Using water-saving techniques can save you money and diverts less water from our rivers, bays, and estuaries, which helps keep the environment healthy. It can also reduce water and wastewater treatment costs and the amount of energy used to treat, pump, and heat water. This lowers energy demand, which helps prevent air pollution.
It's not just the dry western areas of the country that need to be concerned with water efficiency. As our population continues to grow, demands on precious water resources increase. There are many opportunities to use household water more efficiently without reducing services. Homes with high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and appliances save about 30 percent of indoor water use and yield substantial savings on water, sewer, and energy bills. Start saving today.
Top Five Ways to Save
- Stop leaks. Check all water-using appliances, equipment, and other devices for leaks. Running toilets, steady faucet drips, home water treatment units, and outdoor sprinkler systems are common sources of leaks.
- Replace old toilets. The major water use inside the home is toilet flushing. If your home was built before 1992 and you haven't replaced your toilets recently, you could benefit from installing a WaterSense labeled model that uses 1.28 gallons or less per flush. A family of four can save 16,000 gallons of water per year by making this change.
- Replace old clothes washers. Washers are the second largest water user in your home. If your clothes washer is old, you should consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR certified clothes washer. Most ENERGY STAR clothes washers use four times less energy than those manufactured before 1999. To save more water, look for a clothes washer with a low water factor. The lower the water factor, the less water the machine uses. Water factor is listed on the certified product list.
- Install WaterSense labeled faucet aerators and showerheads. WaterSense labeled products use at least 20 percent less water than standard models, while providing equal or superior performance. By installing WaterSense labeled faucet aerators and showerheads, the average family can save nearly 3,500 gallons of water and nearly 410 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year.
- Plant the right plants. Whether you're installing a new landscape or changing the existing one, select plants that are appropriate for your climate. Consider landscaping techniques designed to create a visually attractive landscape by using low-water and drought-resistant grass, plants, shrubs, and trees. If maintained properly, climate-appropriate landscaping can use less than one-half the water of a traditional landscape.
- Provide only the water plants need. Automatic landscape irrigation systems are a home's biggest water user. To make sure you're not overwatering, adjust your irrigation controller at least once a month to account for changes in the weather. Better yet, install a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller, which uses local weather and landscape conditions to water only when plants need it. Install a rain shutoff device, soil moisture sensor, or humidity sensor to further control irrigation.
For more information on how you can save water, visit EPA's Using Water Efficiently: Ideas for Residences.