Conservation & Stewardship
As abundant as the high-quality water flowing from your tap may seem to be, it's a finite resource. It is important to use water wisely to ensure we have sufficient supplies in storage to meet the needs of all our customers.
Using less water indoors and outside puts less demand on our drinking water delivery system, and less usage helps lower your bills, protect the environment, and conserve the water supply needed, regardless of weather conditions.
Conserving Water Indoors
It's easy to conserve water at home. Saving water saves money, energy, and our natural resources. We encourage you to adopt water-saving habits. Here are some suggestions.
- Don't use the toilet to flush things that could be thrown in a wastebasket. Every time you flush the toilet, you are using between 1.3 gallons and 6 gallons of water.
- Repair leaks. A leaking toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water a day. That's over 6,000 gallons of water a month! To check for leaks, add food coloring to the toilet tank water; check the bowl in 15 mintes (don't flush). Color in the toilet bowl probably means there is a leak; fix it.
- Install water-saving devices.
- Turn off water when brushing teeth or shaving. Turning off the faucet can save as much as four gallons each time.
- Check faucets and pipes for leaks; repair them. A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year.
- Replace washers, and repair or replace fixtures if necessary.
- Install an aerator or flow restrictor on the faucet.
- Chill tap water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cold.
Tub or Shower
- Take shorter showers; stay under 5 minutes. That way you'll use only 10 to 25 gallons of water.
- Plug the drain before you run water for baths; do not fill the bathtub all the way. A full bathtub can hold 70 gallons of water.
- Install water-saving devices.
- Scrape dishes, but don't pre-rinse.
- Soak pots and pans before washing.
- Don't keep the water running; fill the sink instead. Use only as much water as you need.
- Run the dishwasher only when it's full; save energy by running your appliance after 8 p.m.
- Inspect all connections to the dishwasher; repair any leaks.
- Use the load selector. Match the water level to the load size; do only full loads.
- Presoak heavily soiled items.
- Use only as much detergent as needed.
- Check faucets and hose connections for leaks.
Conserving Water Outdoors
It's easy to reduce your water use outdoors. Here are some suggestions.
Lawn and Garden
- Let grass grow taller in hot water to preserve moisture.
- Use mulch in the garden and around shrubs to lock in wetness.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks, and driveways. Water flows from a hose at about six gallons of water per minute. If it takes 30 minutes to clean a patio or deck, using a broom saves 500 gallons of water.
- Use only non-potable water to water your lawn and gardens. Use a bucket to catch extra water when you run the water before a shower. If you take a bath, use the bath water to water trees, shrubs and non-edible plants (not your vegetable or herb gardens).
- Check irrigation systems for leaks. Repair, replace, or adjust sprinkler heads, as needed.
- Cover swimming pools when not in use to slow evaporation.
- Don't overfill the pool to avoid splashing and spilling.
- Check the pool and filtration system for leaks; repair them.
Washing the Car
- Rinse the car once, then wash from a bucket of soapy water; rinse quickly again. If you let your hose run, you may be using over 140 gallons of water to wash your car.
The RWA is proud to be a WaterSense Partner. For more information on ways to conserve water, reduce your water bills, and preserve the planet, visit the EPA's WaterSense website.