How to Conserve Water Indoors

W.H. Auden wrote, “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” Indeed, the average American home uses 140 to 170 gallons of water every day. Cut that in half with some water-saving tips.

You will need

  • A water-efficient toilet
  • A little food coloring
  • A low-flow showerhead
  • Faucet aerators
  • A dishwasher that uses water efficiently
  • A water-saving washer
  • And to change a few old habits
  • A brick

Step 1 Replace your old water guzzler with a low-flow toilet. By law, new toilets must use 1.6 gallons of water per flush or less to get the job done, compared to 5 to 7 gallons in the old days.

Step 2 If you can’t get a new toilet, make sure yours doesn’t have a leak, which can waste up to 100 gallons a day. Put some food coloring in the tank and watch to see if the color spreads to the bowl without flushing.

Step 3 Don’t linger in the shower, and maximize shower efficiency by installing a water-saving showerhead. These use only 2.5 gallons per minute.

Step 4 Put low-flow faucet aerators on all your faucet heads.

Step 5 Turn off the faucet while shaving or brushing your teeth, and don’t let it run while scrubbing the kitchen counter either.

Step 6 A leaky faucet can waste 20 gallons of water a day. Check for leaks around the house and fix or replace plumbing if necessary.

Step 7 When buying a new dishwasher look for water-saving models. Save more water by rinsing dishes only lightly or not at all before loading them.

Step 8 Finally, new clothes washers can save on both water and electric bills. Look for a washer with an Energy Star label and a water factor of 9.5 or below. As with the dishwasher, only wash full loads.