Water Conservation Tips
Did you know that the average U.S. household uses approximately 400 gallons of water per day or 100 gallons per person per day? Luckily, there are many low-cost and no-cost ways to conserve water. Small changes can make a big difference – try one today, and soon it will become second nature.
- Visit the EPA's WaterSense website for more information.
- To see how much water you use and what you can do to improve your water consumption, visit the Home Water Works, water calculator.
Tips for Residents - Indoors
- Take short showers - a 5-minute shower uses 4 to 5 gallons of water compared to up to 50 gallons for a bath.
- Shut off water while brushing your teeth, washing your hair, and shaving and save up to 500 gallons a month.
- Use a water-efficient showerhead. They're inexpensive, easy to install, and can save you up to 750 gallons a month.
- Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
- Water plants only when necessary.
- In the toilet tank, place plastic bottles filled with water and weighted with pebbles to displace water so that you use less water with each flush.
- Fix leaky toilets and faucets. Faucet washers are inexpensive and take only a few minutes to replace. To check your toilet for a leak, place a few drops of food coloring in the tank and wait. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, there is a leak. Fixing it or replacing it with a new, more efficient model can save up to 1,000 gallons a month. For more information on leaks, visit our Fix a Leak Week website.
- Teach your kids about water conservation to ensure a future generation that uses water wisely. Make it a family effort to reduce next month's water bill!
Tips for Residents - Outdoors
- Look for WaterSense labeled weather-based irrigation controllers – a “smart” technology that applies water only when plants need it – as part of the solution. WaterSense labeled weather-based irrigation controllers, which act like a thermostat for a sprinkler system by telling it when to turn on and off, use local weather and landscape data to tailor watering schedules to actual conditions on-site. Instead of irrigating using a clock timer and a preset schedule, WaterSense labeled controllers allow watering schedules to match plants' water needs better. With proper installation, programming, and system maintenance, homeowners and businesses can replace standard clock timers with independently certified WaterSense labeled controllers and waste less water, time, and money.
- Grass doesn’t always need water just because it’s hot out. Step on the lawn, and if the grass springs back, then it doesn’t need water. An inexpensive soil moisture sensor can also identify moisture at the plant’s roots and discourage overwatering.
- It’s best to water lawns and landscapes in the early morning and late evening because significant amounts of water can be lost due to evaporation at other times of the day.
- Make sure your sprinklers are spraying only your lawn or garden, not the sidewalk or streets.
- Inspect irrigation systems and check for leaks and broken or clogged sprinkler heads. Fix sprinkler heads that are broken or spraying on the street or driveway.
- Assign areas of your landscape different zones depending on sun/shade exposure, soil and plant types, and type of sprinklers, and then adjust your irrigation system or watering schedule based on those zones.
- Sweep driveways, sidewalks, and steps rather than hosing them off. And don’t forget to check for leaks at your spigot connection and tighten as necessary.
- Raise your lawnmower blade. Longer grass promotes deeper root growth, resulting in a more drought-resistant lawn, reduced evaporation, and fewer weeds.
- Add a layer of organic mulch to flower beds to retain moisture in the soil and reduce weeds.
- Save water by reducing your lawn area by adding native plants to patios and walkways.
- Cover your outdoor pool when not used to prevent evaporation, and do not fill it too high because high water splashes easily.
- Recycle wading water pool for use on plants, shrubs, and lawns.
- Wash your car sensibly. Wash it in sections, rinse with short spurts from the hose. If you use a car wash, see if you can use a car wash that recycles water.
- For more information on saving water outdoors, visit the EPA's Outdoor WaterSense Website.
Tips for Businesses
Our offices and factories consume huge quantities of water, so saving on the job should be everyone’s business. You can help to save water in your 9-to-5 world by offering these simple tips for wise water use in the workplace:
- Post a phone number in bathrooms and kitchens to report leaks or water waste to facility managers or maintenance personnel.
- Look for WaterSense labeled products when replacing toilets or water faucets.
- Shut off water in unused areas of the office to eliminate leaks and unmonitored water usage.
- Send the person in charge of your landscaping to an irrigation workshop to learn to save water while maintaining the landscaping.
- Create a suggestion and incentives system at your workplace to recognize water-saving ideas.
- For more information on commercial water use, visit the EPA's Commercial WaterSense Website.
Tips for Kids
- Don't keep the water running while you're brushing your teeth.
- Take shorter showers. Make it a game. Keep an egg timer in the bathroom and see who can get their showers down to three minutes. (And still, get clean!)
- Visit the EPA's WaterSense Kids website for more information.