1. A breakdown of indoor water use shows that two-thirds of water is consumed in the bathroom. The breakdown is as follows:
- Toilets 33%
- Baths & Showers 30%
- Washing Machines 22%
- Faucets 12%
- Dishwashers 3%
2. Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant, or for cleaning.
3. Verify that your home is leak-free. Many homes have hidden water leaks. 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, there is a leak.
4. Repair dripping faucets by replacing the washers. If your faucet is dripping at a rate of one drop per second, you can expect to waste up to 2000 gallons per month. It's like having an extra person in the house.
5. Check for toilet tank leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the toilet bowl within 30 minutes. Check the toilet for worn out, corroded or bent parts. Most replacement parts are inexpensive, readily available and easily installed. (Flush as soon as test is completed, since food coloring may stain the tank). A leaking toilet can waste thousands of gallons of water every month.
6. Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
7. Install a displacement device or water conserving toilet flapper. Be sure the installation does not interfere with the operating parts. When purchasing new or replacement toilets, consider a quality low-volume unit provided it meets local code.
8. Take shorter showers. Also replace your existing showerhead with an ultra-low-flow version. Some units are available that allow you to cut off the flow without adjusting the water temperature knobs.
9. Use the minimum of water needed for a bath by closing the drain first and filling the tub one third full. Put the stopper in the tub before turning on the water. Adding hot water can warm the initial burst of cold water.
10. Don't let water run while shaving, washing, or brushing teeth. Up to 30 gallons per use, per day may be saved.
11. Retrofit all household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors; they can cut water use by 2/3.
12. Operate automatic dishwashers and clothes washers only when they are fully loaded. Set the water level for the size load you are using.
13. When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or a basin with soapy water. Quickly rinse under a slow-moving stream from the faucet.
14. Store drinking water in the refrigerator. Don't let the tap run while you are waiting for cool water to flow.
15. Do not use running water to thaw meat or frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on the microwave.
16. Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile as an alternative method of disposing of food waste, instead of using a garbage disposal. Garbage disposals also can add 50% to the volume of solids in the septic tank, which can lead to malfunctions and maintenance problems.
17. Consider installing an instant water heater on your kitchen sink so you don't have to let the water run while it heats up. This will reduce water-heating costs for your household.
18. Insulate your water pipes. You'll get hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
19. Never install a water-to-air heat pump or air-conditioning system. Newer air-to-air models are just as efficient and do not waste water.
20. When trying to establish water temperatures, adjust hot and cold knobs down, not up.
21. If the toilet flush handle frequently sticks in the flush position, replace it or adjust it.