Water, Sewer & Stormwater
Saving water around the home is simple and smart. The average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill but could save about $170 per year by retrofitting with water efficient fixtures and incorporating water-saving practices.
How much money you save will depend on the cost of water where you live, but it makes sense that using less water lowers your utility bill. More importantly, using less water preserves this limited resource for generations to come.
Inside the Home
Get Flush With Savings
- Consider installing a WaterSense labeled toilet, which uses 20 percent less water while offering equal or superior performance. Compared to older, inefficient models, WaterSense labeled toilets could save a family of four more than $90 annually on its water utility bill, and $2,000 over the lifetime of the toilets.
- Check for toilet leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 15 minutes. (Make sure to flush as soon as the test is done, since food coloring can stain the tank.)
Accessorize Your Faucet
- Installing a WaterSense labeled aerator is one of the most cost-effective ways to save water. Also consider replacing the entire faucet with a WaterSense labeled model. Either way, you can increase the faucet’s efficiency by 30 percent without sacrificing performance.
- Repair dripping faucets and showerheads. A drip rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year.
Clean Up With Savings
- A full bathtub can require up to 70 gallons of water, while taking a 5-minute shower uses only 10 to 25 gallons.
- Turning off the tap while you brush your teeth can save 8 gallons per day.
Lighten Your Loads
- Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes or lower the water settings for smaller loads.
- Replace your old washing machine with a high-efficiency, ENERGY STAR® labeled model, which uses up to 50 percent less water and electricity.
Outside the Home
Water When Needed
- Water your lawn or garden during the cool morning hours, as opposed to midday, to reduce evaporation.
- Look for sprinklers that produce droplets, not mist, or use soaker hoses or trickle irrigation for trees and shrubs.
- Set sprinklers to water lawns and gardens only. Check that you’re not watering the street or sidewalk.
- Try not to overwater your landscaping. Learn plants’ water needs and water different types appropriately.
Grow Green Grass
- Don’t over fertilize. You will increase the lawn’s need for water.
- Raise your lawn mower blade to at least 3 inches. Taller grass promotes deeper roots, shades the root system, and holds soil moisture better than a closely cropped lawn.
Garden With Care
- Plant climate-appropriate species. Try plants that are native to where you live, which don’t require as much water, and group plants together by water requirements.
- Use mulch around trees and plants to help reduce evaporation and control water-stealing weeds.