A lot of water goes needlessly down the drain. This might have been OK when water was plentiful — but not anymore! Think about the amount of water you’re using, and look for ways to use less whenever you can.
Repair Leaks: A single dripping faucet can waste hundreds, even thousands, of gallons per year. Most leaks are easy to detect.
Install Water Saving Devices: If you don’t already have water-efficient or low-flow fixtures, you can cut your water use with
- Aerators: To mix air with water
- Displacement Devices: To reduce the amount of water used in older toilets
Make sure devices are installed properly!
Conserve Water in the Bathroom
This is where most household water is used — so it’s where you can save the most.
Conserve Water in the Toilet
Economize: Flush only when necessary. Don’t use it to dispose of waste, disposable diapers, etc. Consider installing a low-flow toilet.
Repair Leaks: Add food coloring to tank water and check bowl in 15 minutes. (Don’t flush.) Color in bowl probably means there’s a leak.
Conserve Water in the Tub or Shower: Plug the drain before you run water for baths. Keep showers short with pressure at low force.
Repair leaks. Fix drips promptly.
Install water-saving devices. Use a low-flow showerhead, flow restrictor or cut-off valve (lets you shut off water at shower head while soaping and shampooing, without changing the faucet setting).
Conserve Water in the Sink: Plug the drain when you wash or shave. Don’t run water when you brush your teeth.
Repair leaks. Fix drips promptly.
Install water-saving devices. Try a faucet aerator to reduce the amount of water used.
Conserve Water in the Kitchen
Sink: Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Replace washers, and repair or replace fixtures, if necessary.
Install an aerator or flow restrictor in the faucet.
Garbage Disposal: Use your sink disposal sparingly. Better yet – compost garbage.
Washing Dishes by Hand:
- Scrape dishes (but don’t prerinse).
- Soak pots and pans before washing.
- Fill wash and rinse basins with water. Don’t run water continuously. Use detergent sparingly.
Dishwasher: Only do full loads and avoid extra cycles. Choose a water-saving model.
Inspect all connections to make sure they’re tight. Repair any leaks.
- Use a brush and bowl full of water to clean food.
- Thaw frozen food in your refrigerator or microwave, not under running water.
- Cook vegetables with a minimum amount of water. Save cooking water for soup stock.
Drinking: Store water in the refrigerator instead of cooling water by running the tap. Make only the amount of coffee, tea, etc., you need.
Conserve Water in the Laundry: A lot of household water is used to wash clothes. So even small investments of time and money can really pay off!
Use the Load Selector: To match water level to size of the load. (If there’s no selector, do only full loads.) Presoak heavily soiled items. Use detergent sparingly.
Check Faucets and Hose Connections: Check faucets and connections for leaks. Repair or replace when necessary. Inspect pipes for pinhole leaks, leaking joints, etc.
Look for Water-saving Features: Look for water-saving features if buying a new washer. Choose a washer with features such as a load size selector and variable water level control. Conserve Water for Household Cleaning:
Regular Cleaning: Use a pail or basin instead of running water. Use a sponge mop instead of a string mop (it uses less water for mopping and takes less water to keep clean).
Heavy Cleaning: Presoak grills, oven parts, etc., overnight. Wash with an abrasive brush or pad, and use plenty of elbow grease to minimize water use!
Conserve Water Outside the Home: Be as efficient outdoors as you are inside the home.
Hoses and Irrigation Systems: Use a hose nozzle that you can shut off or adjust to fine spray. When finished, shut off at the house to avoid leaks.
- Consider an automatic sprinkler or a drip irrigation system.
- Check hoses and connectors – repair or replace any leaky parts or sections.
- Keep irrigation systems running efficiently. Repair, replace or adjust sprinkler heads. Check the system for leaks.
Car: Rinse your car once, wash from a bucket of soapy water, and rinse again quickly.
Driveway and Walkways: Use a broom or rake instead of water to remove leaves, clippings and debris.
Pool: Keep the level low to minimize splashing. Use a cover to slow evaporation (keeps water cleaner, too).
Check walls, filtration systems and inlets. Repair as needed.
Lawn and Garden: Water slowly and thoroughly during cool, windless hours. Water as little as possible.
Let grass grow taller in hot weather. Use mulch in the garden and around shrubs to save moisture.
Plant native and other shrubs that don’t need a lot of water. Consider alternatives to big, thirsty lawns.
Check your Water System for Leaks
- Locate the Water Meter: It may be in the basement, or wherever the water line enters your home.
- Read the Meter twice: Read it first at night, after the day’s water use has ended – and again in the morning, before any water is used.
- Find the difference: Subtract the first from the second reading to tell how much water (if any) leaked overnight.
Check shut-off valves regularly: Repair or replace, as needed. Shut-off valves simplify repairs and save water in emergencies.
Thinking about remodeling?
- Ask about water recycling systems and water saving fixtures.
- Insulate hot water pipes. You can conserve water every day – in many ways!!!
- Change wasteful habits.
- Repair leaks promptly.
- Use water-saving devices.
- Join a local organization that’s working to conserve water.