Water Conservation Tips

There are a number of websites that provide useful information for homeowners on ways to conserve both water and money in and around the home.

In addition to the tips on this page, another excellent resource is the H2OUSE website.

This website was developed by the California Urban Water Conservation Council under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The informative, user-friendly website includes a house tour to identify water conservation measures and a 'Take Action' with tips on 30 different conservation measures.
H2Ouse Water Saver Home logo
A chart displaying residential water use
Water Conservation Tips
  • Perform a water use audit for your home or business. A quick survey or detailed audit can help identify how water is used on a daily basis so that you can find effective ways to reduce water consumption.
  • Only water lawn and garden early in the morning and avoid windy days.
  • Consider installing a rain barrel to take advantage of the rain that falls on your rooftop for reuse in your garden during dry periods. Also, disconnect downspouts to allow the rainwater running off the rooftop to be directly absorbed in the lawn.
  • Wash cars over the lawn and use only biodegradable car washing soap. Use a hose with a trigger nozzle to rinse. This will water the lawn at the same time.
  • Bring your car to a self-service car wash. This method saves 15 gallons of water compared to automatic car washes. Because the car wash water is either reclaimed or sent to a treatment plant, it is less polluting when compared to washing the car at home.
  • Cover an outdoor pool when not in use to reduce evaporation. Clean the pool filter regularly. Do not discharge pool water to streams or storm sewers. Spread filter backwash and pool water on grassy areas.
  • Because the largest daily use of water in the home is the toilet, consider reducing the amount of water that fills the toilet tank. Fill a plastic bottle with water and pebbles and then screw the lid on. After placing the bottle in the tank, make sure the tank still holds 3 gallons of water so that it will flush properly.
  • Repair leaking faucets and toilets (a leaking toilet can waste 200 gallons a day, a dripping faucet up to 450 gallons a month).
  • Check for water leaks. You can use your water meter as a leak detection tool. Turn off the water inside and outside and then check your meter. Return a half hour later and read the meter, if the number on the meter changed you have discovered a leak somewhere.
  • To find out if you have a leaky toilet, put a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank, then let it sit for 15 minutes. If there is colored water in the toilet bowl, you have a leak that can easily be fixed.
  • Install low flow aerators and shower heads.
  • Take shorter showers and turn off the shower while soaping.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Run dishwashers and clothes washing machines only when full and use the proper size selection on the washing machine.
  • Refrigerate a bottle of drinking water instead of letting a faucet flow until the water is cold enough to drink.
  • Use a dishpan or plug the sink when rinsing fruits and vegetables. This water can then be used to water plants.
  • Use a dishpan or plug the sink for washing and rinsing dishes.
  • Add your garbage to the trash instead of putting it down the garbage disposal. Disposals use a great deal of water and add unnecessary solids to the sewer or septic system. This also may be a good time to start composting!
  • Use a broom to sweep driveways and sidewalks rather than washing them down with a hose.
Winter Water Conservation Tips
  • Winterize outdoor spigots to avoid pipes bursting from freezing.
  • Insulate hot water pipes to reduce the amount of water which must be run to get hot water to the faucet.
  • Locate the master water shut off valve in your home, and mark it for quick identification. If a water pipe were to burst, it could cause flooding and property damage, not to mention immense water waste, if the valve were left open.
Tips for Agricultural Water Users
  • Re-evaluate the water usage of your agricultural operation.
  • Inspect your irrigation system for leaks and fix.
  • Avoid irrigation during periods of high temperature and high winds.
  • When irrigating, observe if there is runoff water and make necessary changes to prevent water losses.
Water Conservation & Related Web Sites