Most of you are already taking steps to reduce water usage in California’s present drought, so some of these tips may be redundant. But here are some ideas that offer the greatest savings for the least amount of sacrifice.
1. If you’re washing dishes by hand, consider buying a dishwasher. They typically use less water than hand-washing, especially dishwashers bearing an Energy Star label.
2. If you do buy a dishwasher, cut back on the rinsing cycle. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones. And wait until the dishwasher is full before running it.
3. Instead of pouring them down the garbage disposal, compost vegetable waste and use it to help fertilize a garden. This will also extend the life of your garbage disposal.
4. Consider installing instantaneous water heaters for your kitchen sink and bathtubs/lavs. This will eliminate the need to run water to heat it up, and as an added bonus will reduce your energy bill.
5. Reuse water whenever possible. Instead of tossing ice cubes from a drink into a sink, throw them on your plants. Do the same with water used to rinse fruits and veggies. Use water left over from cooking for a soup already loaded with tasty nutrients from the original use.
6. Reuse your towels until you can’t stand it anymore!
7. Select the proper pan size when cooking. You don’t need a huge pot to prepare a small meal for one or two persons. Larger pots and pans require more water.
8. Fill your washing machine to capacity when doing laundry, or at least match the water level to the size of the load.
9. If you have extensive landscaping, call us to inquire about the possibility of installing greywater piping to re-route your bath and kitchen wastewater to water your outdoor foliage.
10. Consider replacing greenery with desert landscaping with attractive variations of cacti and other desert plants.
11. Replace old showerheads with a WaterSense® labeled model. Studies have shown they can save up to 750 gallons a month.
12. Do the same with ancient toilets, especially those installed before 1992 when a national law was passed reducing the amount of gallons per flush.
13. Take shorter showers. Shortening your shower by a couple of minutes can save as much as 150 gallons a month. Also, keep in mind that showering uses less water than filling a bathtub.
14. When showering, turn off the water while shampooing your hair.
15. A faucet that leaks at the rate of one drip per second will waste five gallons of water per day, or almost 2,000 gallons of water a year! Barely perceptible toilet leaks are just as wasteful. Get them fixed right away. Also, ask us about our Family Plan service agreements that will assure you annual inspections to detect leaks and other unseen plumbing problems.
16. Monitor your water bill each month. A sudden surge in usage often indicates unseen leaks.
17. Consider installing dual-flush toilets, with a separate lever for liquid waste requiring less water per flush.
18. If anyone in your household shaves with a razor, be sure to plug the sink rather than running water to rinse the razor.
19. If you have an outdoor swimming pool, fountain or pond, make sure they are equipped with recirculating pumps. And use a pool cover. This keeps your pool clean, reduces chemical use and also reduces water loss through evaporation.
20. If you like to wash your car yourself rather than at a commercial car wash, do it on your lawn so you water your grass at the same time. Do the same when washing pets.
21. When changing your pet’s water, throw the old water on plants rather than down the drain.
22. Learn where your home’s main water shutoff valve is located. If a pipe bursts or other major leak occurs, shutting it off can save hundreds of gallons of water.
23. If your home uses an evaporative cooling system, direct the water drain to outdoor plants. Do the same with gutter downspouts (for those rare occasions when we actually experience rainfall!).
24. Use a broom rather than a hose to clean patios, sidewalks and driveways.
25. Teach your children to practice these water-saving tips.