Residential Water Conservation

How to Conserve Water in Your Home

Replace inefficient fixtures with low-flow and ultra low-flow models.

  • Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge instead of running the tap and waiting for it to become cold.
  • Run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads only. (Running most dishwashers uses about 12 gallons of water; while washing machines can use over 40 gallons.)
  • Try not to use the garbage disposal.
  • Soak pots and pans rather than running the water while you scrape them clean.
  • When hand-washing dishes, put a stopper on either side of the sink and use one side to wash and one to rinse, without leaving the water running.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water, using a vegetable brush rather than rinsing them under running water. Use the water from the bowl to water your flowers and plants.
  • Select the proper pan size for cooking. Large pans require more cooking water than necessary.
  • Do not use the toilet as a trash can.
  • While brushing your teeth, remember to turn off the water faucet.
  • Washing dark clothes in cold water saves water and energy; it also helps your clothes retain their color.
  • If you accidentally drop ice cubes, don't throw them in the sink or kick them under the fridge. Pick them up and drop them in a house plant instead.
  • Monitor your water bill for unusually high use and possible leaks. Check for leaks at least twice a year. Repair all leaky toilets, faucets, and other fixtures. You can check toilet leaks by putting a couple of drops of food coloring in the back tank. If within 15 minutes the color from the tank has made it into the bowl, then you have a leaky toilet.

How to Conserve Water Outside

  • Outdoor water usage can account for more than 50% of a home's water usage during the summer. Using more effective means increases efficiency and decreases your water bill.
  • Do not over-water. Healthy lawns need no more than one inch of water per week.
  • Make sure only landscaped areas are being watered, not the sidewalk or driveway.
  • Encourage deeper grass roots by watering slowly and less frequently.
  • Dormant lawns can survive for over four weeks without water.
  • Use a broom to clean off sidewalks and driveways, rather than spraying down with a hose.
  • Water only in the early morning and during the cooler hours of the evening, when evaporation is minimal.
  • Put mulch down to minimize evaporation and increase water retention. It also helps to eliminate weeds.
  • Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust use according to the weather.
  • Landscaping with native plants, xeriscaping, required less maintenance and less water.