Water Conservation Tips For Your Home
It's easy to get in-depth information about using water wisely. Monetary rebates are also available for a number of water saving actions through Orange County Water Smart where conscientious citizens can find more answers to many common questions.
Continue reading for a basic checklist of actions to save water throughout your home.
Outside the Home
- Only water the lawn when it actually needs it. If the grass springs back when you step on it, there's no need to water.
- Be aware of local restrictions on landscape irrigation times and days. Eliminate one watering day each week for the most effective savings. Water during early morning or evening to minimize evaporation. Never water the lawn on windy days or when there is a chance of rain.
- Water only lawn and garden areas and never the sidewalk, driveway, or porch. Runoff is waste!
- Don't permit children to play with the hose or sprinklers.
- Plant drought-resistant trees and plants and place mulch around trees and plants to help retain moisture.
- Wash your cars using a bucket of soapy water and only spray the hose for very quick rinsing. Or take your car to a local car wash that efficiently recycles water.
- Use a stiff broom and a dustpan instead of a hose to clean off paved driveways, sidewalks, or patios.
In the Bathroom
- Take shorter showers. Shortening the time in the shower can save two to five gallons for each minute.
- Check toilets for leaks. Toilets are the most common source of leaks in the home. Put a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank and wait a few minutes. If the coloring appears in the toilet bowl, then the flapper valve at the bottom of the tank is leaking and may need to be replaced. Also, the water level inside the tank should be adjusted to about a half inch or so below the top of the overflow tube in the center of the tank. The toilet is leaking if the water level is at the top of the overflow tube. Flush the toilet and adjust the plunger ball to set the water level.
- Turn water off while brushing teeth and shaving.
- Dispose of trash in the wastebasket - never the toilet.
- Replace older shower heads (5-10 gallons / minute) with low-flow shower heads (2.5 gallons / minute)
- Replace older toilets (3-5 gallons / flush) with water saver toilets (1.6 gallons / flush)
- Repair dripping faucets. A dripping faucet can waste as much as 20 gallons / day.
In the Kitchen
- Use the dishwasher only for full loads.
- Keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator rather than running the tap for a cool drink of water.
- Rinse fruits and vegetables in a pan or sink of water rather than using a continuous running stream from the tap.
- Dispose of food scraps into the garbage can rather than continuously rinsing each plate over the garbage disposal.
In the Laundry
- Wash only full loads in the washing machine or adjust the water level to an appropriate setting for each size load.
- Can you wear those jeans another day? To reduce volume, maybe some items don't need to be washed as often.
- Pre-soak heavily soiled laundry rather than running extra cycles.
- Invest in the newer high efficiency front load machines when it's time for a replacement. Rebates often reduce the initial cost and utility savings over the life of the appliance are significant.
Simple Procedure to Check for Leaks
- Locate the water meter in your home. It is near where the water line enters your home.
- Read the water meter twice. Once at night after the day's water use has ended. Then again in the morning before any water is used. Subtract the difference. If there is a difference between the two readings, a fixture within the home or even outside the home is leaking.
- Check fixtures for leaks and make needed repairs.
Take a few minutes to check for leaks. You can achieve significant water savings by following the advice offered, and ultimately, reduce your cost of sewer and water service. As always, you can email us with any questions you may have about water conservation.
Homeowners will also want to investigate various rebate and incentive programs for water conservation. There are many options to save both inside and outside of a residence. These savings programs are offered through Brea's participation in the Municipal Water District of Orange County.