Conserve resources, cut costs, and contact a licensed professional for help
The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water each day at home. Here are simple water-savings tips from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).
FIX THOSE LEAKS
EPA says home water leaks can make up 12% of household water use a day, equaling nearly 10,000 gallons of wasted water every year. Don’t waste water with needless leaks—hunt them down and tackle them today:
- Take a look at your water usage during a colder month, such as January or February. If a family of four exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there are serious leaks.
- Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
- Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. (Be sure to flush immediately after the experiment to avoid staining the tank.)
- Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks.
SAVE IN THE BATHROOM, KITCHEN, AND LAUNDRY
In the bathroom, where over half of all water use inside a home takes place:
- Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing teeth.
- Showers use less water than baths, as long as you keep an eye on how long you’ve been lathering up. EPA even has tips on how to shower better.
In the kitchen, whip up a big batch of water savings:
- Plug up the sink or use a wash basin if washing dishes by hand.
- Use a dishwasher—and when you do, make sure it’s fully loaded.
- Scrape your plate instead of rinsing it before loading it into the dishwasher.
- Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.
- Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator overnight rather than using a running tap of hot water.
- Add food waste to a compost pile instead of using the garbage disposal.
Be clean and green in the laundry room:
- Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine.
- Save money on energy bills by setting your washing machine to use cold water instead of hot or warm water.
REDUCE OUTDOOR USE
Of the estimated 29 billion gallons of water used daily by U.S. households, nearly nine billion gallons, or 30%, is devoted to outdoor water use. In the hot summer months or in dry climates, a household’s outdoor water use can be as high as 70%.
In the yard, be beautiful and efficient:
- Create a water-smart landscape that’s low on resources but high on curb appeal.
- Know when and how much to water to keep your landscape growing strong.
- Anytime’s a good time to check that your irrigation system is in proper working order.
- Sweep driveways, sidewalks, and steps rather than hosing them off.
- Wash cars with water from a bucket, or consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.
- Keep swimming pools covered when not in use to reduce evaporation.
If you’re planning to work with a professional for home improvements, check the license at https://search.dca.ca.gov.