Home Water Conservation
With many parts of the country suffering from near-drought conditions, it’s time to think about how you as a homeowner can help conserve water (and save money in the bargain). What follows are a list of tips that show how.
Check your toilets for leaks – place a drop of food coloring in the tank. If the color shows up in the bowl, repair the leak pronto.
To reduce the water required to flush, put a quart plastic bottle of water in the tank and save one quart per flush.
Have the float level adjusted to reduce the water needed.
Don’t use the toilet as a trash receptacle.
Replace your old toilet if it was manufactured before 1992. Newer toilets use only 1.6 gallons per flush.
Avoid using caustic toilet bowl cleaners because they can erode plastic and rubber parts which contribute to leaks.
Flush less frequently, and if the toilet handle sticks, replace or adjust it.
Take showers instead of tub baths, and limit shower time to two minutes or less.
Install a flow-control device in your showers.
Cut down on the number of showers taken. Try a sponge bath using water in a basin or bucket.
Turn off shower water while you apply soap to body, or shampoo and shave.
Keep a bucket in the shower to collect excess water. You can use this water to irrigate your plants.
Turn off water while you shave, lather your hands and brush your teeth.
Don’t use your clothes washing machine with less than a full load or use a lower water-level setting.
Save hand-washing jobs and do several items at one time. Example: wash a week’s supply of hosiery rather than daily.
Wear outfits more than once – Don't wash clothes more often than necessary.
Replace your clothes washer. Newer models can use up to 50 percent less water than older ones.
Pretreat stains to avoid rewashing, and use the shortest wash cycle for lightly soiled loads.
Check your clothes washer hoses regularly for cracks that could result in leaks.
Use a pan of water when peeling and cleaning vegetables and fruits rather than letting the sink tap run.
l Use the garbage disposal only once per dishwashing session.
Use the least water necessary to cook foods like frozen vegetables and stews. You'll preserve nutrients as well as save water.
Prevent excess evaporation by using tight-fitting lids on your pots and pans.
Use appropriate sized pans for cooking. Large pans require more cooking water.
Don’t run the tap to get cold water. Keep a bottle of water in the refrigerator for drinking.
Don’t thaw frozen foods with running tap water.
Use fewer utensils while cooking to cut down on the amount of dishwashing water you use.
Run the dishwasher only when it is completely full.
Scrape rather than rinse dishes that go in the dishwasher.
Use one pan of soapy water and one of hot water for For washing dishes by hand.
Water the lawn less frequently. Frequent watering encourages shallow roots.
Water between midnight and 6 a.m. to reduce evaporation losses, and water dry areas by hand.
Install an automatic sprinkler system, which is much more water efficient than hand watering.
Use a plastic garbage can to collect rainwater for use in watering plants or washing the car.
Don't water your driveway, sidewalks, house or neighbor’s lawn, and don't water when it’s windy out.
Use a drip system for gardens, which encourages strong root systems and cuts down on evaporation.
Plant drought-resistant plants and trees. Remove weeds promptly – they rob other plants of water.
Mow less – mowing puts grass under stress, which makes it need more water.
Don’t use the hose to clean driveways and decks. Use a broom.
When washing the car, get it wet then turn off the water while you soap the car down. Use the hose only for the final rinse.
Wash your car in the rain with a soapy sponge.
Cover your swimming pool to reduce evaporation loss, and recycle your pool water.
Turn off all water if you are going to be away from home on a vacation or trip.
Mulch shrubs and garden plants to retain moisture in the soil longer.