By making just a few small changes to your daily routine, you can save a significant amount of water, save money and preserve water supplies for future generations. The WaterSense label will help you identify high-efficiency products and programs. These water-efficienct products provide the same performance and quality you've come to expect, but with the added benefit of water savings.
Along with using WaterSense labeled products, adopt the following water-efficient practices to save money and protect the environment:
Fix That Leak!
Challenge: Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water each year.
Solution: If you're unsure whether you have a leak, 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, you probably have a leak.
Challenge: A leaky toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water every day.
Solution: To tell if your toilet has a leak, place a drop of food coloring in the tank; if the color shows in the bowl without flushing, you have a leak.
For more information, read about WaterSense's annual Fix a Leak Week.
Challenge: A full bath tub requires about 70 gallons of water, while taking a five-minute shower uses 10 to 25 gallons.
Solution: If you take a bath, stopper the drain immediately and adjust the temperature as you fill the tub.
Turn It Off!
Challenge: The average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons per minute.
Solution: Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth in the morning and at bedtime can save up to 8 gallons of water per day, which equals 240 gallons a month!
Challenge: The typical single-family suburban household uses at least 30 percent of their water outdoors for irrigation. Some experts estimate that more than 50 percent of landscape water use goes to waste due to evaporation or runoff caused by overwatering.
Solution: 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 a drip irrigation should you choose to install it. That adds up to savings of at least $1,150!
Make It a Full Load
Challenge: The average washing machine uses about 41 gallons of water per load.
Solution: High-efficiency washing machines use less than 28 gallons of water per load. To achieve even greater savings, wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate load size selection on the washing machine.
Don't Flush Your Money Down the Drain!
Challenge: If your toilet is from 1992 or earlier, you probably have an inefficient model that uses at least 3.5 gallons per flush.
Solution: 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.