Public Works

Water Conservation Tips

 Take a quick shower rather than a bath and save an average of 20 gallons (76 liters) of water.

 Install a water-efficient showerhead with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gallons (9.5 liters) per minute. (Replace an existing shower head, if a one gallon bucket placed under the flow takes less than 20 seconds to fill.)

 Install aerators on your kitchen and bathroom faucets to reduce indoor water use by as much as 4%.

 Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving and save more than 5 gallons (19 liters) per day.

 Clean vegetables in a sink or pan partially filled with water rather than running water from the tap.

 Re-use the water that vegetables are washed in for watering houseplants or for cleaning. ยท If you wash dishes by hand, rinse them in a sink partially filled with clean water instead of under running water.

 Instead of waiting for tap water to get cold enough for drinking, keep a bottle of water in the refrigerator.

 Whenever possible, compost food scraps or dispose of them in the garbage rather than using the garbage disposal which requires a high level of water for operation.

 Toilets can account for almost 30% of all indoor water use, more than any other fixture or appliance. Older toilets (installed prior to 1994) use 3.5 to 7 gallons (13-27 liters) of water per flush and as much as 20 gallons (76 liters) per person per day. Replacing an old toilet with a new model can save the typical household 7,900 to 21,700 gallons (29,902 - 82,135 liters) of water per year, cutting both your water and wastewater bills. An average of 20% of toilets leak.

 Install an ultra low-flow toilet that requires only 1.6 gallons (6liters) per flush. To ensure optimal performance, when installing a low-flow toilet in areas with a low drainage gradient (such as basements), consider a pressurized model.

 Check toilets periodically for leaks and repair them promptly.

 Reduce the amount of water used by an older toilet by placing a one gallon plastic jug of water, or two one quart bottles, in the tank to displace toilet flows. Or you can install a "dam" that partitions off a section of the tank so it can't fill with water. These methods can save over 1,000 gallons (3,785 liters) of water per person per year.

 Don't use the toilet as a trash can.

 Clothes washers can use as much as 30-35 gallons (114-133 liters) of water per cycle and dishwashers as much as 25 gallons (95 liters) per cycle.

 A full dishwasher is more water efficient than washing the same load by hand. Energy efficient appliances are usually water efficient too.

 Only run your dishwasher when it is full to make the best use of water, energy and detergent.

 Cut down on the amount of rinsing you do before loading the dishwasher. Most modern dishwashers do an excellent job of cleaning dishes, pots and pans all by themselves.

 When purchasing a new appliance, look for one offering several different cycles. This will allow you to select more energy and water efficient cycles when heavy duty cleaning is not required.

 Wait till you have a full load of laundry before running the machine to save both water and energy. If you can't wait for a full load, use the right water level to match the size of the load.

 When in the market for a new machine, consider a high efficiency model that will use an average of 30% less water and 40-50% less energy.

 Insulate your hot water pipes and your electric water heater. Insulation will reduce the amount of time it takes for hot water to reach the tap, saving water and energy.

 Wash your car with a bucket of soapy water and use a nozzle to stop the flow of water from the hose between rinsings.

 Clean driveways and sidewalks with a broom instead of the hose.

 Check for leaks in outdoor faucets, pipes and hoses. Prevent the creation of leaks by shutting off and draining water lines to outside spigots in the winter.

 Cover your spa or pool to reduce evaporation. An average size pool left uncovered can lose as much as 1,000 gallons (3,785 liters) of water per month. Also, check your spa/pool for leaks and have them repaired promptly.

These facts and tips are provided by the American Water Works Association.