Basic ways to conserve water inside and outside your home
Inside Your Home
Tip #1 Check for leaks
Dripping faucets and leaky toilets account for a large portion of home water waste. Check you faucets and toilets to see if they are leaking. For example, just a slow drip can waste 15 to 20 gallons a day. Fix it and you save almost 6,000 gallons a year.
Once or twice a year, check all faucets. Installing new faucet washers may eliminate water loss.
To check your toilet for possible leaks, try this method. Place a bit of food coloring in each toilet tank. Without flushing, watch for a few minutes to see if the color shows up in the bowl. It’s not uncommon to lose up to 100 gallons a day from one of these otherwise invisible toilet leaks.
Tip #2 Take shorter showers
Bathing is the second highest use of indoor water. Bathing also uses energy to keep the water warm. A five-minute shower or about five inches in the tub is usually all that’s needed. Be sure to install a low-flow (2.5 gals/minute) showerhead.
Tip #3 Dishwasher and laundry
Try to use automatic dish and clothes washing machines with full loads only. Even when the machines feature short cycles, you’re being more efficient with your water when there are enough dirty things for a full load.
Tip #4 Don’t leave faucet running
Avoid using running water to rinse dishes, clean vegetables and brushing teeth. By keeping a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator, you will avoid running the water to cool it off.
Outside Your Home
Tip #1 Lawn watering
1) Water your lawn only when it needs it.
2) Deep-soak your lawn. A light sprinkling can evaporate and does not soak down to the roots.
3) Water during the cool parts of the day. Early morning is generally the best time.
4) Position your sprinklers so water lands on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas. Also avoid watering on windy days.
5) Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture.
6) Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.
7) Don’t run the hose while washing your car. Use hose just to rinse the car off. Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings. Remind children if playing with hose and sprinklers, make sure the water is turned off. A hose, which is left running, may not be noticed for days.
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