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Keep plumbing in good working order
Worn plumbing fixtures waste a great deal of water and can be costly to the consumer. Follow these tips to save water and money:
Repair leaky faucets, showers and hoses.
A leaky faucet wastes between 750 gallons (a steady drip) and 12,000 gallons (a steady stream) per month.
Replace parts inside your toilet tank before leaks start.
A leaky toilet tank wastes between 300 gallons (slow leak) and 60,000 gallons (running toilet) per month. To detect a slow leak, put food coloring in the toilet tank and wait up to 12 hours without flushing. If the water in the bowl turns color, your toilet tank is leaking.
Protect plumbing from freezing in cold weather.
Protect pipes from freezing by insulating pipes in unheated areas. Whenever possible, drain outside faucets before freezing weather sets in.
Locate your main water valve.
If a serious water leak occurs, knowing where the main water valve is will save hundreds of gallons of water and reduce the risk of property damage.
Install water saving fixtures in your home
Use low-flow showerheads with cut-off valves.
Low flow showerheads use 3 to 5 gallons less per minute than regular showerheads. A cut-off valves lets you turn off the water while soaping up and shampooing. This can save 1,000 to 2,000 gallons per month.
Install faucets with aerators or flow restrictors.
These devices can cut water usage as much as 50%.
Select appliances with water saving features.
Purchase dishwashers and washing machines with water saving features.
Use water wisely on lawns and shrubs
Do not overwater.
Lawns generally need only about 1" of water per week (about 3,500 gallons for 1/8 acre of grass) to stay healthy. A 5/8" garden hose or in ground sprinkler system puts about 1,000 gallons per hour on your lawn. Rain reduces the need to sprinkle your lawn.
Set your lawnmower to 3" to maximize root growth.
Lawns that are at least 3" tall need less water than closely clipped lawns.
The most efficient way to water is a slow drip. Install drip systems for shrubs, flowerbeds, gardens and wherever practical. When using a sprinkler, water during the cool of the day, preferably when the wind is not blowing. Water for short periods more often to minimize runoff. Mulch around trees and shrubs to conserve water.
Develop habits that save water
Flush toilets only when necessary.
Do not use the toilet to dispose of household trash.
Fill the sink or run the faucet sparingly.
Do not let the water run when washing, shaving or brushing teeth.
Take shorter showers or shallow baths.
Filling the tub uses 35 to 50 gallons of water. Showers use 3 to 10 gallons per minute.
Use clothes washer and dishwasher efficiently.
Do only full loads. Avoid extra wash or rinse cycles whenever possible. Change settings for smaller loads.
Use a broom or rake instead of water.
Clean driveways, patios and walkways with a broom or rake instead of hosing down.
Save water when washing cars.
Take your car to a car wash that recycles water. When washing the car yourself, rinse once and use a bucket of soapy water. Always use a nozzle that shuts off at the end of your hose. If possible, park your car on the grass when washing to water grass at the same time.