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Water Conservation Tips

Water Conserving Measures for Indoor Water Use

Water Using Equipment

  • Toilets:  Replace high water use toilets with low volume flush toilets.  Some water providers have rebates to help reduce the cost of replacing high water use toilets.  All of the toilets sold today are low flow toilets.  If replacement is too costly, consider adding a water displacement device, such as a water filled plastic container, to your toilet. Do NOT use a brick for this purpose as it can crumble and damage the fixture. 
  • Showers:  Install a water efficient showerhead.  This is the single most effective conservation step that can be taken inside the home.
  • Sinks:  Install a faucet aerator on all of your sinks. 
  • Washing Machines:  Install a water efficient clothes washer that has adjustable or automatically adjusting water levels for different load sizes.  Some water providers offer rebates on high efficiency washers.
  • Dishwashers:  Install a water efficient dishwasher that uses 7 gallons of water per load or less.
  • Buy water and energy efficient appliances.

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Change Water-Wasting Habits (Behavior)

In the bathroom:

  • DON’T use the toilet as a trashcan.
  • DON’T let the water run when you are using it.  For example, turn the water off while brushing your teeth and soaping up your hands.  Turn the water on to rinse.  For shaving, fill the sink with water instead of letting the water run.
  • Take shorter showers and take showers instead of baths.
  • Turn off the water while you are shampooing your hair.

In the kitchen:

  • DON’T leave the water running when you walk away from the sink.
  • Only run the dishwasher when it is FULL.
  • Dry scrape dishes, instead of rinsing them and do not pre-rinse dishes being placed in a dishwasher.
  • When washing dishes by hand, fill a basin or the sink with soapy water instead of letting the water run.
  • Rinse produce in a pan of cold water instead of letting the water run while you rinse it.
  • Steam your vegetables instead of boiling them in a pot of water.
  • Do not thaw frozen foods by letting water run continuously over them.  Move the frozen foods from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before you need them.
  • Keep a container of water in the refrigerator rather than running tap water until it is cool enough to drink.
  • Only use garbage disposals when necessary.
  • Soak pans rather than scrubbing them while the water is running.
  • Don’t over-water house plants.

In the laundry room:

  • Wash only full loads of laundry.
  • If you wash less than a full load, match the load setting with the amount of laundry to be washed.

Around the house:

  • Insulate hot water pipes where possible.
  • Don’t over-water your indoor plants.
  • Fix water leaks, including pipe leaks, toilet leaks, and faucet leaks.

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Water Conserving Measures for Outdoor Water Use

  • Water only when your grass needs to be watered.  Watch for signs of stress in your grass, including dull green color, curled leaf blades, and footprints that remain visible after walking on the lawn.  Water only after the top 2 inches of soil has dried out – test with a soil probe or screwdriver.
  • Water early in the morning or in the evening.  Do not water on windy days.
  • Water every 5 days (or longer) to help grass and shrubs develop deep roots.
  • Place 1 inch of water on your lawn every five days.  Be sure to include any precipitation as part of water you place on your yard.
  • Adjust sprinklers to water only on the vegetation and not on the pavement.
  • Do not over fertilize.
  • Use drip irrigation systems or soaker hoses to water flower beds, trees, and shrubs. 
  • Use a low angle sprinkler that produces large drops of water close to the ground. 
  • Use a timer when watering so you don’t forget to turn it off.
  • Adjust the run time of automatic sprinklers monthly to respond to the changing precipitation and temperature conditions.  Install rain shut off devices or moisture sensors to avoid unnecessary watering. 
  • Plant native shrubs and trees.  Plant bermuda, buffalo, or zoysia grasses that are drought-tolerant.  Use plants that are drought-tolerant, heat-tolerant, and tolerant to the minimum winter temperatures in your area.  Put plants into irrigation zones according to their water requirements.
  • Harvest rainwater from your gutters by adding a rainbarrel and saving the water for a dry day.
  • Don’t use water to clean the driveway, streets, or sidewalk – use a broom.
  • Keep grass 3 inches tall during the summer to better hold moisture and encourage deeper root growth.
  • Cut the grass when it is dry.
  • Mulch grass clippings as you cut the grass – don’t bag your clippings.
  • Use 1 to 3 inches of mulch to retain moisture.  Do not use rock or gravel as they radiate heat and increase water loss. 
  • Don’t use sheet plastic in planting areas.
  • Weed the lawn, flower beds, and gardens as needed.  Weeds use valuable water.
  • Cover pools and spas to minimize water lost to evaporation.
  • Decorative water fountains should be turned off on windy days and during drought.
  • Use a bucket of soapy water and a hose with a nozzle that shuts off the water while you scrub your car.  Alternatively, take your car to a carwash that recycles water.
  • Avoid water toys that require a constant stream of water.

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