Save a Drop
General Water Saving Tips
- Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water. If you wash your own car, park on the grass and use a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
- Be sure that water heaters and hot water pipes are insulated to reduce wasted water while waiting for hot water to flow.
- Encourage your employer to promote water conservation in the workplace. Suggest that water conservation be put in employee orientation and training programs.
- Report all significant water losses (broken pipes, errant sprinklers, abandoned free-flowing wells, etc.) to your municipality.
- Encourage your friends and neighbors to be part of a water-conscious community. Promote water conservation in community newsletters, on bulletin boards and by example. Encourage your friends, neighbors and co-workers to 'do their part'.
- Conserve water because it is the right thing to do. Don't waste water just because someone else is footing the bill, such as when you are staying at a hotel.
- Operate the washing machine and dishwasher only when they are fully loaded.
- Avoid the installation of ornamental water features (such as fountains) unless the water is recycled.
- Take short showers when using public facilities at the park or beach, and turn off the taps securely when you are done. Showers left running unattended can waste thousands of gallons of water in a short period of time.
Kitchen Saving Tips
- Scrape your dishes instead of using the pre-wash cycle in the dishwasher - most modern dishwashers do an excellent job of cleaning dishes, pots and pans all by themselves.
- Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing of food waste, instead of using a garbage disposal. Garbage disposals also can add 50 per cent to the volume of solids in a septic tank, which can lead to malfunctions and maintenance problems.
- When shopping for a new clothes washer, replace the more common, less efficient, top loading clothes washer with a high efficiency, front loading washer which uses about 30 per cent less water and 40 to 50 per cent less energy.
- Turn the faucet off while cleaning vegetables. Rinse them in the sink with the drain closed or in a pan of water.
- If you wash dishes by hand, do not leave the faucet flowing for rinsing. Instead, use a dish rack and spray device to rinse them. If you have two sinks, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water.
- Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering a plant or garden, or for cleaning.
Bathroom Saving Tips
- Take shorter showers. Replace your 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.
- Place a weighted plastic gallon jug in the tanks of older model toilets to displace and save an equal amount of water with each flush.
- Install a toilet dam or displacement device such as a bag or bottle to cut down on the amount of water needed for each flush. Be sure installation does not interfere with the operating parts.
- If the shower has a single hand control or shut off valve, turn off the flow while soaping or shampooing.
- Do not let the faucet flow while brushing your teeth or shaving. Use a glass of water for rinsing your teeth.
- Take showers instead of tub baths. Consider bathing small children together.
Outdoor Saving Tips
- Use mulch around shrubs and garden plants to reduce evaporation from the soil surface and cut down on weed growth.
- Direct down spouts or gutters toward shrubbery or trees, and/or collect rainwater in a large bucket for other outside uses.
- Avoid over fertilizing your lawn. Fertilizer applications increase the need for water. Apply fertilizers which contain slow-release, water-insoluble forms of nitrogen.
- Plant native and/or drought-tolerant grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees. Once established, they do not need water as frequently and usually will survive a dry period without watering. Group plants together based on similar water needs.
- Use a shut-off nozzle on your hose which can be adjusted down to a fine spray so that water flows only as needed. When finished, turn it off at the faucet instead of at the nozzle to avoid leaks. Check hose connectors to make sure plastic or rubber washers are in place. Washers prevent leaks.
- Do not leave sprinklers or hoses unattended. A garden hose can pour out 600 gallons or more in only a few hours. Use a kitchen timer to remind yourself to turn sprinklers off.
- Avoid purchasing recreational water toys which require a constant stream of water.
- Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways, steps and sidewalks.
- Wash the car with water from a bucket. If a hose is used, control the flow with an automatic shut off nozzle.
- Adjust the lawn mower to a higher setting to provide natural ground shade and to promote water retention by the soil.
- Water your garden during the coolest part of the day. Do not water on windy days.
- Water plus wind equals waste! If you water when its windy, you will find the water going everywhere except where you want it to go. Wind also causes water to evaporate quickly.
- Cover outdoor pools to reduce evaporation.
Visit the Save a Drop website for more information on water conservation tips.
Water Conservation Order Brochure