General Indoor Tips
* Listen for dripping faucets and running toilets.
* Insulate hot water pipes for more immediate hot water at the faucet and for energy savings.
* When you have ice left in your cup from a take-out restaurant, don't throw it in the trash or down the drain, dump it on a plant.
* Make sure there are water-saving aerators on all of your faucets.
* When you give your pet fresh water, don't throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.
* Monitor your water bill for unusually high use. Your bill and water meter are tools that can help you discover leaks.
* When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your plants.
* When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. Either rinse when all of the dishes have been washed OR fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
* Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
* Wash your fruits and vegetables in a pan of water instead of running water from the tap.
* Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Scrape food waste into the trash instead of running it through the garbage disposal. Not only will you save water, but you will have fewer plumbing backups due to oil and grease accumulations in the pipes. Vegetable food waste can be composted.
* Some refrigerators, air conditioners, and icemakers are cooled with wasted flows of water. Consider upgrading with air-cooled appliances for significant water savings.
* For cold drinks, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap.
* Don't use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety.
* Run your dishwasher only when full.
Laundry Room* Run your clothes washer only when full.
* When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.
* Wash dark clothes in cold water to save both water and energy. It also helps your clothes to keep their colors.
* Upgrade older toilets with water-efficient models.
* Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak.
* If your toilet flapper doesn't close after flushing, replace it.
* When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills up.
* When you are washing your hands, don't let the water run while you lather.
* Bathe your young children together.
* Shorten your shower by a minute or two.
* Keep a bucket in the shower to catch water as it warms up or runs. Use this water to flush toilets or water plants.
* Use a water-efficient showerhead.
* Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, shaving, and washing your hair.
Lawn and Garden Watering Tips
* Adjust your watering schedule each month to match seasonal weather conditions and landscape requirements.
* Water your lawn and garden in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler to minimize evaporation.
* Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
* Use sprinklers for large areas of grass, but water small patches by hand to avoid waste.
* If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption.
* Learn how to shut off your automatic watering system in case it malfunctions or you get an unexpected rain.
* Set a kitchen timer when watering your lawn or garden to remind you when to stop. A running hose can discharge up to 10 gallons a minute.
* Rather than following a set watering schedule, check for soil moisture two to three inches below the surface before watering.
* Install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller so your system won't run when it's raining.
* Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees to apply water directly to the roots where it's needed.
* Remember to check your sprinkler system valves periodically for leaks, and keep the sprinkler heads in good shape.
* Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it.
* Don't water your lawn on windy days when most of the water blows away or evaporates.
* Water your plants deeply but less frequently to encourage deep root growth and drought tolerance.
Planting and Lawn Maintenance Tips
* Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture and saves water, time, and money.
* Choose shrubs and groundcovers instead of turf for hard-to-water areas such as steep slopes and isolated strips.
* Plant in the fall when conditions are cooler and rainfall is more plentiful.
* Group plants with the same watering needs together to avoid over-watering some while under-watering others.
* Reduce the amount of lawn in your yard by planting shrubs and ground covers appropriate to your site and region.
* Leave lower branches on trees and shrubs and allow leaf litter to accumulate on the soil. This keeps the soil cooler and reduces evaporation.
* Water only when necessary. More plants die from over-watering than from under-watering.
* Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is closely clipped.
* Aerate your lawn at least once a year so water can reach the roots rather than run off the surface.
Other Outdoor Conservation Tips
* Use a hose nozzle or turn off the water while you wash your car OR better yet, use a commercial car wash that recycles water.
* Install covers on pools and spas, and check for leaks around your pumps.
* Avoid recreational water toys that require a constant flow of water.
* Make sure your swimming pools, fountains, and ponds are equipped with recirculating pumps.
* Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk.
* Support projects that use reclaimed wastewater for irrigation and industrial uses.
* Wash your pets outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water.
WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, makes it easy for Americans to save water and protect the environment. Look for the WaterSense label to choose quality, water-efficient products. Many products are available, and don't require a change in your lifestyle. Explore the links below to learn about WaterSense labeled products, saving water, and how businesses and organizations can partner with WaterSense.
Products that meet WaterSense criteria for water efficiency and performance carry a special label. When you use products bearing the WaterSense label, you can expect exceptional performance, savings on your water bills, and assurance that you are saving water for future generations.