Ways to Conserve Water
In the home 2/3 of the water used flows through the bathroom. Don’t leave the water running while:
- Hand Washing (uses 2 gallons of water)
- Shaving (uses 20 gallons of water)
- Teeth Brushing (uses 10 gallons of water)
Showers Versus Bath
- A full bathtub holds approximately 36 gallons of water.
- Shower heads with flow restrictors dispense 3 to 5 gallons of water per minute.
- Standard shower heads dispense 5 to 15 gallons of water per minute.
Don’t Flush Your Money Down the Toilet
- 25% of all water used in the home is flushed down the toilet.
- Be careful not to block the float arm.
- Detect and fix leaky toilets (you can’t always hear a leak). See How to Detect a Toilet Leak (PDF) for more information.
- Don’t use your toilet as a wastebasket.
- Leaky toilets can use up to 10 gallons of water per minute.
- Never use a brick or rock that could crumble and damage your toilet.
- Place a plastic container filled with water in the toilet tank.
- Place several drops of food coloring in the tank, wait 30 minutes and you will see any hidden and silent leaks.
- Remember every facial tissue, bandage wrapper, or cigarette takes 4 to 6 gallons to flush.
- Standard toilets use 4 to 6 gallons of water per flush.
- The average person flushes 19 gallons per day.
- If you hand wash dishes, fill both basins. Use 1 to wash and the other to rinse.
- Water-efficient dishwashers use between 8 to 15 gallons per load.
- A dishwasher using 12 gallons of water to wash a full load is probably using less water than an individual who washes the same by hand
- Scrape dishes instead of rinsing them. Garbage disposals gulp down gallons of water
Drip, Drip, Drip
- A leaky tap, dripping once per second, wastes 6 to 7 gallons of water each day.
- A slow, steady drip can account for as much as 11 gallons of water each day. A small stream can account for 67 gallons each day!
- Don’t let water run down the drain to get that cold drink. Store drinking water in the refrigerator.
- Catch running water (when waiting for hot water) to use to water plants or rinse fruits and vegetables later.
- Insulate your hot water pipes.
- Front loading washers use 22 - 25 gallons of water per load versus the 35 - 60 gallons consumed by a top loader.
- Always wash full loads and adjust your washer to the proper load size.
Yard & Garden Tips
- Avoid mist spray sprinkler heads. They evaporate water.
- Consider using soaker type hoses or low, broad drop sprinklers.
- Mulch to retain moisture in the soil and control weeds that compete with plants for water.
- Don’t overwater. Follow a simple rule of thumb: lawns only need watering every 5 to 7 days in summer. A hearty rainfall can eliminate the need for watering for as long as 2 weeks.
- Water lawns during the early morning hours when temperatures and wind speed are minimized.
- Raise the lawn mower blade to at least 3 inches. This higher cut encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades their root system, and holds soil moisture.
Patio & Sidewalk
Sweep patios and sidewalks rather than hosing them down.
- Garden hoses can pour out 600 gallons or more in a few hours.
- Always turn off outdoor spigots. Do not rely on the shut off nozzle on your hose.