Tips for Conserving Water
Your Water Conservation Checklist
If you notice a higher than normal water bill (and your usage hasn’t changed), you can start by checking a few things on your own.
Check Toilets for Leaks
Periodically, toilets should be checked for leaks. 90% of water leaks in the home are due to the toilet system.
To test a toilet for leakage, put some food coloring in the tank and leave it there for ten minutes without flushing. If the coloring appears in the toilet bowl, your toilet is leaking.
Most toilet leaks occur because there’s a faulty tank ball (float) or overflow pipe. In other cases, it might be the tank flapper.
Repair Leaking Faucets
A dripping faucet may not seem like it would equate to a lot of water waste, but one drop every second will increase your monthly water usage by 192 gallons.
Check the Whole House for Leaks
Turn off all water-consuming appliances, faucets, etc. Now go to your water meter and check the dial. If anything is moving, you have a leak (because the meter dial will only move when there’s water flowing through the meter).
Cut Down on Water Usage
These are things we’ve all been hearing for years, but they work:
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
- Take showers instead of baths (and limit them to five minutes or less).
- Install low-flow shower heads.
- Only run your dishwasher when it’s full (which will use about 15 gallons of water).
- Only run your washing machine when you have an extra-large load (a full load will use about 50 gallons of water); or for smaller loads, make sure you set the appropriate water level.
- Only use aquatic lawn ornaments that recycle water.
- Adjust your lawn watering according to the season (it won’t need as much in the spring or fall as it does in the summer).
- Water lawns and gardens early in the morning or late in the evening (and use less water).
- Create outdoor landscapes with drought-tolerant plants that require little or no watering.
- Only use the hose to wet your car and rinse it (turn it off while washing).
- Use a pool cover to control evaporation.
Know Where Your Master Water Supply Valve Is
In the case of a leak in your home, knowing how to turn off the entire water supply can help to conserve water and save your home from damage. Look for it where your water supply line enters the building (usually near the laundry hook-up or water heater).