Water Saving Tips
There are many things that can be done to conserve water. Here are a few tips for using water wisely.
In the Bathroom
- One of the best ways to save water inside the home is by replacing the parts inside your toilet tanks every year. Leaking toilets can send over 14,000 gallons of water down the drain in a single day. Because a leaking toilet is often difficult to see or hear, toilet leaks surprise many customers in the form of an unusually high water bill. Internal toilet parts, like tires on a car, wear out over time and need to be replaced. Doing it before they begin leaking saves water and money.
- Test for toilet leaks by adding food coloring in the toilet tank and wait at least 30 minutes, and preferably overnight, to flush. If the water in the bowl turns color, you may have a leak. Learn more here: Leak Detection.
- Install water saving low-flow shower heads.
- Don’t use the toilet to dispose of tissues or other trash. Every flush uses three and a half to seven gallons of water.
- When replacing fixtures, install water saving models.
- A bathtub filled half full holds about 50 gallons of water. Consider showering instead.
- Limit the length of showers to two or three minutes. An unrestricted shower head runs at five to ten gallons a minute.
- Avoid letting the water run while shaving, brushing your teeth, and washing your face.
- Teach everyone to turn faucets off tightly after use.
Save Water on the Lawn
- It’s better to give your grass a good soak every three days than to water a little bit every day. Watering less frequently encourages roots to grow downward (in search of water), which in turn makes your lawn more stable overall.
- Avoid excessive watering. Most lawns need only an inch of water per week to stay healthy. Measure the amount of time it takes your sprinkler to deliver that much water, and do not exceed the total time for the week. A shallow container can be used to measure the water.
- Use short cycles (five minutes) at least an hour apart to reduce runoff.
- Reduce evaporation by watering in the evening.
- Set sprinklers carefully to avoid watering paved areas.
- Avoid sprinklers that spray a fine mist, which increases evaporation.
- Aerate the soil in the spring and fall to reduce runoff.
- Adjust lawn mower height to a higher setting. Longer grass shades root systems and holds soil moisture better than closely clipped lawns.
- Keep the grass two to three inches long to enhance root development with minimal watering.
- Minimize grassy areas, which require the most water.
- Plant water efficient grasses, plants, trees, and shrubs.
- Use mulch to help the soil retain moisture and to reduce the growth of weeds.
- Use drip irrigation to water plants, trees, and shrubs.
- Plant in the spring or fall, when water requirements are lower.
Other Outdoor Tips
- If you have an automatic sprinkler system, inspect it regularly for leaks and malfunctioning parts.
- Avoid using the hose to clean areas that could be swept with a broom.
- When washing vehicles, run the water only to wet and rinse. Use a container to hold the water used for washing.
- Shut off and drain the water lines to outside spigots in the winter. This prevents freezing temperatures from causing expensive leaks. Learn more helpful information here: Tips for Winterizing Your Plumbing.