Tips for Saving Water

Using excess water or having leaks can cost you hundreds of dollars a year in wasted water. A simple toilet leak can use 50 extra gallons of water a day, and a faucet leak can waste up to 5,000 gallons a year. We’ve got some tips for keeping that water bill down.

Saving water indoors

  • Think you might have a leak? Check by reading your water meter before and after a 2-hour period when water hasn’t been run in your home. If the reading isn’t exactly the same, you’ve got a leak.
  • If you’ve got a well-water system and the pump comes on when no one is using water, you have a leak.
  • Find out if the toilet is leaking by putting a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank. If the color leaks into the bowl, replace the flapper.
  • Get those dripping faucets repaired. Usually it’s a simple matter of replacing worn washers. Check all the washers in the house and replace them all at once.
  • Replace “sticky” toilet handles.
  • Make sure the flapper ball in the tank seats correctly.
  • Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket or ashtray. Avoid unnecessary flushing.
  • Install faucet aerators to slow the flow of water.
  • Rinse vegetables over a large bowl and reuse what would have gone down the drain to water plants.
  • Keep drinking water in the refrigerator to avoid letting water run until it gets cool enough to drink.
  • Defrost foods in the microwave instead of under running water.
  • Insulate water heater and water pipes. (65% of the water you use is hot water.)

Saving water in the bathroom

  • Don’t let the water run continuously when you are shaving, brushing your teeth, etc.
  • Replace two-handle systems with single-lever faucets.
  • Shower instead of bathe.
  • Install low-flow showerheads that reduce water use up to half but still give a great feeling shower.
  • Get a showerhead with a “shower off” button to conserve water while you lather up.
  • Take shorter showers. Five-minute showers per day for a four-member family use about 28,000 gallons of water per year.

Saving water in cleaning

  • Older standard washing machines use up to 50 gallons of water per load, Newer models use only 11-30 gallons.
  • Don’t wash half loads, and if you do, adjust the water level.
  • Presoaking prevents having to re-wash heavily soiled clothes.
  • Soak dirty dishes instead of rinsing each dish separately.
  • If you’re washing dishes in a double sink, wash them all at once and rinse them all at once.
  • Replace an old, water-inefficient dishwasher. You can save 10 to 20 gallons of water per wash cycle.
  • Select the water-saving cycle on your dishwasher.

Saving water outdoors

  • Landscape with plants that need less water.
  • Don’t overwater. Buy a gauge to measure the rain your lawn gets.
  • Water lawns during the time of day when temperature and wind speed are lowest to reduce evaporation.
  • Put a timer on your sprinklers so you don’t forget to turn them off.
  • Over-fertilization increases your lawn’s need for watering. Don’t over feed.
  • Use a soaker hose instead of a sprinkler system to better target the water to your plants.
  • Mulch plants well to retain moisture.
  • Make sure your sprinkler system isn’t watering the sidewalk, driveway or street.
  • Set your lawnmower blades to 3 inches or higher to encourage you lawn to grow deeper roots and hold moisture better.
  • Use water-saving filters in your pool.