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Winter weather water preservation

You can help the environment and save money on your utility bills at the same time.

NORFOLK, Va. — For our first winter storm of the season, we are sharing some water conservation tips to save you money while helping out the environment.

You probably have heard about letting your faucet drip when the temperatures drop below freezing. That prevents your pipes from freezing, which would be a big water saver if they were to break.

But consider this -- instead of letting that water down just run down the drain, try putting a bucket or large bowl under the faucet. Then, you can re-use the water for cooking, watering your plants, or your pet’s water bowl. You can apply the bucket-or-bowl strategy in the shower, too. Just put one or the other under the faucet to collect the cold water before things heat up for your shower.

After the storm passes through, a lot of people will want to wash all the salt off their cars. Before you grab a hose and do it yourself, think about this: you typically will use at least 40 gallons of water in your driveway. That's double the amount used by most professional car washes, if you choose one with a recycling system.

Speaking of the driveway, if you’re going to be clearing out any mess after the storm, wait for things to dry, grab a broom and sweep away any dirt or salt you’ve tracked along your walkways.

Using a hose to wash it all away can waste around 18 gallons of water.

That’s as much as a heavy load of laundry.