By reviewing your use of water and possibly by changing some old habits, you can help to conserve water and lower your bill. Following is a simple checklist of proven ways to save water:
Don't use the toilet for a trash can. Flush only when it is necessary. Every time you flush you use about 6 gallons of water.
Check toilets for leaks. Drop food coloring or a leak-detection tablet in the tank of the toilet. If color appears in the bowl (usually within 30 minutes), there is a leak that requires immediate attention. Flush as soon as test is done, since food coloring may stain tank.
Reduce the water level per flush. Put a plastic bottle weighted down with water or sand. Never use a brick.
Don't let the water run continuously when brushing your teeth. Turn water off after wetting toothbrush and use a glass of water to rinse.
Run water in sink to rinse razor off when shaving. Allowing the water to run uses about three gallons per minute.
When bathing, plug the drain before you begin running the water.
Shorten the amount of time you spend in the shower. Turn off the water flow when lathering up, and turn it back on to rinse.
Purchase a low-flow shower head or install a flow restricter in existing shower heads.
Check faucets and pipes for leaks. A drip from a worn washer can waste more than 20 or more gallons a day.
Use the garbage disposal only when necessary.
When washing dishes by hand, scrape the dishes before washing. Soak heavily soiled pots and pans before washing.
Don't allow water to flow continuously. Fill the sink with water, use a minimum amount of detergent, and rinse dishes quickly after washing.
If using a dishwasher, scrape dishes before putting them in the machine. Run only full loads. When buying a new dishwasher, select a water-saving model.
When you want a glass of cold water, instead of running the tap until the stream is cold, keep a container of water in the refrigerator.
Clean vegetables in a pan of water instead of under a running faucet. The water collected in the pan can then be used to water plants.
Match the load setting on the washing machine with the amount of laundry to be washed. If your machine has no load selector, wash full loads only.
Use a minimum amount of laundry detergent. Pre-soak heavily soiled items before washing.
When shopping for a new washing machine, select a model with water-saving features.
Catch water from dehumidifiers and dripping air conditioners and use to water flowers and house plants.
Fix leaks as soon as they are discovered.
To reduce water loss from evaporation, water the lawn slowly and only during cool, windless periods. Watering early in the morning--never in the heat of the afternoon--will save water.
Use hose nozzles that can be shut off when not in use, or can be adjusted to a fine mist. A single hose left on uses nearly 300 gallons an hour! Replaces hoses that leak or are split.
A soil moisture indicator or a rain gauge will tell you when your lawn needs watering and when it doesn't.
Installation of a drip irrigation system provides a slow, steady supply to shrubs and trees. Overwatering means runoff and waste.
Wet the car only twice--once before washing and once afterward.
Use one bucket of soapy water to wash the car · Don't leave the hose on while applying soap.
To clean your driveway, use a broom. Using a high powered hose can waste many gallons of water.
Keep pools covered when not in use to avoid evaporation. If you have a shallow "kiddie pool" make sure you use the water to feed plants and gardens when you're done with it.
Clean gutters and downspouts manually.
Know where your master water valve is. In case of a major leak or line break, it can be turned off, saving water and money.