Current drought conditions, low lake levels, and those hot summer temperatures are good reminders to continue conserving water at home. Here are 10 things you can do to use less water:
1. Check for leaks. A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day, so make sure you know how to detect where leaks may be happening in your home.
2. Replace older toilets. Newer high-efficiency and dual flush toilets conserve water that can really reduce the amount of your water bill. And don’t use your toilet for trash – use the trashcan instead. Learn more here.
3. Take shorter showers. Showers use 5 to 10 gallons per minute, so aim for a shower under 5 minutes. To conserve even more, replace older showerheads with more efficient ones – it could save you another 2 gallons per minute! Get a free shower head aerator
4. Minimize use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units. In-sink 'garburators' need lots of water to operate properly. They also can add considerably to the volume of solids in a septic tank, which can lead to maintenance problems. A compost pile is an alternate method of disposing food waste. Learn more about composting.
5. Insulate your water pipes. Insulating water pipes is easy and inexpensive with pre-slit foam pipe insulation. You'll get hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
6. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. Likewise, running tap water to cool it off is wasteful. Cool it in the fridge instead of in the sink!
7. Turn it off! Use less by turning off the water while shaving, brushing your teeth, lathering in the shower, and shampooing or conditioning your hair. Rinse dishes, vegetables, and fruit in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water. Every drop counts!
8. Use your dishwasher and clothes washer only for full loads. Automatic dishwashers and clothes washers should be fully loaded for optimum water conservation. Don’t use the “pre-rinse” option to save even more. Learn more here!
9. Lower your water pressure. High water pressure leads to more waste – installing a pressure regulating valve can help. Receive a rebate!
10. Calculate your water use. Use this calculator to determine how much water you use every day and where you can conserve more.