Water Conservation Tips
Where more than half of all water use inside a house takes place:
- Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth.
- Take short showers instead of tub baths. Turn off the water while soaping or shampooing.
- If you must use a tub, close the drain before turning on the water and fill the tub only half full. Bathe small children together.
- Never use your toilet as a waste basket - Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, 5 to 7 gallons of water is wasted.
- Check your toilets for leaks. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons per hour. Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately.
- Install low-volume toilets (1.6 gallons or less per flush).
- Take shorter showers. A 4-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.
- Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators
Kitchen & Laundry
Simple practices that save a lot of water:
- Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.
- Wash fruits and vegetables in a basin. Use a vegetable brush.
- Do not use water to defrost frozen foods; thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
- Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the dishwasher; wash only full loads.
- Add food wastes to your compost pile instead of using the garbage disposal.
- Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine.
- When washing dishes by hand, don't leave the water running for rinsing
If your have a double-basin, fill 1 with soapy water and 1 with rinse water. If you have a single-basin sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a panful of hot water.
- Install low-flow faucet aerators
Homes with high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and appliances save about 30% of indoor water use and yield substantial savings on water, sewer, and energy bills:
- Consider purchasing high-efficiency toilets.
- Consider purchasing a high efficiency washing machine which can save more than 50% in laundry water and energy use.
- Repair all leaks. A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.
- Insulate your water pipes.
In the yard and garden:
- If you use an irrigation system, detect and repair all leaks.
- Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best). Do not water on windy days.
- Water trees and shrubs, which have deep root systems, longer and less frequently than shallow-rooted plants that require smaller amounts of water more often.
- Consider planting native plants. Native plants require very little maintenance because they have evolved and adapted natural defenses to local conditions such as drought, nutrient-poor soil, winter conditions, disease and insects which can be problematic to non-native species. This means that natives save residents time and money because they require little or no lawn chemicals and less irrigation than non-native plants.
- Consider using a rain barrel to collect water. During the summer months it is estimated that nearly 40% of household water is used for lawn and garden maintenance. A rain barrel collects water and stores it for those times that you need it most - during the dry summer months. Using rain barrels potentially helps homeowners lower water bills, while also improving the vitality of plants, flowers, trees, and lawns.
- Set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only - not the street or sidewalk.
- Use soaker hoses or trickle irrigation systems for trees and shrubs.
- Install moisture sensors on sprinkler systems.
- Use mulch around shrubs and garden plants to reduce evaporation from the soil surface and cut down on weed growth.
- Remove thatch and aerate turf to encourage movement of water to the root zone.
- Raise your lawn mower cutting height - longer grass blades help shade each other, reduce evaporation, and inhibit weed growth.
- Minimize or eliminate fertilizing, which promotes new growth needing additional watering.
Conserving water outdoors:
- Sweep driveways, sidewalks and steps rather than hosing off.
- Wash the car with water from a bucket, or consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.
- When using a hose, control the flow with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
- Avoid purchasing recreational water toys which require a constant stream of water.
- Consider purchasing a new water-saving swimming pool filter.
- Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation when pool is not being used.
- Do not install or use ornamental water features unless they recycle the water.