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Tips For Saving Water

How much water do you use?

Flushing the toilet
1.5-7 gallons per flush, depending on the design of toilet

Taking a shower
3 gallons per minute or 25-45 gallons for an average shower

Taking a bath
50 gallons

Running a faucet
3 gallons per minute

Dishwasher
25 gallons per wash

Washing machine
30-35 gallons per wash

Washing a car
100-300 gallons

Watering a yard
7 gallons per minute

About 66 gallons on average per day, per person

Tips for Saving Water Inside
Don’t trash toilets and drains

Flushing trash, cleaning clogged drains and using the garbage disposals uses gallons of water. Save water by preventing clogs and using the trash can for garbage – not drains or toilets.

Garbage disposals and food waste – Use the trash can for grease, produce stickers and garbage. Only food waste down the garbage disposal, better yet, compost food waste at home or place it in your yard waste bin. See Yard and Food Waste Recycling (PDF) for more information.

Sinks and showers – Reduce your need for drain cleaning. Keep hair out of the drain by using an inexpensive drain cover.

Toilets – Since each flush uses water, don’t use the toilet as a trash can. Put only toilet paper in the toilet and use the trash can for everything else. Protect the sewer system, the environment and conserve water.

Fix leaks

Leaking toilets and dripping faucets amount to 14% of indoor water use. Check your toilets for leaks by dropping food coloring in the tank. Wait 10 minutes to see if colored water leaks into the bowl. If it does, you have a leak that should be fixed.

Low-flow is the way to go

Install low flow fixtures and save water with every use. Low flow toilets conserve up to four gallons per flush. Low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators can reduce water flow up to 50 percent. Water efficient washing machines save water and energy and are easier on your clothes.

Can’t switch out right away?

Laundry and dishes – Wash only full loads of clothes and dishes. If washing dishes by hand, use partially filled sinks rather than running water to wash and rinse.

Toilets – Place a plastic bottle weighted with pebbles and water in the toilet tank as a water displacement device.

Showers – Take a short shower, don’t linger. A bathtub holds up to 50 gallons of water, an average shower uses 25-45 gallons. Short showers also conserve energy used for hot water heating.

Keep a bucket handy

Collect shower and sink water that is wasted while you wait for it to warm up and use it to flush the toilet and water houseplants or outdoor planters.

Tips for Saving Water Outside
Water wisely

Water early in the morning and late in the evening to avoid evaporation – Water half an inch to an inch of water once a week. Using an empty tuna can is a great way to measure when you’ve reached an inch.

Mulch, mulch, mulch – Two to three inches of mulch in a garden bed acts like insulation. It helps retain moisture and cool temperatures in the summer and helps protect plant roots from frost in the winter.

Let your lawn go golden – or consider replacing it with native or low-water landscapes.

Capture rain with rain barrels and cisterns
– Put in rain barrels in winter or early spring and capture some of the rain for watering this summer.

Shut off the run-off – When watering, use a hose with a shut off nozzle. Better yet, buy a cheaper, more efficient soaker hose or opt for easy installation drip irrigation.

Clean sweep sidewalks and driveways
– Use a broom and not a water hose to clean walkways, driveways and sidewalks. This saves water and protects local water bodies from polluted water run-off.

Take a break from car washing
– Use commercial car washes that recycle and treat the water they use.