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Water Saving Ideas Indoors

Water may well be our most important resource. Everyone needs water. Everyone should conserve water to protect this resource now and in the future. Saving water also saves you money!

Water Saving Ideas in the Bathroom
Typically 75% of the average family's water is used in the bathroom. Follow some of these tips and you can reduce your usage dramatically.

The Toilet
  • Older toilets can use as much as seven gallons of water per flush. Newer toilets use less water. When replacing your toilet, purchase one with 1.6 gpf. (gallons per flush) or less.
  • When not replacing an older toilet you can reduce the water used per flush by placing a plastic bottle filled with water and an inch or two of sand of gravel into the tank. The bottle displaces water so less water is needed to fill the tank. Take care not to jam the mechanism. Bricks are not recommended because they eventually crumble and can cause leaks.
  • Do not discard ordinary trash into your toilet. Place a trash can next to the toilet and use it.
  • Unnecessary flushing wastes water and puts unnecessary burdens on the sewage treatment plant or your septic tank.
  • Locate and fix toilet leaks. One way to test a toilet for a flapper valve leak is to put 10 drops of food coloring into the water in the tank. After 15 minutes if colored water appears in the water in the bowl, you have a leaky flapper valve. A leaky toilet could waste as much as 100 gallons a day.

The Shower and Bath
  • Install a low-flow showerhead. Typical showerheads flow 3.2 gallons of water per minute. Low-flow models deliver 2.5 or even 1.25 gallons per minute. The difference amounts to a huge water savings.
  • Install a showerhead with a stop valve or turn off the water once you are wet, soap and wash, then turn it on only to rinse.
  • Install a Shower Manager. This unique device allows full flow for a preset time then cuts the flow to one half for the remainder of the shower.
  • Shower vs. Bath? Try this: plug the drain then take your normal shower. Compare the final water level to that of your typical bath. The one that uses less water should become your daily practice.
  • Taking shorter showers, even one or two minutes less can save up to 600 gallons each month.
  • Place a container in the shower and capture some of the water. Use this water for house plants, gardens, or pets.
  • If you use the bathtub, reduce the water level an inch or two and you will save 5 to 10 gallons each time.
  • Shower with someone.

The Sink
  • Brushing your teeth. Wet your toothbrush and partially fill a glass for the rinse. Brush your teeth and use the glass for rinsing. Over time, this is a huge savings compared to letting the water run.
  • Washing your hands or face. Again, get wet and turn the water off. Soap up, scrub, then turn the water on only to rinse.
  • Place a bowl in the sink and catch the water while you wait for the hot water to arrive. Use this water for brushing teeth, rinsing, house plants, or pets.
  • When shaving, plug the drain and fill the sink only enough to rinse your razor. Another huge saving compared to allowing the water to run.
  • Use or install aerated or spray taps on your faucets. These mix air into the water stream so less water is used. The stream is typically fuller, making rinsing easier.
  • Check for and fix leaky faucets often.

Water Saving Ideas in the Kitchen
  • run the dishwasher only with a full load. Older dishwashers can use as much as 25 gallons per run.
  • Keep a bottle of drinking water in your refrigerator rather than running tap water until it is cool.
  • Use the sink or a bowl of water to clean vegetables instead of letting the water run. After cleaning, a brief rinse is all you need.
  • Little things add up. The amount of coffee you make, the number of ice cubes you use, even the amount of water used to boil pasta.
  • If you do dishes by hand, use one sink for wash water and one for rinse water. If you have one sink, use it for wash water and place washed dishes on a rack and rinse together with a spray device.
  • Check for and fix leaky faucets often.

Water Saving Ideas in the Laundry
  • Run the washing machine only with a full load. Washers take 30 to 60 gallons of water per load.
  • Most newer washing machines have a water level setting. Use the appropriate setting and save 300 to 600 gallons per month.
  • Check for and fix leaky washing machine hoses.

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