due to inflation and the necessary upgrades to water infrastructure. ACT 605 requires that Arkansas water providers be self-sufficient. In the case of Hot Springs Village, our wastewater treatment system also falls under ACT 605. This means the consumer’s water bill must reflect the service’s true cost

Unavoidable water system upgrades

Although Hot Springs Village has an adequate water supply, some areas lack adequate water flow for household and fire flow purposes. Unavoidable capital improvements to address these issues include upgraded transmission lines, a second Clearwell at the water plant, and possibly additional storage tanks. The exact details of the plan are currently being determined, but for the most part, these improvements cannot be avoided.

Deferring a water plant upgrade

Another suggested upgrade is the expansion of the water plant itself, which can be avoided or at least “kicked down the road.”

Avoidance of a water plant upgrade is based on how villagers manage water usage. One of the biggest drivers for a water plant upgrade is irrigation, but all conservation helps. One can conserve household water usage in many ways without affecting quality of life.

HSVPOA Public Services Director Ken Unger said, “We will quickly hit the $15 to $20 M water improvement mark over the next five years.” This figure does not include additional costs of $15.5 M if the water plant needs to be upgraded. We must upgrade once we reach 80 to 90 percent capacity usage at our plant. It doesn’t matter if this capacity is only reached during the irrigation months; we will still be required to upgrade the plant.

How can I help avoid a water plant upgrade?
Water-conserving tips

  1. Fix leaks: Regularly check faucets and pipes for leaks and repair them promptly. Even a small drip can waste a significant amount of water over time.
  2. Replace your toilet flapper regularly. Toilet flappers degrade over time, and chemical disinfectants may accelerate the process. If your toilet flapper is worn, it cannot seal the bottom of your toilet tank properly. When this happens, water from the tank will seep through the openings in the flapper and drip down into the bowl. After enough water has dripped out, the tank will have to refill itself with water even though it hasn’t been flushed. What a waste of water!
  3. Install water-saving devices: Install low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and dual-flush toilets to reduce water usage without sacrificing functionality.
  4. Install a point-of-use tankless water heater under your sink. This is a smaller alternative to whole-home tankless water heaters. As the name suggests, instead of heating the entire home, point-of-use water heaters are set up near a single faucet, shower, or appliance to heat the water at the point of use rapidly. Presto! This provides an instantaneous supply of hot water. No more running the tap for minutes before the water is hot. You not only save water, but your time is valuable, too.
  5. Take shorter showers: Aim to reduce shower time by a few minutes to save water. Consider turning off the water while lathering or shaving to conserve even more.
  6. Turn off the tap: Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth, shaving, or washing dishes by hand. Don’t let the water run unnecessarily.
  7. Water-efficient appliances: While it is not suggested that you run out and purchase new appliances, when it becomes necessary, choose water-efficient appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines. Look for ENERGY STAR-rated models that use less water per cycle.
  8. Water landscaping wisely: Choose drought-resistant plants and use mulch to retain soil moisture. Water lawns and gardens in the late evening to minimize evaporation. Consider installing a rock yard, or at least don’t change your rock yard to grass.
  9. Sweep or blow instead of hosing: Instead of using a hose to clean driveways, patios, or sidewalks, use a broom to sweep away debris. A blower is also easier and quicker than hosing the driveway. We’re in the south, so cleaning the driveway by hosing may not totally be avoided, but it can be reduced.
  10. Reuse water: Collect and reuse water from activities such as rinsing fruits and vegetables or waiting for the shower to warm up. Use this “greywater” for watering plants or flushing toilets.
  11. Spread the news: Expand awareness about water conservation among friends and neighbors. Tell them why conservation is important and encourage them to adopt water-saving habits daily.

Be conscious of your water use

Be actively conscious of your water use. Remember, water conservation results in a lower water bill and possibly avoiding (for now) a water plant upgrade. That is one can we want to kick down the road for as long as possible.

By incorporating simple practices into your lifestyle, you can significantly reduce water consumption and contribute to conservation efforts. We are all one village, and one’s behavior and habits can affect all of us. Won’t you do your share to care (water)?

Join the conservation conversation

I have only listed a few water conservation ideas, but there are many more. We want to hear your ideas, so please comment on how you conserve water. Thank you for taking the time to join this important conversation.

The Hot Springs Village wastewater system also falls under the 605 requirements because the sewer service and water facilities are operated as a joint and integrated undertaking and fall under a single audit.

By Cheryl Dowden

Hot Springs Village - Think before you let it drip! inside image


Ken Unger
Director Public Services
Hot Springs Village

Click here to contact the HSV Gazette.

Click here to join our private Hot Springs Village Property Owners Facebook group.

To make an online Public Services Request, visit the Explore the Village website here. Click Members and log in to the members section. Click Services, and you will see a drop-down menu. Click Public Services. Then click “Click here to submit form.” Making the request online instead of telephoning it in should provide you with a digital record and ensure the request is automatically entered into the system and sent to the correct department heads. This provides better service for you at a lower cost to the department – a win-win!