Water Conservation Tips

Ten ways that will save you the most money:

1. Water your lawn only when it needs it. Step on your grass. If it springs back, when you lift your foot, it doesn't need water. So set your sprinklers for more days in between watering. Saves 750-1,500 gallons per month. Better yet, especially in times of drought, water with a hose.
2. Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks. Check your meter to see if the leak indicator is on. Listen for water running and fix leaky faucets and plumbing joints. Faucet repair can save up to 300 gallons a month.
3. Don't run the hose while washing your car. Use a bucket of water and a quick hose rinse at the end. Saves 150 gallons each time. For a two-car family that's up to 1,200 gallons a month.
4. Install water saving showerheads or flow restrictors. Saves 500 to 800 gallons per month.
5. Run only full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher. Saves 300 to 800 gallons per month.
6. Shorten your showers. Even a one or two minute reduction can save up to 350 gallons per month.
7. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks. Saves 150 gallons or more each time. At once a week, that's more than 600 gallons a month.
8. Don't use your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Saves 400 to 600 gallons per month.
9. Capture tap water. While you wait for hot water to come down the pipes, catch the flow in a watering can to use later on houseplants or your garden. Saves 200 to 300 gallons per month.
10. Don't water the sidewalks, driveway or gutter. Adjust your sprinklers so that water lands on your lawn or garden where it belongs--and only there. Saves 500 gallons per month.

In The Bathroom:

1. If you're taking a shower, don't waste cold water while waiting for hot water to reach the showerhead. Catch that water in a container to use on your outside plants or to flush your toilet. Saves 200 to 300 gallons a month.
2. Check toilet for leaks. Put dye tablets or food coloring into the tank. If color appears in the bowl without flushing, there's a leak that should be repaired. Fixing it can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
3. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Saves two gallons each day.
4. Turn off the water while shaving. Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of water to rinse your razor. Saves three gallons each day.


In The Kitchen and Laundry:

1. If you wash dishes by hand--and that's the best way--don't leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with rinse water. If you only have one sink, use a spray device or short blasts instead of letting the water run. Saves 200 to 500 gallons a month.
2. When washing dishes by hand, use the least amount of detergent possible. This minimizes rinse water needed. Saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.
3. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. This beats the wasteful habit of running tap water to cool it for drinking. Saves 200 to 300 gallons a month.
4. Don't defrost frozen foods with running water. Either plan ahead by placing frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or defrost them in the microwave. Saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.
5. Don't let the faucet run while you clean fruits & vegetables. Rinse them in a filled sink or pan. Reuse the water for your houseplants. Saves 150 to 250 gallons a month.
6. Use the garbage disposal less and the garbage more (even better--compost!). Saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.


1. Put a layer of organic mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation. Saves 750 to 1,500 gallons a month.
2. Water during the cool parts of the day to minimize evaporation. Early morning is better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. Saves 300 gallons.
3. Don't water the lawn on windy days. There's too much evaporation. Can waste up to 300 gallons in one watering.
4. Cut down watering on cool and overcast days and don't water in the rain. Adjust or deactivate automatic sprinklers. Can save up to 300 gallons each time.
5. Set lawn mower blades one notch higher. Longer grass means less evaporation. Aerate your lawn at least once a year so water can reach the roots rather than run off the surface. Saves 500 to 1,500 gallons each month.
6. Have an evaporative air conditioner? Direct the water drain line to a flowerbed, tree base, or lawn.
7. Drive your car onto a lawn to wash it. Rinse water can help water the grass.
8. If you allow your children to play in the sprinklers, make sure it's only when you're watering the yard--if it's not too cool at that time of day.
9. Xeriscape-replace your lawn and high-water-using trees and plants with less thirsty ones. But do this only in wet years. Even drought resistant plantings take extra water to get them going. That'll save 750 to 1,500 gallons a month.