Water Efficiency Measures for Residences
Information provided by the Environmental Protection
- Never use your toilet as a waste basket.
- Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth.
- Take short showers instead of tub baths. Turn off the water flow
while soaping or shampooing.
- If you must use a tub, close the drain before turning on the
water and fill the tub only half full. Bathe small children together.
- Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for
it -such as watering a plant or garden.
Kitchen and Laundry:
- Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the
faucet run until the water is cool.
- Wash fruits and vegetables in a basin. Use a vegetable brush.
Do not use water to defrost frozen foods, thaw in the
- Use a dishpan for washing and rinsing dishes.
- Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the
- Add food wastes to your compost pile instead of using the garbage
- Operate the dishwasher only when completely full.
- Use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the
- Sweep driveways, sidewalks and steps rather than hosing off.
- Wash the car with water from a bucket, or consider using a
commercial car wash that recycles water.
- When using a hose, control the flow with an automatic shut-off
- Avoid purchasing recreational water toys that require a constant
stream of water.
- If you have a swimming pool, consider a new water-saving pool
- Lower pool water level to reduce amount of water splashed out.
- Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation when pool is not being used
- Repair all leaks. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons per day.
To detect leaks in the toilet, add food coloring to the tank water. If
the colored water appears in the bowl, the toilet is leaking. Toilet
repair advice is available at http://www.toiletology.com/index.shtml.
- Install ultra-low flow toilets, or place a plastic container
filled with water or gravel in the tank of your conventional toilet.
Be sure it does not interfere with operation of the toiletís flush
- Install low-flow aerators and showerheads.
- Consider purchasing a high efficiency washing machine which can
save over 50% in water and energy use.
Water Efficiency Measures for Landscaping
- Detect and repair all leaks in irrigation systems.
- Use properly treated wastewater for irrigation where available.
- Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day
(early morning is best). Do not water on windy days.
- Water trees and shrubs, which have deep root systems, longer and
less frequently than shallow-rooted plants which require smaller amounts
of water more often. Check with the local extension service for advice
on the amount and frequency of watering needed in your area.
- Set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only - not the street
- Use soaker hoses and trickle irrigation systems.
- Install moisture sensors on sprinkler systems.
- Have your soil tested for nutrient content and add organic matter
if needed. Good soil absorbs and retains water better.
- Minimize turf areas and use native grasses.
- Use native plants in your landscape - they require less care and
water than ornamental varieties.
- Use mulch around shrubs and garden plants to reduce evaporation
from the soil surface and cut down on weed growth.
- Remove thatch and aerate turf to encourage movement of water to
the root zone.
- Raise your lawn mower cutting height - longer grass blades help
shade each other, cut down on evaporation, and inhibit weed growth.
- Minimize or eliminate fertilizing which requires additional
watering, and promotes new growth which will also need additional
Ornamental Water Features:
- Do not install or use ornamental water features unless they
recycle the water. Use signs to indicate that water is recycled. Do not
operate during a drought.