Water Conservation Tips

(From Texas Water Development Board)

Using water more efficiently will not only save money but, more importantly, will protect the quality of life of current and future Texans. With the vastness of Texas, it’s easy to forget two important facts about our state: we are subject to frequent droughts and our population is projected to nearly double in the next 50 years. To ensure that we have enough water for current and future Texans, we need to reduce the amount of water we waste.

POSSIBLE WATER SAVINGS

  • High-efficiency toilets, water-efficient washing machines, rainwater harvesting systems, and water-efficient landscaping can all help reduce household water demands.
  • Water-efficient showerheads and aerators for faucets can significantly reduce the amount of water you use. In fact, installing a water-efficient showerhead is one of the most effective watersaving steps you can take inside your house.
  • Leaky faucets and toilets can waste thousands of gallons of water monthly, and they are inexpensive to fix.

Bathroom

  • Replace your showerhead with a water-efficient model
  • Get in the shower as soon as the water becomes warm enough.
  • Take short showers
  • Reduce the level of water used in a bathtub by half, or better yet, take a short shower
  • Turn off the water while you are shaving. Fill the sink with an inch of hot water instead of letting the water run continuously.
  • Replace your old toilet with a high-efficiency toilet that uses 1.3 gallons per flush.
  • Check toilets for leaks. Simply take the top off of your toilet tank and add a few drops of food coloring or a dye tablet to the water in the tank. Do not flush the toilet. If the coloring appears in the bowl within a few minutes, the toilet has a leak that most likely can be fixed by replacing the flapper or rubber washer. Cheap fix, huge savings!
  • Never use the toilet to dispose of trash.
  • Don’t waste water when brushing your teeth or washing your hands. Shut off the water until it’s time to rinse.
  • Look for the WaterSense label when installing or replacing plumbing fixtures. They are tested and certified to perform as well or better than their less efficient counterparts and on average are 20 percent more water efficient.
  • The next time you use one of these water-saving tips when you take a shower, wash your hands, brush your teeth, or flush the toilet, congratulate yourself for doing your part

Kitchen

  • Run the dishwasher only when full. This practice will save water, energy, detergent, and money. If your machine has a quick wash or light duty setting, use it!
  • Install faucet aerators. You’ll never notice the difference, and you’ll cut your sink water consumption in half!
  • Dry scrape dishes instead of rinsing. Your dishwasher will take care of the rest.
  • Use garbage disposals sparingly. They can waste water unnecessarily.
  • Soak pans rather than scrubbing them with the water running.
  • Rinse your vegetables in a pan of cold water; it doesn’t take gallons of water to get the dirt off.

Laundry room

  • Wash only full loads.
  • Use the lowest water level setting on the washing machine for light or partial loads whenever possible.
  • Use cold water as often as possible to save energy and conserve hot water for uses that cold water cannot serve.
  • Conventional washing machines can use up to twice as many gallons of water per load compared to high efficiency machines.

Additional Tips

  • Don’t ignore leaky faucets; they are often easy and inexpensive to repair. Turn off the valve under the sink until you get around to repairing the leak. A slow drip can waste as much as 170 gallons of water each day and will add to your water bill
  • Know where your master water shut-off valve is in case a pipe bursts. Insulate hot water pipes. You won’t waste water waiting for it to get hot, and you will save energy.
  • Install water-softening systems only when necessary and, if you have one, save water and salt by running the minimum amount of regenerations necessary to maintain water softness.
  • Replace water-to-air heat pumps and air conditioners with air-to-air if you are purchasing new units. They are just as efficient and do not waste water.
  • Find other uses for water rather than letting it go down the drain. Use a bucket to capture water in the shower or sink while waiting for it to get hot, then use that water on your landscape.

OUTDOOR TIPS

  • Use your water efficiently. Don’t waste water by cleaning patios or sidewalks with it; use a broom.
  • Use a car wash that recycles water. If you are washing your car at home, use a bucket of soapy water and a hose nozzle that shuts off the water while you scrub.

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