Use these water saving ideas at home to help make a difference.
In the Kitchen
- Limit dishwasher use to full loads. Let really dirty dishes/pans soak to speed washing. Soak dishes instead of letting the water run while you scrape them. Cut back on rinsing if your dishwasher is new because newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones. Use one glass each day for your drinking water thus cutting down on the number of times you use the dishwasher.
- Store drinking water in refrigerator to keep cold instead of allowing the tap to run when you want cool water.
- When washing by hand, fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
- Don’t use running water to thaw food; defrost in refrigerator or microwave.
- When washing your hands, don’t let the water run when you lather.
- Install an instant water heater near the kitchen sink to avoid running the water while it heats up thus reducing energy costs.
In the Bathroom
- Take a five-minute (or less) shower instead of a bath.
- If you do take a bath, plug bathtub before turning water on, then adjust temperature as the tub fills up.
- Install a water-saving shower head.
- Fix all running toilets. Make sure toilet flappers do not stick open after flushing.
- Drop tissue in the trash instead of in the toilet to eliminate unnecessary flushing.
- Turn off the water while you shave and/or while you are brushing your teeth.
Around the House
- Limit your laundry to full loads.
- Make sure there are aerators on all of your faucets.
- Water plants thoroughly but less frequently.
- Only install water softening systems when minerals in water will damage your pipes. Turn softener off when on vacation.
- Select plants and shrubs appropriate for the local climate.
- Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered not the house, sidewalk or street. Check sprinkler valves for leaks and keep the heads in good shape.
- Minimize evaporation by watering during the early morning hours, when temperatures are cooler and winds, lighter. Only water when necessary. Avoid watering on windy days.
- Divide watering cycle into shorter periods to reduce runoff and allow for better absorption.
- Only use sprinkler on large areas. Water small patches by hand.
- Set a timer when watering your lawn or garden with a hose.
- Choose a water efficient drip irrigation system for trees, shrubs, and flowers. Watering at the roots is effective. Don’t over water.
- Put down a layer of mulch to slow moisture evaporation and discourage weed growth.
- Weed regularly. Weeds compete with other plants for water, nutrients, and light.
- Wash your car, bathe your pet, or let your kids run under the sprinkler on the lawn in an area in need of water.
- Use a hose nozzle and turn off the water while you wash your car.
- Check outdoor faucets, pipes, sprinklers, and hoses for leaks. A leak check should be conducted at least twice a year on all faucets.
- Sweep sidewalk and driveway with broom instead of using a hose.
- Cover pools and spas to reduce water evaporation.
- Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. There is a leak if the meter does not read the exact same each time.
- Install a rain shut-off device on your automatic sprinklers to eliminate unnecessary watering.
- Check your sprinkler system valves periodically for leaks to keep the heads in good shape.
- Know where the master shut-off valve is located which is necessary if the pipes burst.
- Winterize outdoor spigots when temperature dips below 20 degrees to prevent pipes from bursting or freezing.
- Insulate how water pipes.
- Check your water meter and bill to track your water usage.
- Consider replacing old toilet(s) with a water efficient model.