Water Conservation Tips
Remember that water is a valuable resource that shouldn't be wasted. Your water is clean, safe and convenient, but you have to pay for its treatment and the system to deliver it to your home or office. By conserving water in your home, you also save energy needed to heat it or run appliances.
Water consumption may be high for many reasons.
- More people may be living in the household.
- During the summer, water consumption may be higher due to outside watering of a lawn or garden, or an outside faucet may be left on.
- Most often an unexplained increase in usage is caused by leaky plumbing - toilets, sinks, outside sprinklers, washers, hot water heaters, etc.
- Toilet leaks are the most common and are hard to see or hear. A leaky toilet can waste 800 cubic feet of water per day.
Never underestimate the amount of water that is consumed for normal, everyday tasks around the home.
Average Water Consumption Amounts
Here are some average water consumption amounts for routine household tasks:
- Shower - 25-50 gallons (5-10 gallons/minute)
- Bath - 36 gallons (full tub)
- Toilet flush - 2-7 gallons
- Dish washing - 20 gallons (tap running)
- Automatic dishwasher - 12 gallons (full cycle)
- Clothes washer - 30-60 gallons (full cycle)
- Outdoor watering - 5-10 gallons per minute
- Two thirds of the water used in an average home is used in a bathroom and a lot of it goes down the sewer.
- From 2-7 gallons of water are used every time a toilet is flushed.
- Do not use the toilet to flush items that can go in a wastebasket.
- Be aware of toilet leaks! A major toilet leak can waste up to 800 cubic feet of water per day.
- Long hot showers not only waste water but also energy to heat the water. Consider using reduced-flow devices for showerheads.
- Don't leave the water running while you shave or brush your teeth. You are just running clean water down the sewer system.
- Be sure the dishwasher is fully loaded before running it.
- There is no need to rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
- If you wash dishes by hand, do not let the water run while washing or rinsing.
- Don't let the water run while cleaning vegetables or other foods, either.
- Use a large pan or dish for rinsing.
- Store drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting it run until it is cold.
- Be sure to have full loads, or use the automatic controls for smaller loads.
- Use cold water for rinsing.
- Don't water on a fixed schedule or if rain is in the forecast.
- Water grass and plants only if they show signs of needing it.
- Water during the coolest part of the day to avoid excess evaporation.
- Water slowly, as water applied to fast runs off into the storm sewers.
- When washing the car, use a bucket for washing and only run the hose for rinsing.
- Install shut-off valves for appliances and fixtures in case a pipe blows out.
- Most importantly, check for a main shutoff valve that turns off water to the whole house, and make sure that it works.