Water Conservation Tips

The average American uses 60 gallons of water daily inside the home. There are four basic ways to save water – economize, repair leaks, install water-saving devices and reuse water. Look around your home and determine which suggestions you can implement.

Here are some ideas:

Outdoors

  • Plant low-water-use grasses and shrubs to cut your lawn watering by 20-50 percent.
  • Add a three-inch layer of mulch around outdoor plants to hold in water and reduce evaporation.
  • Set your lawn mower to a height of three inches. This keeps the grass roots shaded and lawn holding moisture so you have to mow and water your lawn less frequently.
  • Water lawns and gardens early in the morning so the water doesn’t evaporate as quickly. Water your lawn slowly with a steady trickle, but not a mist, which easily evaporates.
  • For established lawns water once per week with no more than one inch of water applied.
  • Use plants that are drought resistant.
  • When washing your car, use a bucket for soapy water and use a hose only for rinsing.
  • Use a rake or a broom to clean up sidewalks, driveways and gutters – not the hose.

Bathroom

  • Don’t leave water running while brushing your teeth or shaving. Run water when you need it, then turn off the tap until you need more.
  • Repair leaks in faucets, toilets, etc. Add a few drops of food coloring to water in the toilet tank. If coloring appears in the toilet without flushing, there is a leak. Also listen for the sound of running water or a running pump.
  • Install faucet aerators. Faucet aerators can cut indoor water consumption by as much as six percent.
  • Insulate hot water pipes, especially the first few feet of the line exiting and entering the hot water heater.
  • Meter the water.
  • A toilet flush uses up to seven gallons of water. Install a water-saving toilet in the bathroom, or replace some of the water in the tank with a plastic milk carton filled with water.
  • Flush less often and only if necessary. Remodel with low consumption (1.5 gallon/flush or less) toilets.

Showers

  • Take shorter, lighter showers and turn off the water while soaping.
  • See how light a spray you can wash with. It is not necessary to shower longer than five minutes. Remodel with a low consumption (2.5 gallon per minute) showerhead.

Kitchen

  • Use a vegetable brush for cleaning fruits and vegetables. If you have a hand sprayer, use it sparingly or fill the sink with water.
  • Remodel with a low consumption (two gallon per minute) faucet aerator.
  • Install faucet aerators. Faucet aerators can cut indoor water consumption by as much as six percent.
  • Repair leaks
  • Store a jug of ice water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap until cool.
  • Automatic dishwashers claim the most water in kitchens, about 12 gallons per run. Make sure the washer is fully loaded, as it will take the same 12 gallons to wash a full load or a couple of cups.
  • Scrape dishes off and let pots and pans soak overnight instead of rinsing them under the faucet.
  • When purchasing a new appliance, consider its water efficiency.
  • Faucets run at about five gallons a minute. Don’t let them run when working in the kitchen sink.

Washing Machines

  • Many washing machines use 40 or more gallons of water a load whether you have them stuffed full or with only a couple of socks.
  • Save up for a full load and make your washer work efficiently.
  • When purchasing a new appliance, consider water efficiency.
  • Wash only full loads.

Facts About Water

  • Water is the most common substance found on earth
  • Only one percent of the earth’s water is available for drinking water.
  • Public water suppliers process 34 billion gallons of water per day for domestic and public use.
  • Humans can survive a month without food, but only five to seven days without water.
  • The five Great Lakes bordering the U.S. and Canada contain about 20 percent of the world’s available fresh water.