Toilet flushing is by far the largest single use of water in a home.
Most toilets use from 4 to 6 gallons of water for each flush. On the
average a dishwasher uses about 50% less water than the amount used when
you wash and rinse dishes by hand if the dishes are not prerinsed and
if only full loads are washed in the dishwasher.
Without counting lawn watering, typical percentages of water use for
a family of four are:
· Toilet flushing --- 40%
· Bath and shower --- 32%
· Laundry --- 14%
· Dishwashing --- 6%
· Cooking and drinking --- 5%
· Bathroom sink --- 3%
leave the water running while I brush my teeth. Does this waste much water?
You bet! Leaving the water running is a bad habit; about 4 to 6 gallons
of water go down the drain needlessly every time you brush. Turning off
the water when you are not using it will save water and save you money.
Another way many people unthinkingly waste water is while they are waiting
for the hot water to come to a shower, tub, or sink. Catching this water
to use for plant watering is a good conservation tip.
I use a lot water in the kitchen. How can I conserve there?
Here are several tips:
Scrape dishes without using water and don’t rinse them before putting
in the dishwasher.
· Clean vegetables in a pan of water rather than under running tap water,
then use that water to give your plants a drink.
· Use the garbage disposal sparingly.
· Run the dishwasher only when it is full.
My water faucet drips. Should I bother to
Yes. Drips waste
a precious product, and this waste should be stopped, even though the
dripping water may not register on your water meter. To find out how much
water you’re wasting, put an 8-ounce measuring cup (or anything
that will let you measure 8 ounces) under the drip and find out how many
minutes it takes to fill it up. Divide the filling time in 90 (90 / minutes
to fill) to get the gallons of water wasted each day.
As an example, if you have a faucet that dripped 60 times a minute (once
each second) this adds up to over 3 gallons each day or 1,225 gallons
each year, enough to fill more than twenty-two 55-gallon drums, just
from one dripping faucet! This leak would fill the 8-ounce measuring
cup in less than 30 minutes.
How should I water my lawn to avoid wasting water?
Water your lawn for long periods a couple of times each week, rather
than every day. This allows deep penetration of the water. An inch a
week is a good rule of thumb, but this varies for different grasses and
different parts of the country. Check with your local garden store. If
you want to find out exactly how long to water, put some large cans or
jars (peanut butter jars will work) around your lawn and see how long
you have to run your sprinkler to fill the jars with the right amount
Water early in
the morning to avoid excessive evaporation; it is usually less windy then,
too, and the water pressure is usually higher. Night watering may promote
lawn disease. Use a sprinkler that makes large drops, because small drops
evaporate faster. Watering your lawn with a hand-held hose is a waste
of both your time and your water, although it might be okay for a small
Try to avoid watering paved areas and don’t
use your hose to wash sidewalks or driveways. Both of these practices
waste a lot of water.