Water Conservation


It's essential for drinking, bathing, cooking, cleaning and a whole lot more.

But a lot of water is wasted

This happens both indoors and outdoors in many households. This is often due to water use habits and appliances that are not water-efficient. Leaky pipes and fixtures are also big water-wasters.

Saving water has benefits

They include saving money, saving energy and helping the environment. Increased demand for water has already led o shortages in many communities. Conserving water now can mean we'll have more to use in the future.

everyone in the home can help save water

If every member of a household makes a few small changes in how they use water, you can save hundreds or even thousands of gallons each year.

Ways to conserve water at home

Evaluate your water habits

Have a household member discussion about water use and ways to cut down. For example, stop leaving the water run while your brush your teeth or stop taking extra long showers. There are simple things you and other household members can do to start saving water today.

look for leaks and repair them right away

Most leaks are easy to detect and repair. For sinks, check faucets and pipes for dripping water, replace washers, and repair or replace fixtures, if needed.

For toilets, add food coloring to the tank water and check the bowl in 15 minutes (don't flush). If there's color in the toilet bowl, it means there's a leak.

check your water system for leaks

This is easy to do. Just follow these steps:

  1. Locate your water meter and take an initial reading. Then make sure no one in your home uses any water for 30 minutes. When the time is up, take another reading.
  2. Deduct the first reading from the second reading to tell how much water (if any) leaked out.
  3. Then look for leaks. Find them by checking pipes, hoses, and connections. Have any leaks repaired right away.

install water-saving devices

If you don't already have water-efficient or low-flow fixtures, you can cut your water use with:

  • aerators - devices that mix air with water
  • low-flow fixtures, such as shower heads, flow restrictors, or cut-off valves
  • tank displacement devices for older toilets that use 3.5 gallons or more per flush

Make sure all devices are properly installed.

save water while preparing food

  • Use a brush and bowl of water to clean food instead of letting the water run.
  • Thaw frozen food in your refrigerator or microwave, not under running water.
  • Reuse water when you can. For example, when you cook vegetables, save cooking water for soup stock or watering plants.

flush the toilet only when necessary

Don't use the toilet to dispose of trash. Also, consider installing a low-flow toilet. Look for a toilet with a WaterSense label on it.

know the proper setting on your washer

To help lower your water and energy bills, choose a water and energy saving model if buying a new washer. Be sure it has such features as:

  • a load size selector or automatic load sensor
  • variable water temperature controls

Match settings to the size and soil level of each load. Presoak heavy soiled items.

wash dishes wisely

Use a dishwasher, if you have one. Scrape dishes instead of pre-rinsing. Wash only full loads.

If you wash dishes by hand:

  • Soak pots and pans before washing.
  • Don't run the water continuously.
  • Limit your use of the garbage disposal. Better yet - compost!

be efficient in the shower and bath

Plug the drain before you run water for baths, and take shallow baths. If you run water to get it hot, catch cold water in a bucket for later use. Keep shower short or try to shorten by a few minutes with pressure at low force. Shut off the water while soaping up and shampooing.

use less water to clean your home

Use a pail or basin instead of running water. Also, use a sponge mop instead of a string mop. Sponge mobs use less water and take less water to keep clean. 

Presoak items such as grills and oven parts overnight. Then scrub with a textured brush or pad.

check hoses and irrigation systems

Use a hose nozzle that you can shut off or adjust to a fine spray. When finished, shut it off at the house to avoid leaks,

You should also:

  • Check hoses and connectors and repair or replace any leaky parts or sections.
  • Consider a drip irrigation system. It allows water to slowly soak down to the roots to help reduce evaporation.
  • Keep irrigation systems running efficiently. Install shut-off devices like rain or soil-moisture sensors. Repair, replace or adjust sprinkler heads. Check often for leaks, and perform other maintenance at least yearly.

minimize watering outdoors

  • Water when the sun is down to avoid evaporation and when it's not windy. Water slowly, deeply and as little as possible.
  • Let grass grow taller in hot weather. Use mulch in the garden and around shrubs to save moisture. Plant shrubs and other plants that don't need a lot of watering. Consider alternatives to big, thirsty lawns, such as native grasses.
  • Obey any watering restrictions in your community.

Keep up with pool and hot tub care

Don't overfill. This helps reduce splashing and spilling. Use a cover to slow evaporation and keep the water cleaner too. Check walls, filtration systems and inlets. Repair them when needed.