Water Conservation Tips
- Check faucets, pipes, and toilets for leaks. A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste as much as 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.
- Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators for relatively inexpensive and simple water conservation at home.
- Reduce your shower time. Five to ten gallons of water are used during every unneeded minute of a shower. Limit showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down, and rinse off.
- Insulate your water pipes. Pre-slit foam pipe insulation is inexpensive and easy to install. You will get hot water faster and reduce the water wasted while you wait for it to heat up.
- Turn the faucet off. Whether brushing your teeth, shaving, washing dishes in the sink, or rinsing vegetables, turn the faucet off. There is no need to keep the water running during these activities.
- Only run full loads in the dishwasher or clothes washer. If you must run a partial load, adjust water levels to match the size of the load.
Smart Summer Watering Practices
- Water your lawn and garden only as needed. Frequent watering promotes unhealthy, shallow root development.
- Water early in the morning to limit water loss due to evaporation. Also avoid watering on windy days.
- Place an empty tin can in the watered area to measure the water applied. Three-fourths of an inch to one inch of water is sufficient each time you irrigate.
- Use drip irrigation to water shrubs, flowers, and vegetable gardens. Less water is lost to evaporation using drip systems than spray systems.
- Apply mulch to gardens and shrubs to reduce evaporation and weed competition. A two- to three-inch layer of mulch is most effective. Organic mulches also improve soil infiltration and water-holding capacity over time.
- Assess landscape watering patterns to minimize spray on sidewalks and paved surfaces, spray blockage by plants or other obstructions, and runoff on slopes or clay soil.
For additional water conservation tips, please visit WaterSense, a partnership program with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that provides information on smart water choices that save money and maintain high environmental standards.