Residential Water Conservation
How to Conserve Water in Your Home
Replace inefficient fixtures with low-flow and ultra low-flow models.
- Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge instead of running the tap and waiting for it to become cold.
- Run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads only. (Running most dishwashers uses about 12 gallons of water; while washing machines can use over 40 gallons.)
- Try not to use the garbage disposal.
- Soak pots and pans rather than running the water while you scrape them clean.
- When hand-washing dishes, put a stopper on either side of the sink and use one side to wash and one to rinse, without leaving the water running.
- Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water, using a vegetable brush rather than rinsing them under running water. Use the water from the bowl to water your flowers and plants.
- Select the proper pan size for cooking. Large pans require more cooking water than necessary.
- Do not use the toilet as a trash can.
- While brushing your teeth, remember to turn off the water faucet.
- Washing dark clothes in cold water saves water and energy; it also helps your clothes retain their color.
- If you accidentally drop ice cubes, don't throw them in the sink or kick them under the fridge. Pick them up and drop them in a house plant instead.
- Monitor your water bill for unusually high use and possible leaks. Check for leaks at least twice a year. Repair all leaky toilets, faucets, and other fixtures. You can check toilet leaks by putting a couple of drops of food coloring in the back tank. If within 15 minutes the color from the tank has made it into the bowl, then you have a leaky toilet.
How to Conserve Water Outside
- Outdoor water usage can account for more than 50% of a home's water usage during the summer. Using more effective means increases efficiency and decreases your water bill.
- Do not over-water. Healthy lawns need no more than one inch of water per week.
- Make sure only landscaped areas are being watered, not the sidewalk or driveway.
- Encourage deeper grass roots by watering slowly and less frequently.
- Dormant lawns can survive for over four weeks without water.
- Use a broom to clean off sidewalks and driveways, rather than spraying down with a hose.
- Water only in the early morning and during the cooler hours of the evening, when evaporation is minimal.
- Put mulch down to minimize evaporation and increase water retention. It also helps to eliminate weeds.
- Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust use according to the weather.
- Landscaping with native plants, xeriscaping, required less maintenance and less water.