At the heart of the Water Smart Program is taking personal responsibility for water conservation. Take a look at these common sense tips and see how easy it is to be part of the Water Smart team.
Inside the Home
- Wash only full loads of clothes and dishes.
- Never leave water running while brushing your teeth.
- Repair leaky fixtures such as faucets and toilets.
Outside the Home
- Water plants and yard only when necessary. Comply with designated rationing schedule if one is in effect.
- Never water or use sprinklers during the heat of the day.
- Introduce native plants to your property and use Xeriscape methods.
- Postpone washing your vehicle. If feasible, wash the vehicle on your lawn, not in the driveway where the runoff will be lost to the sewer.
Start in the Bathroom
Did you know that about 75% of water used in the home is used in the bathroom? Look for ways to save water whenever possible. You’ll help Texas and reduce your water bill as well.
Take a shower instead of a bath to save water. A short shower uses less water than a long one. A low-flow showerhead will save as much as 50% of the amount of water currently used, while still providing a refreshing, cleansing shower. Installing a low-flow showerhead is the single most effective conservation step that can be taken inside the home.
Standard toilets manufactured prior to the 1980s usually require 5-7 gallons per flush.
Toilets sold during the ‘80s and early ‘90s use 3.5 gallons per flush. The greatest savings come from replacing your toilet with a 1.6 gallon model. Since 1992 in Texas and 1994 nationally, new toilets must use 1.6 gallons or less per flush. Do not use a brick in your toilet tank. The brick will crumble and can damage the fixture.
Change your habits! Don’t let water run continuously while brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your hands. Additionally, a low-flow faucet aerator can save up to 50% of the water currently used in the lavatory.
On To The Kitchen for More Savings
About 8% of in-home water use takes place in the kitchen.
And now for the Kitchen Sink
- Run water only when necessary.
- Fill the basin or a dish pan to rinse dishes instead of using running water.
- Soak pots and pans before washing.
- Fill the basin or a pan with water to wash fruits and vegetables.
- Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge rather than running tap water until it is cold enough to drink.
- Operate the garbage disposal only when necessary.
- Wash only full loads.
- When you need to buy a new machine, take a look at the water saving models.
- Newer models can cut water use by 25% and generally are no more expensive than non-conserving models.
All Around the House
Doing the laundry requires about 14% of water used inside the home.
Conserve by adjusting the water level to match the size of your loads.
Wash only full loads.
Insulate hot water pipes where possible to avoid long delays and wasted water while waiting for the water to “run hot.”
Check the thermostat. Don’t have your water heater thermostat set too high. Settings higher than 125 degrees waste energy since the water has to be mixed with cold water before use.
And Most Important – Fix Those Leaks!
Leaks can account for 10% or more of the water bill. Leaks waste both water and energy. Need proof? A toilet with a silent leak of one cup of water a minute – a mere dribble – wastes about 2,700 GALLONS OF WATER A MONTH. That’s not just water down the drain, that’s dollars down the drain. Your dollars.