Bathroom facilities in the home account for almost three-quarters of indoor water use, and toilets and showers are notorious water wasters. To keep too much water from going down the drain, try these tips:
• Take shorter showers. A 5-minute shower uses 25-30 gallons of water versus a 20-minute shower, which uses 100 gallons.
• Consider installing an ultra-low-flow shower head.
• Check for toilet tank leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the toilet bowl within 30 minutes.
• If replacing or installing a new toilet, purchase a low-volume flushing unit. The toilets use approximately 2-4 gallons per flush compared to 5-8 gallons on older toilets.
• Check the toilet for worn out, corroded or bent parts. Replacement parts are fairly inexpensive and will save you money in the end.
• A toilet handle that frequently sticks in the flush position will let water run constantly. It should also be replaced or adjusted.
• Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other similar waste in the trash can . Don't let the water run while shaving, washing your face or brushing your teeth. Use your plug to partially fill the sink with water.
Any room that uses water can be a place to save water. Try these tips:
• Many homes have hidden water leaks. Read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
• Dripping faucets, at a rate of one drop per second, can waste up to 2,700 gallons of water per year! This means you are paying for water you haven't even used. Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers.
• Use automatic dishwashers and clothes washers only on full loads.
• Clothes washers should be adjusted to the water level needed for the load.
• Store drinking water in the refrigerator. This way, you will always have cold water and will not need to let the faucet run to get cold water.
• Insulate your water pipes. You'll get hot water faster and avoid wasting water waiting for it to heat up.
Typically a large percentage of water consumed by households is used outdoors, mostly on your lawn or garden.
• Minimize unusable grass areas in your yard. Replace with low-water use landscaping.
• Use a broom instead of the hose to clean off the driveway and sidewalks.
• Adjust sprinklers so that only the lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, street or fence.
• Check and maintain your sprinkler system regularly.
• Water your lawn every third to fourth day.
• Always water during the cooler part of the ,(fay - after 6:00 p.m. and prior to 10:00 a.m.
• When mowing, raise the blade to at least three inches high. Shorter cut grass requires more water.
• Use a layer of mulch around plants. This reduces evaporation and promotes plant growth.