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Water Conservation Tips

General Use

 Monitor your water bill for unusually high use; your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks

  • Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used; if the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak
  • Fix those leaky pipes and faucets
    • A faucet dripping one drop per second can waste up to 2,700 gallons/year
    • Install water conserving appliances
    • Upgrade and insulate your water heater
    • Install water-saving aerators on all of your faucets
    • Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant or garden, or cleaning

 In the Kitchen

 

  • Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, compost vegetable food waste and save gallons every time
  • Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap
  • Install an instant water heater near your kitchen sink so you don’t have to run the water until it heats up
  • Running your dishwasher only when it’s full can save up to 400 gallons/ month
  • Handwashing dishes (sink and soaking) often uses less water than a dishwasher
  • Compost vegetable waste rather than running it through the garbage disposal with water
  • Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods; defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or by using the defrost setting on your microwave

 

In the Laundry

 

  • When shopping for a new washing machine, can Energy Star model can save up to 20 gallons of water per load
  • When buying a washer, check the Consortium for Energy Efficiency website to compare water use between models
  • Use your clothes washer for only full loads or adjust the water level for smaller loads if your machine has that option
  • Skip the extra rinse cycle
  • Reuse towels rather than washing after only 1 or 2 uses

 

In the Bathroom

 

  • Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons/month
  • Turn off the shower while you soap and scrub and you’ll save up to 150 gallons/week
  • A low flow shower head can save over 500 gallons/week
  • Test your toilet for leaks (which can be silent); put food coloring in the tank and if it seeps into the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak
  • Upgrade older toilets with water-saving WaterSense labeled models; toilets can account for up to 30% of a home’s indoor water use
  • Consider buying a low flow or dual-flush toilet
  • Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily; dispose of tissues, insects and other waste in the trash rather than the toilet
  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save up to 4 gallons/ minute- which is 200 gallons/week for a family of four
  • Plug the sink instead of running the water to rinse your razor and save up to 300 gallons/month
  • When washing your hands, turn the water off while you lather

 

In the Garden/Outdoors

 

  • Hire a qualified pro to install your irrigation system and keep it working properly and efficiently
  • Only put water where it is needed (i.e., not the sidewalks)
  • Drip irrigation and soaker hoses are examples of water-efficient methods of irrigation
  • Add a rain shut-off devise to your irrigation system
  • Water at the right time (late evening, night, early morning) to avoid loss by evaporation
  • Mulch garden beds to retain moisture in the soil; mulch also helps control weeds
  • Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees
  • Group plants together based on similar water needs
  • While fertilizers promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption so apply the minimum amount of fertilizer needed
  • Adjust your mower to a higher setting; taller grass shades roots and holds soil moisture better than short grass
  • Reduce your lawn area and replace with low water ground covers
  • Use covers on pools and spas
  • Make sure your swimming pools, fountains and ponds are equipped with recirculating pumps and water saving filters
  • If you have an automatic refilling device, check your pool periodically for leaks
  • When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain; use it to water your trees or shrubs or houseplants
  • Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks and driveways
  • Use porous paving
  • Redirect downspouts and collect rainwater