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Conservation Tips

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Conserving Water in the Bathroom

TOILET

  • Flush only when necessary. Do not use it to dispose of waste, tissue, etc.
  • Consider installing a low-flow toilet. If your toilet is from 1992 or earlier, you probably have an inefficient model that uses at least 3.5 gallons per flush. New and improved high-efficiency models use less than 1.3 gallons per flush—that's at least 60 percent less than their older, less efficient counterparts. Compared to a 3.5 gallons per flush toilet, a WaterSense labeled toilet could save a family of four more than $90 annually on their water bill, and $2,000 over the lifetime of the toilet.
  • Repair leaky toilets. A leaky toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water every day. You can add food coloring to the tank water and check the bowl after a few minutes. Color in the bowl probably means there is a leak.
  • Install a displacement device, such as a toilet dam or weighted plastic jug full of water. Be sure it does not interfere with the operating parts. Do not use a brick as it could damage the toilet.

SINK

  • Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, washing, or shaving can save up to 8 gallons of water per day.
  • Plug the sink when you wash or shave.
  • Repair leaks. Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water each year.
  • Install a faucet aerator to reduce the amount of water used.

TUB OR SHOWER

  • A full bath tub requires about 70 gallons of water, while taking a five-minute shower uses 10 to 25 gallons.
  • Plug the drain before you run water for baths, then adjust the temperature as you fill the tub.
  • Take shallow baths.
  • Keep showers short with the pressure at low force.
  • Fix drips promptly.
  • Use a low flow shower head supplied by the City of Gillette’s Water Conservation Team, a flow restrictor or a cut-off valve (lets you shut off water at shower head while soaping up and shampooing without changing faucet setting).

Conserving Water When Doing Household Cleaning

REGULAR CLEANING

  • Use a pail or basin instead of running water.
  • Use a sponge mop instead of a string mop.

HEAVY CLEANING

  • Presoak grills, oven parts, etc., overnight.
  • Wash with an abrasive brush or pad and use plenty of elbow grease to minimize water use.

Conserving Water By Checking Your System for Leaks

  • Locate the water meter, usually located in the basement or wherever the water line enters your home.
  • Read the meter twice: first at night after the day's water use has ended, and again in the morning before any water is used.
  • Find the difference by subtracting the night reading from the morning reading to find out if any water leaked out overnight.

REPAIR ALL LEAKS IMMEDIATELY!

Conserving Water in the Kitchen

SINK

  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Replace washers, and repair or replace fixtures, if necessary.
  • Install an aerator or flow restrictor in the faucet.

GARBAGE DISPOSAL

  • Use the sink disposal sparingly, composting instead.
  • Wash dishes by hand.
  • Scrape dishes, but don't prerinse.
  • Soak pots and pans before washing.
  • Fill wash and rinse basins with water. Don't run water continuously.
  • Use detergent sparingly.

DISHWASHER

  • Wash only full loads and avoid extra cycles. Choose a water saving model.
  • Inspect all connections to make sure they are tight. Repair any leaks.

FOOD PREPARATION

  • Use a brush and bowl full of water to clean food.
  • Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or microwave, not under running water.
  • Cook vegetables with a minimum amount of water, and save cooking water for soup stock.

DRINKING WATER

  • Store water in the refrigerator instead of cooling water by running the tap.
  • Make only the amount of coffee, tea, etc., that you need.

Conserving Water in the Laundry

WASHER

  • Use the load selector.
  • Match water level to the size of the load.
  • Wash only full loads.
  • Presoak heavily soiled items.
  • Use detergent sparingly.
  • Check faucets, hoses, and hose connections for leaks, and repair if necessary.
  • Inspect pipes for pinhole leaks, leaking joints, etc.
  • Use water-saving features.
  • If replacing your washing machine, consider a high-efficiency model. The average washing machine uses about 41 gallons of water per load. High-efficiency washing machines use less than 28 gallons of water per load.

Conserving Water Outside the Home

HOSES AND IRRIGATION SYSTEMS

  • Use a hose nozzle that you can shut off or adjust to fine spray. When finished, shut off at the house to avoid leaks.
  • Consider an automatic sprinkler or drip-irrigation system. Drip irrigation systems use between 20 to 50 percent less water than conventional in-ground sprinkler systems. They are also much more efficient than conventional sprinklers because no water is lost to wind, runoff, and evaporation. If your in-ground system uses 100,000 gallons annually, you could potentially save more than 200,000 gallons over the lifetime of drip irrigation should you choose to install it. That adds up to savings of at least $1,150!
  • Check hoses and connectors, and repair or replace any leaky parts or sections.
  • Keep irrigation systems running efficiently. Repair, replace, or adjust bad sprinkler heads. Check the system for leaks.

DRIVEWAY AND SIDEWALKS

  • Use a broom or rake instead of water to remove leaves, clippings, and debris.
  • Or, use a Water Broom

LAWN AND GARDEN

  • Water slowly and thoroughly during cool, windless hours. Water as little as possible.
  • Let grass grow taller in hot weather.
  • Use mulch in the garden and around shrubs to save moisture.
  • Plant native and other shrubs that don't need a lot of watering.
  • Consider alternatives to big, thirsty lawns.

WASHING THE CAR

  • Rinse the car, wash from a bucket of soapy water, and rinse again quickly.

SWIMMING POOL

  • Keep water level low to minimize splashing.
  • Use a cover to slow evaporation.
  • Check walls, filtration system, and inlets, and repair if necessary.