Water Conservation in 15 Steps

Water conservation can save you money on your utility bill, and is also good for the environment. Here are 15 steps to help you conserve water in your home and in your yard.

1) Check your faucets and pipes for leaks
Even a small leak from a faucet can waste about 20 gallons of water per day. A larger leak can waste hundreds of gallons if not taken care of.

2) Check your toilets for leaks
Put some food coloring in your tank and see if the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. If so, you have a leak that should be repaired quickly.

3) Install low-flow faucet aerators or water-saving shower heads
Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rinse off. Low flow means it uses less than 2.5 gallons per minute.

4) Insulate your water pipes
This is very inexpensive and quite easy to do, and you can insulate the pipes with a pre-slit foam pipe insulation. The water will be hotter faster and it will avoid wasting water while it heats up.

5) Turn off the water after wetting your toothbrush
There is no reason why the water should be left on after rinsing your toothbrush. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for rinsing your mouth.

6) Rinse your razor in the sink
Fill your sink with a few inches of warm water. This will rinse your razor just as well as running water would without being wasteful.

7) Only use your clothes washer and dishwasher when you have full loads
With clothes washers, avoid the permanent press cycle which uses an added 5 gallons for the extra rinse. For smaller loads, adjust the water levels to match the size of the load. For a dishwasher, most recommend not pre-rinsing dishes which is a big water saver.

8) Don’t leave water running when washing dishes by hand
If you have a double basin sink, fill one with soapy water and one with rinsing water. If you have a single basin sink, gather the washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a blast of hot water.

9) Keep a bottle of water in the fridge
Consider buying bottled water to drink, instead of keeping the tap water running while waiting for it to get cold.

10) Plant drought-resistant shrubs and plants
If you are overseeing your existing lawn, use drought-resistant grasses such as the new “Eco Lawn”. And there are many pretty plants that can thrive with far less watering than others. Native plants are a good choice, as they will use less water and be more resistant to local pests.

11) Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants
Mulch slows the evaporation of moisture while preventing weed growth. Adding about 2-4 inches of organic much will increase the chance for soil to retain moisture.

12) Don’t water your gutters
Make sure your sprinklers are positioned to land on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas.

13) Only water your lawn when it needs it
A good way to tell if your lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If it springs back up, it doesn’t need water. If it stays flat, the lawn is ready for watering. Most lawns only need about one inch of water per week.

14) Deep soak your lawn
When you do water your lawn, you should do it long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots where it will do the most good.

15) Water during the early parts of the day and avoid watering when its windy
Early mornings are usually better than night time due to the fact that this helps prevent fungus. Early or late watering also reduces water loss to evaporation.

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