Being H2O Wise

Water conservation measures not only save the supply of our water source, but can also cut the cost of water treatment. They can cut the energy costs at the treatment facility associated with pumping and also chemical costs for processing water. There are a number of measures you as the water consumer can do to conserve on water usage.

Tips for Saving Water at Home


Prepare food efficiently. Speed cleaning food by using a vegetable brush. Spray water in short bursts. Faucet aerators cut consumption. Defrost sensibly. Plan ahead to defrost foods overnight in the refrigerator. Don't use running water. Use the microwave or put wrapped food in a bowl of cold water.


Reduce dishwashing. Use a rubber spatula to scrape dishes clean to limit pre-rinse. Let really dirty pans or dishes soak to speed washing. Use fewer dishes. Limit dishwasher use to full loads. Minimize detergent use. Prepare food with an eye to reducing dishwashing.

Water Heater

Use hot water efficiently. Letting water run from the faucet until it heats up is a waste. Instead of sending it down the drain, capture clean water for other uses. Insulate hot water pipes to save energy.

Garbage Disposal

Find a better way. Avoid using garbage disposals. Compost or feed leftovers to pets when possible. Use recycled water in disposal.

Bathtub / Shower

Filling the tub uses about 50 gallons of water. Try bathing in just 10 gallons. Plug the tub when you shower; how full does the tub get? Don't waste clean water. Plug the bathtub and start the hot water; wait to add cold water until the water in the tub has reached the right temperature. When you've finished bathing, use the water to clean the tub. Short showers save water. To be a water saver, install a low-flow showerhead and keep showers under five minutes. Turn off the water to soap up.

Bathroom Sink

Brush teeth efficiently. Don't let the water run while you brush teeth or shave. Turn the faucet on briefly to rinse. An electric razor saves the most.


Twice a year, check all faucets inside and outside for leaks. Replace worn-out fixtures, washers, O-rings and hose connections. Turn faucets off firmly.

Clothes Washer

The clothes washer is the second largest water user in your home. Thinking of buying a new washing machine? Choose wisely. Find one that conserves water and energy and has a suds-saver attachment. Energy Star rated appliances use 35-50% less water and 50% less energy per load. Match washer's load selector to your load size. Try to wash only full loads. Minimize detergent use. Save energy by using cold water to wash. Use low suds detergent. Washing clothes by hand can be easier and save water if you use only a small amount of low-suds detergent and presoak really dirty items.


The most common source of leaks is the toilet. Check for leaks by placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If after 15 minutes the color appears in the bowl, the toilet has a leak. Leaky toilets can often be repaired inexpensively by replacing the flapper. Flush only when necessary. Avoid using the toilet as a wastebasket. Every flush you eliminate can save between two and seven gallons of water. The toilet is the largest water user in your home. If the home was built before 1992 and the toilet has never been replaced, it is very likely not a water efficient 1.6 gallon per flush toilet. If you do not have a low flow toilet, use plastic bottles filled with water and pebbles to displace water in the tank. Don't obstruct float. Don't use bricks.

Tips for Saving Water Outside

Car Wash

Wash cars efficiently. Choose a car wash that recycles water. At home, use a shut-off nozzle and wash your car in small sections. Use water from a bucket to wash your car, and save the hose for rinsing. Direct runoff to water landscaping.

Pools / Spas

Cover pool or spa to reduce evaporation. Avoid over flows and splashes by reducing water levels. Water landscape with wading pool water.


Water yards wisely. Landscaping benefits most from slow, thorough, infrequent watering. Minimize evaporation by watering early morning or evening. Aerate lawns. Install drip irrigation and automatic timers. Mulch to retain water. Plant hardy, water saving plants, trees, and shrubs, particularly native species. Use mulch around plants and shrubs or choose plants that don't use much water. Mow less frequently in dry times. Limit lawn by using gravel or bark. Sweep clippings and leaves from walks and driveways rather than using the hose. Repair leaks in faucets and hoses. Use water saving nozzles. Obey any and all water bans or regulations.

Freeze Precautions

Protect Outside Faucets

Drain outside faucets and sprinkler systems if a separate shut-off is available. Disconnect and drain garden hoses. Check with a plumber about frost-proof faucets. Caulk any space between the faucet and an outside wall.

Protect Water Meter

Be sure the meter box cover is not broken, missing, or out of place. Call a plumber to make any meter or remote repairs.  Keep meters in proper working order at all times. 

Insulate Pipes

Insulate pipes in unheated areas, i.e. exterior walls, crawl spaces, basements, cabinets or any spaces where air cannot circulate. Check for damp insulation; water-soaked insulation can cause freeze-ups.

Eliminate Drafts

Keep basement, garage doors and windows tightly closed. Close off crawl space vents and doors; seal cracks in basement or crawl spaces.

Open Cabinet Doors Below Sinks

During extremely cold weather, if a sink is located against an outside wall, open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to reach water pipes. Drain pipes before extended vacations.

Water Fact

You can refill an 8oz glass of water approximately 15,000 times for the same cost of a soft drink six pack.