Inside the House
- Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it. This can include watering a plant or garden, or for cleaning around your home.
- Verify that your home is leak free by reading your water meter. Many homes have hidden water leaks. Turn off all faucets and water-using appliances and take a meter reading. Wait 30 minutes to two-hours when no water is being used and check the reading again. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak. Fixing leaky faucets and plumbing joints can save up to 20 gallons a day per leak.
- Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. If your faucet is dripping at a rate of one drop per second, you can expect to waste 2,700 gallons per year. This adds to the cost of water and sewer utilities and adds to your water bill.
- Retrofit all household faucets. You can do this by installing aerators with flow restrictions to slow the flow of water.
- Insulate your water pipes. You'll get hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
- Install water-softening systems only when necessary. Save water and salt by running the minimum amount of regenerations necessary to maintain water softness. Turn softeners off while on vacation.
In the Bathroom
- Check your toilets for leaks. Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the toilet bowl within 30 minutes. Check the toilet for worn out, corroded or bent parts. Most replacement parts are inexpensive, readily available and easily installed. (Flush as soon as test is done, since food coloring may stain tank.)
- Flush toilets less often. Do not use your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Dispose of tissues, insects and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
- Install ultra-low-flush toilets. Replace older, inefficient toilets with ultra-low-flush models. Cut the amount of water that goes down the drain with each flush by 50% or more. View more information online.
- Check your toilet handles. Replace or adjust toilet handles that stick in the flush position and cause water to continually run.
- Install a toilet dam or displacement device. A bag or bottle can cut down on the amount of water needed for each flush. Be sure installation does not interfere with the operating parts
- Take shorter showers. Limit showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down, and rinse off. Better still, shut off the flow of water while soaping and shampooing. Turn water back on to rinse quickly.
- Install water-saving shower heads. All new shower heads use 2.5 gallons a minute or less.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and shaving
- Before brushing, wet your brush and fill a glass for rinsing. Before shaving, fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of warm water.
In the Kitchen / Utility Room
- Fully load your automatic dishwasher or washing machine. Every time you run your dishwasher, you use about up to 25 gallons of water.
- If you wash dishes by hand, don't leave the rinse water running. If you have 2 sinks, fill one with rinse water. If you have only one sink, first gather all your washed dishes in a dish rack, then rinse them quickly. Also, using the least amount of detergent necessary minimizes the rinse water needed.
- Set your clothes washing machine to the proper water level. If you have a small load, set the water level on low. Be careful not to leave a high setting for small loads.
- Use a high-efficiency clothes washer. Replace standard clothes washers with high-efficiency models. You can reduce the amount of water used per load by 40% and get cleaner clothes. You will also lower your energy bill.
- Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Place food in refrigerator overnight or defrost in the microwave.
- Use the garbage disposal less. Instead use your garbage can or a backyard composting bin. View more information on backyard composting online.
- Rinse vegetables in a filled sink or pan instead of under running water.
- Store drinking water in the refrigerator. Don't let the tap run while you are waiting for cool water to flow.
- Install an instant water heater on your kitchen sink. This way you don't have to let the water run while it heats up and will reduce your water heating costs in addition to saving water.