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Water Efficiency

Indoor Water Efficiency

The average family indoor water usage breaks down to:

  • 26.7% flushing toilets
  • 21.7% washing clothes
  • 16.8% showering
  • 15.7% using faucets
  • 13.7% on leaks
  • 2.2% on other uses
  • 1.7% taking baths
  • 1.4% washing dishes

Water Efficiency in the Bathroom

  • Check all faucets, pipes, and toilets periodically for leaks.  A faucet drip or invisible leak in the toilet will add up to 15 gallons of water a day, or 105 gallons a week, which adds up to 5,475 gallons of wasted water a year. Check your flapper periodically to make sure it's a tight fit.
  • Install water saving shower heads.  Low-flow showerheads deliver 2.5 gallons of water per minute or less and are relatively inexpensive. Older showerheads use 5 to 7 gallons per minute.
  • Take shorter showers or take a bath.  Simply taking shorter showers will save gallons of water. For long exposures to the water, a partially filled bath instead of a shower will use less water.
  • Install a 1.6 gallon low-flow toilet.  Ultra-low flow toilets use only 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Using these could cut indoor water use by as much as 20%. Older toilets use 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush.
  • Check for toilet leaks.  Once a year, check for toilet leaks. Remove the toilet tank cover and drip 10 drops of food coloring into the tank. After 15 minutes, check for color in the toilet bowl. If you see any color, your toilet has a leak and should be repaired immediately. Again, remember to check your flapper periodically to make sure it's a tight fit.
  • Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket  Using a wastebasket instead of the toilet for tissues and other bits of trash will save gallons of water that are otherwise wasted.
  • Install high efficiency, low-flow faucet aerators.  Older faucets use between 3 and 7 gallons per minute. Low-flow faucet aerators use no more than 1.5 gallons of water per minute. The aerators can be attached to most existing faucets.
  • Fix leaky faucets immediately.  A leaky faucet may simply need a new washer. Small faucet leaks can waste 20 gallons of water a day. Large leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.
  • Turn off the water while shaving, brushing teeth, etc.  Don't let the water run when you brush your teeth, wash your face or hands, or shave. This can save 3 to 7 gallons per minute.

Save Water in the Kitchen and Laundry

  • Rinse Efficiently.  Running faucets waste 3 to 7 gallons of water per minute. Before rinsing, put the sink stopper in place instead of running the water. If you need to use the garbage disposal, release the used sink water as the disposal is turned on.
  • Fill your dishwasher.  Your dishwasher uses the same amount of water whether it is full or just partially full of dishes, so be sure to fill it. Many dishwashers have a water saver cycle to save even more water.
  • Keep drinking water in your refrigerator.  Don't let the faucet run until the water cools down. Instead, keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator.
  • Defrost food in the refrigerator.  When defrosting food, plan ahead to thaw it in the refrigerator or microwave oven instead of under running water.
  • Select proper water level for laundry.  Unlike your dishwasher, you can control the amount of water used by your clothes washer. Select the proper water level for each load of laundry. A front-load washing machines uses 1/3 less water than a top loading machine, uses less energy and gets clothes cleaner.
  • Reuse fish tank water.  Use fish tank water on your household plants. Besides saving water, it's a good fertilizer as well.
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