Water Saving Tips
Water conservation is vital to providing a reliable source of water for today and future generations. It can also help you reduce your water bill.
Here are some simple and convenient water-saving tips to help you.
- Water lawns early in the morning. Watering during hot hours of the day will result in most of the water evaporating.
- Water only when needed. Look at the grass, feel the soil, or use a soil moisture meter to determine when to water. More plants die of over watering than too little water.
- Use a sprinkler that produces large drops of water, rather than a fine mist. Also, use sprinklers that send droplets out on a low angle, because this helps control evaporation.
- Use a rain sensor. This device overrides the automatic irrigation system when rainfall occurs. The sensor shuts off a system if it is operating during a rain shower or is scheduled to run following rainfall. Florida law requires that sensors be installed in irrigation systems. Information on installation and maintenance is provided on the Florida EDIS website.
- Use drip-irrigation systems for bedded plants, trees and shrubs, or turn the flat, green soaking hoses upside down so the holes are on the bottom. This will help prevent evaporation.
- Be careful not to water streets, sidewalks or driveways.
In the Bathroom
- Install low-flow shower heads and toilets. At minimal cost, an average homeowner can install two low-flow shower heads, install low-flow aerators on faucets and repair dripping faucets and leaking toilets. This could save 10,000-25,000 gallons per year for a family of four and pay for itself in less than 1 year!
- Take a shower instead of a bath. A 5-minute shower can use about one-third of the water of a bath. If a shower is not available, reduce the level of the water being used in a bathtub by one or two inches.
- When building a new home or remodeling a bathroom, install a new, dual-flush toilet that uses only 0.8 or 1.6 gallons per flush.
- Test toilets for leaks. Add a few drops of food coloring or a dye tablet to the water in the tank, but do not flush the toilet. Watch to see if the coloring appears in the bowl with a few minutes. If it does, the toilet has a silent leak that needs to be repaired.
- Never use the toilet to dispose of cleansing tissues or other trash. This wastes a great deal of water and places an unnecessary load on the sewage treatment plant or septic tank.
- Turn off water when you brush your teeth or shave. This can save between 10 and 20 gallons of water each morning.
- Install faucet aerators to reduce water consumption.
In the Kitchen & Laundry
- Scrape the dishes clean instead of rinsing them before washing. Do not rinse them unless they are heavily soiled.
- Use a pan of water (or place a stopper in the sink) for washing and rinsing pots, pans, and dishes rather than turning on the water faucet each time a rinse is needed.
- Run only full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine. This practice will save water, energy, detergent, and money. This could save you an additional 1,000 gallons of water every month. If light or partial loads must be washed, use the lowest water-level setting.
- Check water requirements of various models and brands when considering purchasing any new appliances. Some use less water than others.
- Use cold water as often as possible to save energy and to conserve the hot water for uses that cold water cannot serve. This is also better for clothing made of synthetic fabrics.
- Check all water line connections and faucets for leaks. A slow drip can waste as much as 170 gallons of water each day, or 5,000 gallons per month, and will add to the water bill.
- Fix any leaking plumbing promptly. It is easy to do, costs very little, and can result in substantial savings in your water bill.
- Check for hidden water leaks, such as a leak between the water meter and the house. To check, turn off all indoor and outdoor faucets and water-using appliances. The water meter should be read at 10- to 20-minute intervals. If it continues to run or turn, a leak probably exists and needs to be located and repaired.
- Be sure the water heater thermostat is not set too high. Extremely hot settings waste water and energy because the water often has to be cooled with cold water before it can be used.
Additional Resources for Conserving at Home
- Tips from Conservco
- Learn about water saving opportunities at home
- Test Your WaterSense Game (from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) - Test your WaterSense with this fun interactive game
- Water Conservation Calculator - SFWMD provides a tool to calculate your water usage.
- Conservation Ideas - Ideas and information on conserving various environmental resources
- Household Water Conservation - Article from Penn State on how you can conserve water around the house
- How Much Water Do You Use (PDF) (from eduplace.com) - Worksheet showing an estimate of how much water you use on a regular basis