- Leaks: Dripping faucets can waste gallons of water per day. Check faucets regularly for leaks at the faucet head and seepage at the base and its connections.
- Low-Flow Faucets: Check the amount of water flowing from each faucet. You can do this by opening the faucet and allowing the water to flow into a container for 10 seconds. Multiply the amount of water in the container by six to determine the per minute flow. If your existing faucet flows above 2.5 gallons per minute, install a low-flow aerator. For a bathroom faucet, a 1.5 gallons per minute flow will provide enough water for personal hygiene needs. For a kitchetn faucet, you will want 1.5 to 2.5 gallons per minute of flow to make sure the flow of water is enough to wash and rinse dishes.
- Aerator Faucets: Aerators are circular screened disks, usually made of metal, that are screwed onto the head of the faucet to reduce flow. Aerators for kitchen faucts are available with a variety of spray patterns and flow-control features.
Baths and Showers:
- Use the minimum amount of water needed for a bath by closing the drain first and filling the tub only one-third full. The initial burst of cold water will be warmed by the hot water as the tub fills.
- In the shower, turn water on to get wet, turn off to lather up and then turn back on to rinse off.
- Turn off the water as you brush your teeth, wash your face or shave.
- If load size cannot be set, operate the washer with full loads only.
- Use the shortest wash cycle for lightly soiled loads. Normal and permanent press wash cycles use more water.
- Check hoses regularly for leaks.
- Pre-treat stains to avoid rewashing.
- When you replace your clothes washer, consider a water-efficient model that uses an average of 27 gallons of water per load. Front loaders use 20-25 gallons. Older, inefficient washing machines can use as much as 56 gallons of water per load.
- Leaks: Toilet leaks are often silent, allowing water loss to go undetected for long periods of time. A leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day. To detect these leaks, remove the lid from the toilet tank, remove any colored cleaning agents, flush to clear water in the bowl, and then add dye tablets, leak detector fluid or a few drops of food coloring to the water in the toilet tank. If the tank is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. Flush as soon as the test is complete.
- Low-Volume Toilets: Since the mid-1990s, all new toilets have been redesigned to conserve water, using 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Older models use 3 gallons or more per flush. If your toilet is not a newer water-saving fixture, you might want to consider purchasing a newer model.
- Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects, and other such waste in the trash rather than in the toilet.
Additional Tips (Indoors and Outdoors):
- Operate the dishwasher only when you have a full load. When purchasing a dishwasher, consider a water-efficient model.
- When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or basin with soapy water and fill the rinsing sink to one third or one-half full. Avoid letting the water run continuously in the rinsing sink.
- Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or by using the defrost setting on your microwave.
- Insulate your water pipes. You’ll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.
- Pay attention to your hose. Left unattended, a garden hose can pour out as much as 600 gallons of water an hour.
- Check all hoses, connectors and spigots regularly to make sure they are in good working order.
- Use a broom to clean leaves and other debris from sidewalks and driveways rather than a hose. Using a hose to clean a driveway can waste hundreds of gallons of water. Outfit your hose with a shut-off nozzle that can be adjusted so water flows only as needed. When finished, turn it off at the faucet instead of at the nozzle to avoid leaks.
- Use hose washers between spigots and water hoses to eliminate leaks.
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