Washing dishes. Taking a shower. Getting a drink. Doing laundry. All of those tasks use water and you need to do them all—but there are ways to use water more wisely every day. Use these tips to save water indoors. Want more ideas? See links to other resources below.
Where does my water go?
Lots of water can be lost in your toilet in a quiet leak; check to see that your flapper valve fits well, isn't impeded by gravel at the seal and doesn't leak. Drop by the PID office to pick up a free leak-check kit. If you're replacing a toilet—and you know your existing plumbing system can handle the newer toilets—consider one with a WaterSense label, certifying it meets rigorous criteria for performance and efficiency; these toilets have a more intense flushing cycle that maximizes the smaller amount of water used. Not able to replace a toilet right now? Check out dual-flush adapters you can easily install to provide two types of flushing: less water for liquids and paper as well as a more powerful flush. These can cost under $25 at a hardware store. Don't use the toilet to dispose of tissues or other items: save water and drop those things in the trash can.
Showers use much less water than baths—but keep it to five minutes! Set a timer; hop in, rinse, soap up, wash and rinse again. If your low-flow showerhead has a valve to turn off the water while scrubbing, use it and save even more! It takes 30-40 gallons of water to fill a standard bathtub but a 5-minute shower with a standard showerhead uses 12.5 gallons of water—and just 10 gallons with a low-flow showerhead.
Don't run water while brushing your teeth or shaving. Install low-flow aerators in your sinks; conventional faucets flow as high as 3 gallons per minute but low-flow faucets cut that in half. Turn off the water while you're lathering up when washing your hands. Fix those drips—while it may just seem like a drop or two of water, you can lose 20 gallons of water each day from a dripping faucet.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household loses more than 10,000 gallons of water each year through leaks—the same amount of water needed to wash 280 loads of laundry, take 600 showers, or meet the average family's water needs for a month! The smallest leaks can add up quickly and cost you money. Fortunately, most leaks are easy to find if you know where to look, and they're often simple to fix. Call PID at 877-4971 and we can help with steps to guide you to finding the water leak at your home, whether inside or out.
Running a full dishwasher is more efficient than washing dishes by hand; a dishwasher uses 4-10 gallons per load while washing by hand can use 20 gallons. Pre-washing doesn't improve dishwasher cleaning; skip the pre-wash and save as much as 20 gallons of water. If your dishes are only slightly soiled, use a light or energy-saving wash cycle, which uses less water and operates for a shorter period of time.
Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap for a while to get a "cooler" glass of water. Designate one glass for your drinking water each day, or refill a water bottle. This cuts down on the number of glasses to wash.
Select the proper pot size for cooking; large pans may require more cooking water than necessary.
Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Dispose of food waste in your food and yard waste container or in backyard compost bins. Don’t put meat, dairy, or any animal products in your backyard compost bin.
Collect the cold water you run from your faucets when you’re waiting for hot water to get to the tap and use this water for your plants. Spare ice in your drink glass or did you drop a few ice cubes on the floor? Toss the cubes into the pots and let them do the "watering" for your plants. Collect the water you use while rinsing fruit and vegetables; use it to water plants.