A Consumer's Guide to Water Conservation

The Inside Story

ShowerJust 10 years ago, you were the odd person in your neighborhood if you conserved water. Today that's no longer true. The fact is, it's cheaper to save water than to waste it. Here are some tips for conserving water in your home.

Tip #1. Check for Leaks
Dripping faucets and leaky toilets account for a large portion of home water waste. Check your facets and toilets to see if they are leaking.

Faucets: Repair all leaks, or if you feel uncomfortable with do-it-yourself repairs, call a plumber. In the long run, the water you save will pay for itself.

Toilets: To detect slow leaks, add several drops of dark food coloring into the toilet's water tank. If the water in the bowl is tinted after fifteen minutes, your toilet is leaking. If so, all it usually needs is a new toilet flapper, an easy and inexpensive repair job.

Tip #2. Take Short Showers
Bathing is the second highest use of indoor water. Bathing also uses energy to keep the water warm. A five-minute shower is usually all that's needed. Be sure to install a low-flow (2.5 gals/minute) shower head.

Tip #3. Reduce Flushing Water
The toilet is a big guzzler of indoor water. A good quick fix is to fill a plastic bottle with some pebbles or sand and water and put it in the toilet tank to reduce the fill amount. Don't use a brick, as it will decompose and gum up plumbing. Better yet, install an ultra-low flow (1.6 gals/flush) toilet.

Other Tips for Saving Water

  1. Install low flow (2.2 gals/minute) aerators on bathroom and kitchen faucets.
  2. Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full.
  3. Visit "WaterWiser¨, the water efficiency clearinghouse at www.waterwiser.org for more tips on how to save water.