Water Conservation

Conserve Water in the Bathroom

  • Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. In other words, don't use it for a garbage. Dispose of tissues, insects and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
  • Test for a leaking toilet by adding food coloring to the tank (not the bowl). Without flushing, note if any color appears in the bowl after 30 minutes.
  • Install a low-flow toilet. If you have a standard toilet, put a toilet dam in the tank. Do not use a brick which will disintegrate and clog your pipes.
  • Use a low-flow showerhead.
  • Install aerators on faucets.
  • Don't let the water run when washing, brushing and shaving. Turn it on and off as needed.
  • Take showers instead of baths. A ten minute shower with a low-flow showerhead uses half the water of a regular bath.
  • If your shower takes a while to heat up, and you have to let the water run, put buckets in the shower to capture the water for watering plants, washing vegetables, water for pets or washing your car and bike.
  • If you are designing your own bathroom, think about putting in the Japanese style of tub that is deeper but more compact - water cools more slowly requiring less input of heated water.
  • Get a small sand timer that lasts about 3 minutes and bring it in the shower. Most people can have a shower in six minutes.
  • Look into devices that divert water into a bucket from the shower while the water is warming up via a hose.
  • Repair dripping faucets or toilets, which use enormous amounts of water.

Conserve Water in the Kitchen

  • Avoid washing dishes under a stream of water. Turn off the water in between dishes. Use only a full dishwasher and clothes washer.
  • If you like a drink of cold water, but you have to let the tap run for a while before the water gets cold, instead keep a pitcher of water in the fridge.
  • Save the water from steaming or boiling vegetables for houseplants, vegetable broth for soup or stir fry liquid.
  • Wash food in a bowl or pot of water rather than in running water. This works especially well for herbs because you can swish them around and the dirt will come off their many surfaces. Let the herbs sit a minute and the dirt will sink to the bottom while the herbs float at the top.
  • Do not use water to thaw meat. Use the microwave instead.
  • Avoid using your garbage disposal system in your sink. It uses lots of water to run. Compost your scraps instead.

Conserving Water: General Tips

  • Turn down your water heater when you are going on a long trip.
  • Get free distilled water for irons and humidifiers by straining rainwater through 2-3 layers of panty hose.
  • Check your water meter while no water is being used in your house. If it moves, you have a leak.
  • If you have a well, check your pump periodically. If the pump kicks on and off while water is not being used, you have a leak.

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