Conserve Water

Water Conservation Tips
Bathroom
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
Equipment
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.
Water Conservation
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.
Other Tips
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.