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posted: 10/5/2012 12:34 PM

Do water district candidates save water?

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  • Using a rain barrel is one way some candidates for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District say they save water in their own homes.

    Using a rain barrel is one way some candidates for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District say they save water in their own homes.

  • Debra Shore

    Debra Shore

  • Dave Ehrlich

    Dave Ehrlich

  • Kari Steele

    Kari Steele

  • Patrick Thompson

    Patrick Thompson

  • Karen Roothaan

    Karen Roothaan

  • Carl Segvich

    Carl Segvich

  • Nasrin Khalili

    Nasrin Khalili


It's a rare candidate for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District who doesn't endorse green infrastructure.

Everything from rain gardens and barrels to bioswales to permeable pavers have emerged as ideas to conserve water from the eight candidates running for three positions in the Nov. 6 election.

But do they practice what they preach at home? Here's a look at what Debra Shore of Evanston and Chicagoans Dave Ehrlich, Nasrin Khalili, Karen Roothaan, Carl Segvich, Kari Steele and Patrick Thompson do to save water. Candidate Harold "Noonie" Washington, a Republican, did not respond to efforts by the Daily Herald to contact him.

Incumbent Democrat Shore, 60, takes 5-minute showers and has a rain barrel. In addition, "I use a bucket in my shower to collect the water as it warms up every morning and I use that to water my garden. We also installed dual flush toilets," she said.

Democrat Steele, a 37-year-old chemist, removed a concrete slab in her back yard when she moved in. "I know it's a huge problem as far as stormwater runoff," she said. Steele also puts a brick in her toilet tank and washes her dishes by hand.

Attorney Thompson, a 43-year-old Democrat, has a rain barrel and said he "drives my kids crazy" by checking that they take short showers and don't run water continuously while brushing their teeth.

Green Party member Ehrlich, a 54-year-old environmental management assistant professor at Illinois Institute of Technology, is trying to convince his condo board to conduct an energy audit. He subscribes to the toilet tank brick, the 5-minute shower timer and "I have an aerator on my faucet that slows down the water flow."

Green Party member Roothaan, a 59-year-old teacher, has three rain barrels. "It's still very much a work in progress," she said. Roothaan also flushes her toilet with discarded dishwater and participates in the city's MeterSave conservation program.

Green Party member Nasrin Khalili, a 57-year-old IIT environmental management associate professor, said in an email that "we usually use our washer and dryers during off-peak hours to conserve both water and energy. Most of my plants are also those which require a very small amount of water as they store water in their fleshy leaves."

Carl Segvich, a 50-year-old Republican committeeman, said in an email that "I am conscientious (about) not using more water than is necessary. That includes the water hose, bath tub, faucets and toilet."

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