Water Conservation

Water Conservation and Dry Year Water Use Reduction Program

Water Conservation Links:

Eartheasy – Ideas for environmentally sustainable living
California Water Service Co. – Another water district with good water conservation advice
How to Conduct a Household Water Audit
Cooperative Extension Service – University of Kentucky. A good source of daily water usages
House – Water Saver Home

Water Conservation Tips from the FEMA website www.fema.gov:

  • Never pour water down the drain when there may be another usefor it. Use it to water your indoor plants or garden.
  • Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. One drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons of water per year!
  • Check all plumbing for leaks. Have leaks repaired by a plumber.
  • Retrofit all household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors.
  • Install an instant hot water heater on your sink.
  • Insulate your water pipes to reduce heat loss and prevent them from breaking.
  • Choose appliances that are more energy and water efficient.
  • Consider purchasing a low-volume toilet that uses less than half the water of older models. Note: In many areas, low-volume units are required by law.
  • Install a toilet displacement device to cut down on the amount of water needed to flush. Place a one-gallon plastic jug of water into the tank to displace toilet flow (do not use a brick, it may dissolve and loose pieces may cause damage to the internal parts). Be sure installation does not interfere with the operating parts.
  • Replace your showerhead with an ultra-low-flow version.
  • Place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water for watering plants.
  • Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects, and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
  • Avoid taking baths—take short showers—turn on water only to get wet and lather and then again to rinse off.
  • Avoid letting the water run while brushing your teeth, washing your face, or shaving.
  • Operate automatic dishwashers only when they are fully loaded. Use the “light wash” feature, if available, to use less water.
  • Hand wash dishes by filling two containers—one with soapy water and the other with rinse water containing a small amount of chlorine bleach.
  • Clean vegetables in a pan filled with water rather than running water from the tap.
  • Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing of food waste or simply dispose of food in the garbage. (Kitchen sink disposals require a lot of water to operate properly).
  • Store drinking water in the refrigerator. Do not let the tap run while you are waiting for water to cool.
  • Avoid wasting water waiting for it to get hot. Capture it for other uses such as plant watering or heat it on the stove.
  • Avoid rinsing dishes before placing them in the dishwasher; just remove large particles of food. (Most dishwashers can clean soiled dishes very well, so dishes do not have to be rinsed before washing)
  • Avoid using running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on your microwave oven.
  • Operate automatic clothes washers only when they are fully loaded or set the water level for the size of your load.

Conventional water uses vs Water Saving uses:

Gallons Used – Conventional Gallons Used – Low Flow/Water Saving
Toilet Flushing  5-7 gallons per flush 1.5 – 3.5 gallons per flush
Shower  7-10 gallons per minute 2-4 gallons per minute
Bath  36-50 gallons
Laundry  45-50 gallons per load 12-17 gallons per load
Dishwasher  15 gallons per load 7 gallons per load
Dishwashing by hand  30 gallons  (tap running) 5-10 gallons (tap not running)
Brushing teeth  10 gallons (tap running) 1-3 gallons (tap not running)
Garden Watering

630 gallons (1/2 inch hose running at 60 lbs per sq. inch for 1 hour)

1,020 gallons (5/8 inch hose running at 60 lbs per sq. inch for 1 hour)

1,860 gallons (3/4 inch hose running at 60 lbs per sq. inch for 1 hour)