Conservation of water not only helps to protect the environment, it also helps you save money on your water and wastewater bills. Here are a few tips to help you conserve water in your home:
- Verify that your home is leak free. Many homes have unknown water leaks. Read your water meter before and after a one-hour period when no water is being used. The reading should be exactly the same, if not, you have a leak!
- Replace or repair leaky faucets.
- Check for toilet tank leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the toilet bowl within 30 minutes. (Food coloring may stain if left in the bowl, therefore, flush when finished.)
- If the toilet-handle frequently sticks in the flush position letting water run constantly, replace or adjust it.
- Install a toilet dam or place a brick in the tank to limit the water used when flushing.
- Take shorter showers. Set a timer and limit showers to 5 minutes.
- Replace your showerhead with new flow restrictor heads. Turn water on to get wet; turn off to lather up; then turn back on to rinse off. Repeat when washing your hair.
- Place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water and use this to water plants.
- Operate automatic dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are fully loaded. Set the water to the appropriate level for the size of load you are using.
- Do not keep water running while shaving, facial cleansing, or brushing teeth.
- Store drinking water in the refrigerator instead of waiting for the tap water to cool.
- Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on your microwave. Don’t use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods.
- Insulate your water pipes. You’ll get hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
- If you have a well, check your pump periodically. If the pump kicks on and off while water is not being used, you have a leak.
- Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Do not use the toilet as a trashcan.
- When washing the car, use a bucket. If you need to use a hose, make sure that it has a shut-off nozzle.
- Use your garden hose properly. Sweep driveways, sidewalks and porches instead of spraying them with a hose. Check the hose for leaks at the spigot and at the connection to another hose.
- Only water your lawn once a week. According to experts at Purdue University, one inch of water per week is all your lawn needs to remain healthy.
- Schedule watering in the morning between 4 and 7 A.M. Watering midday results in as much as 30% of water loss due to evaporation.
- When mowing, raise the blade on your lawn mower to three inches high. Taller grass holds water better.