Fix leaking faucets and toilets. It’s easy and could save your family thousands of gallons of water per year. In fact, studies estimate those drips and leaks add up to about 10 percent of all indoor water use.
Test your toilet for leaks. Place a few drops of food coloring in the tank and wait 15-20 minutes. If you see color in the bowl, you have a leak. The most common source of leaks is a faulty flapper valve.
Adjust the float device in your toilet so the water shuts off about an inch below the overflow tube. Water pressure has a tendency to increase at night, when water use is low. Increased pressure can cause “water creep” inside your tank, raising the water level by a half-inch or more and causing continuous running of the toilet.
Replace older toilets. Toilets sold before 1992 use about 3 1/2 or more gallons of water per flush. Most toilets in homes today use 1.6 gallons per flush, but newer high-efficiency models sold in stores now use 1.28 gallons or less. Replacing older toilets with high efficiency models could lower your home’s water use by 15 percent.
Aim at the wastebasket, not the toilet (when you want to throw something away, that is).Those extra flushes waste water and money.
Take a shower instead of a bath. A bath can use more than twice as much water as a 10-minute shower.
Then, cut a couple of minutes off your shower time. That’ll save about four gallons per shower. If you shower once a day, that adds up to 1,460 gallons of water a year. If everyone in a family of four cut back, they would save about 5,840 gallons a year.
Switch to low-flow showerheads. They use 2.5 gallons of water per minute or less. To see if you have one, place a five-gallon bucket in your shower to capture the flow. Turn the shower on for two minutes. If the bucket overflows, replace the showerhead.
Install aerators on your faucets. These inexpensive items mix air into the flow while maintaining the pressure. You won’t notice the difference, but you’ll cut your faucet water use in half.
Turn off the faucet while brushingyour teeth or shaving. Running the faucet for a couple of minutes while you’re not using the water wastes two or more gallons.
Tips for saving water in the kitchen:
Load up that dishwasher. Waiting until you have full loads saves water and energy.
Don’t rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Scraping instead of rinsing dishes before you load them can save you 10 or more gallons of water per load.
When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running while you wash. Fill the second side of the sink with rinse water instead. Besides, you’re fighting a losing battle when you compare washing those dinner dishes by hand (16-25 gallons) with today’s energy efficient dishwashers (4-7 gallons).
Feed the compost pile, not the garbage disposal. Place food scraps in a container near the sink for later composting. If you do use a disposal, use it less often.
Install an aerator on your faucet. It will mix air into the flow, while maintaining the pressure. It’s inexpensive. You won’t notice the difference in the water flow—but you’ll cut your faucet water use in half.
Tips for saving water in the laundry room:
Load up that machine. Wait until you have a full load, to save water and energy. If you must do a smaller load, adjust the water level accordingly.
Make your next washer an Energy Star model. Replace a conventional washer with a high-efficiency one (that uses 27 gallons per load or less) and you’ll lower your energy bills and use about 38 percent less water. That’s 5,000-7,000 gallons per year for the average household.