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Water is essential to our everyday lives. And, our supplies are limited…so please use water wisely. Cutting water use inside and outside our homes is really important. If each of us changed our water-use habits, we could save billions of gallons of water. Here’s how you can help:

HOME - INSIDE

  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks

A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.

  •  Don't use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket

Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted.

  • Check your toilets for leaks

Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install.

  • Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks

Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.

  •  Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators

Inexpensive water-saving low-flow shower heads or restrictors are easy for the homeowner to install. Also, long, hot showers can use five to ten gallons every unneeded minute. 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.

All household faucets should be fit with aerators. This single best home water conservation method is also the cheapest!

  •  Put plastic bottles or float booster in your toilet tank

To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. Or, buy an inexpensive tank bank or float booster. This may save ten or more gallons of water per day.

Be sure at least 3 gallons of water remain in the tank so it will flush properly. If there is not enough water to get a proper flush, users will hold the lever down too long or do multiple flushes to get rid of waste. Two flushings at 1.4 gallons is worse than a single 2.0 gallon flush. For new installations, consider buying "low flush" toilets, which use 1 to 2 gallons per flush instead of the usual 3 to 5 gallons, a savings of about 70% in water flushed and 30% of all water used indoors.

  • Take shorter showers.

One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.

  • Turn off the water when you brush your teeth

There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.

  • Rinse your razor in the sink

Fill the sink with a few inches of warm water. This will rinse your razor just as well as running water, with far less waste of water.

  • Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads

Automatic dishwashers and clothes washers should be fully loaded for optimum water conservation. Most makers of dishwashing soap recommend not pre-rinsing dishes which is a big water savings.

With clothes washers, avoid the permanent press cycle, which uses an additional 5 gallons for the extra rinse. If it’s time to replace your washer, new Energy Star rated front-load washers use 35 - 50% less water and 50% less energy per load.

  • Minimize use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units

In-sink 'garburators' require lots of water to operate properly, and also add considerably to the volume of solids in a septic tank which can lead to maintenance problems. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste.

  • When washing dishes, don't leave the water running for rinsing

If your have a double-basin, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have a single-basin sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a panful of hot water. Dual-swivel aerators are available to make this easier. If using a dishwasher, there is usually no need to pre-rinse the dishes.

  • Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables

Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water. Use a dual-setting aerator.

  • Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge.

Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful. Store drinking water in the fridge in a safe drinking bottle.