Water Conservation Tips
Kitchen and Laundry
- Fill the sink with water to pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
- Don't let the faucet run when you scrub vegetables or prepare other foods. Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator or in the microwave instead of running water over it.
- When washing dishes by hand, use two basins - one for washing and one for rinsing - rather than letting the water run.
- Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when full.
- Use the garbage disposal less often to conserve water.
- Reuse water as much as possible; take advantage of kitchen water in your sink by using it to water outdoor plants.
- Insulate your water pipes. You'll get hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up. You'll save energy too!
- Don't let water run while brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your face.
- Install water-efficient fixtures, like low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucet aerators. Look for ones that use no more than 2.5 gallons per minute at maximum flow (for showerheads) and 2.2 gallons per minute maximum flow (for faucets). Consumers can cut their water use by 30%. This can save households up to $100 annually.
- Repair dripping faucets as they can waste about 2,000 gallons of water each year. They can typically be repaired by replacing the rubber O-ring or washer inside the valve.
- Leaky toilets can waste as much as 200 gallons each day. One common type of leak that you can check for is a silent toilet leak. To perform this test, simply drop some non-permanent food coloring into your toilet tank. If after 10 minutes the coloring shows up in your toilet bowl, you most likely need to replace the toilet flapper. Find out more about detecting leaks or what to do if you have a high water bill >>
- Take showers instead of baths. Baths use more water than a typical shower. If your shower has a single hand control or shut off valve, turn off the flow while soaping or shampooing.
- Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket. Many of us throw a piece of paper, tissues, or other small items into the toilet, instead of a wastebasket.
- Capture and recycle rain water. Place rain barrels beneath your downspouts. A roof the size of 1,000 square feet will collect 420 gallons of water in every inch of rainfall. You can use rainwater for outdoor plants and trees or to wash your car.
- Redirect water from downspouts.
- Use a broom, not a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks and save up to 80 gallons of water.
- When washing the car, use a bucket for soapy water and use the hose only for rinsing. Tell your children not to play with the hose and sprinklers. Or take your car to a commercial car wash
- If you have a swimming pool, get a cover. You'll cut the loss of water by evaporation by 90%. Clean the pool filter often.
- Try to reduce the amount of water you use in your yard. Don't overwater your lawn - lawns only need to be watered every 5 to 7 days in the summer and 10 to 14 days in the winter. Use a moisture indicator to tell when your lawn needs watering. To prevent water loss from evaporation, don't water your lawn during the hottest part of the day or when it is windy.
- If you are planning some landscaping, choose native plants that require less water to maintain.
- Keep weeds out of flower and vegetable gardens. Weeds are notorious for stealing water away from other plants.
- Avoid over-fertilizing the lawn. The application of fertilizers increases the need for water. Apply fertilizers that contain slow-release, water-insoluble forms of nitrogen.
- Mulching helps to slow the evaporation of moisture from the soil and keeps the soil and roots cool. It also protects the soil and roots from events such as freezing.
- Add hydrogels to plants that dry out quickly; these water-absorbing polymer crystals swell to several times their original size and slowly release water into the surrounding soil. Hydrogels can be found at your local garden center.