TAMPA, Fla. - Hillsborough County residents who are experiencing power outages in their home and neighborhood are urged to conserve water.
Hillsborough County Water Resources said water going down the drain collects in neighborhood pump stations. Officials said without power, impacted pump stations can and will overflow.
If pumps start overflowing, this can cause significant public health and safety concern as well as impact the environment, according to county officials.
Residents in Hillsborough are asked to minimize water use while their power is out. Hillsborough County Water Resources is sending crews out to help minimize the potential for overflows, but the greatest way to reduce impacts is through reduced water usage.
You can minimize water use in the bathroom by checking for a faulty toilet flapper/stop valve by adding a few drops of food dye into the tank and waiting about 15 minutes, Hillsborough officials said. Residents can also save about 20 gallons of water by filling the bathtub only halfway, save between 15 and 30 gallons by reducing shower time by five minutes and by turning off the sink while brushing your teeth or shaving.
Hillsborough County officials said you can also save water in the kitchen by hand-washing dishes typically using 16 gallons of water, avoid pre-rinsing dishes, only turning on the dishwasher when it's full, and putting a jug of water in the refrigerator instead of running water until it's cold.
Residents can save water in the laundry room by washing full loads. Hillsborough County also gave tips for residents to reduce water use in the yard or garden by adjusting sprinkler heads, so they aren't watering sidewalks, driveways or roads.
You can also replace broken sprinkler heads, only watering lawn or plants that need it, set mower blades higher during growing season because tall grass retains moisture better, and following water use restrictions by skipping a week of irrigation when possible.