- If possible, operate your washing machine only when full, or set water level for the size load you are washing.
- Consider purchasing a front-load washing machine when replacing your current machine. You'll save water and energy.
- Install water-softening systems only when necessary. Save water and salt by running the minimum amount of regenerations necessary to maintain water softness. Turn softeners off while on vacation.
- Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. If your faucet is dripping at a rate of only one drop per second, you can expect to waste 2,700 gallons of water per year.
- When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or basin with soapy water. Quickly rinse under a slow-moving stream from the faucet.
- Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in your refrigerator, or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
- Store drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the tap run while you're waiting for cool water to flow.
- Consider installing an instant water heater on your kitchen sink so you don't have to let the water run while it heats up. This will also reduce water-heating costs for your household.
- Kitchen sink disposals require a lot of water to operate correctly. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing of food waste, instead of using a garbage disposal. Disposals also can add up to 50 percent to the volume of solids in the sewer system, or lead to problems with septic systems.
- Run the dishwasher with full loads only.
Nearly 75% of water used indoors is in the bathroom. Baths, showers and toilet flushing account for most of this. Here are some hints to help reduce the amount of water used on a daily basis:
- Check your toilet periodically for leaks. Place a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If you have a leak, color will appear in the toilet bowl within 30 minutes. This would indicate that the flapper needs replacing.
- If your toilet makes a gurgling sound, adjust or replace your flush valve.
- Kinked flapper chains can also cause toilets to run, by preventing the flapper from closing properly. An easy way to prevent this is to thread the chain through a short piece of a plastic straw. This will prevent the chain from turning back on itself and kinking.
- Fill a one-quart plastic bottle with water and place it in the toilet tank. To anchor the bottle, fill it partially with sand or any heavy substance. This does not affect the efficiency of most toilets and can save five or more gallons a day for a family of four.
- Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket.
- When taking a bath, put the plug in and turn on the hot water. Let it run until the water gets hot, before adding cold water to adjust the temperature.
- Install a low-flow showerhead, or a flow restrictor. Flow restrictors allow you to reduce or stop the flow of water when it is not needed. Low-flow showerheads reduce the gallons of water used per minute.
- Keep a bucket in the shower to catch excess water. Use this water for plants.
- Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth, shaving, etc.
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