RESOURCES

Indoor Water Saving Tips

Washing Hands

GENERAL  |  BATHROOM  |  LAUNDRY  |  KITCHEN  |  LONG-TERM

GENERAL

  • Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it. Use it to water your indoor plants or garden.

  • Make sure your home is leak-free. When you are certain that no water is being used, take a reading of the water meter. Wait 30 minutes and then take a second reading. If the meter readings change, you have a leak!

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

  • When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your plants.

  • Teach your children to turn off faucets tightly after each use.

  • Know where your master water shut-off valve is located. You should not use the valve at the water meter for turning off water to your home. If you don’t have a shut-off valve you should consider having one installed. This could save water and prevent damage to your home, especially if you are gone for periods during winter freezing temperatures.

  • Encourage your school system and local government to develop and promote water conservation among children and adults.

  • Setting cooling systems and water softeners for a minimum number of re-fills saves water and chemicals, plus more on utility bills.

  • Insulate hot water pipes for more immediate hot water at the faucet and for energy savings.

  • Report broken pipes, open hydrants, and errant sprinklers to your water provider.

  • Wash your pets outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water.

  • When you have ice left in your cup from a take-out restaurant, don’t throw it in the trash—dump it on a plant.

BATHROOM

  • Take short showers instead of tub baths.

  • In the shower, turn the water on to get wet; turn off to lather up; then turn the water back on to rinse. Repeat when washing your hair.

  • Use a water-efficient showerhead. They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and can save you up to 750 gallons a month.

  • Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 150 gallons per month.

  • If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the showerhead with a water-efficient model.

  • When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up.

  • Bathe small children together.

  • Place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water for watering plants.

  • Never use your toilet as a wastebasket. Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects, and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.

  • Check for toilet leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If you have a leak, the color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. Flush immediately to avoid stains. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons per day.

  • Upgrade older toilets with water efficient models.

  • If the toilet handle frequently sticks in the flush position letting water run constantly, replace or adjust it.

  • If your toilet flapper doesn’t close completely after flushing, replace it.

  • If your toilet was installed before 1992, reduce the amount of water used for each flush by inserting a displacement device in the tank. Place a 1-gallon plastic jug of water into the tank to displace toilet flow or purchase a device available at most hardware and home centers designed for this purpose. Be sure installation does not interfere with the operating parts.

  • Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face/hands.

 
 

LAUNDRY

  • Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine.

  • Consider purchasing a high efficiency washing machine, which can save over 50 percent in water and energy use.

  • Run your clothes washer only when full.

  • When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.

 

KITCHEN

  • Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.

  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a basin instead of running water from the tap. Use a vegetable brush. Re-use the water that vegetables are washed in for watering plants.

  • Don’t use running water to defrost meat or other frozen foods; thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or use the defrost setting on your microwave.

  • Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly. Compost your vegetable food waste and save gallons of water each time while creating fertilizer for your plants.

  • Operate automatic dishwashers only when they are fully loaded. Use the “light wash” feature if available to use less water.

  • Most dishwashers can clean soiled dishes very well, so dishes don’t have to be rinsed before washing. Just remove large particles of food, and put the soiled dishes in the dishwasher.

  • Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.

  • Don’t waste water waiting for it to get hot. Capture it for other uses such as plant watering or heat it on the stove or in a microwave. Or install an instant water heater at your sink.

  • Run your dishwasher only when full.

  • When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.

  • Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number glasses to wash.

LONG-TERM

  • Retrofit all household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors.

  • Consider installing an instant hot water heater on your sink.

  • Insulate your water pipes to reduce heat loss and prevent them from breaking if you have a sudden and unexpected spell of freezing weather.

  • If you are considering installing a new heat pump or air-conditioning system, the new air-to-air models are just as efficient as the water-to-air type and don’t waste water.

  • Install a water-softening system only when the minerals in the water would damage your pipes. Turn the softener off while on vacation.

  • When shopping for appliances, look for the WaterSense and Energy Star labeled models, compare the resource savings to traditional models. Not only will you save water and energy, but your bills will go down too.

  • Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. One drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons of water per year!