This summer has been very hot, breaking records across the country. It can be tempting to take an extra-long shower or let your kids play with the water hose outside. That is, until the water bill comes. In addition to saving money on your utility bill, water conservation is a great practice for extending the life of your septic systems and reducing unnecessary pollution. When it comes to conserving water, small adjustments can have a noticeable impact. Follow these 15 simple tips and you’ll see a dramatic decrease in your water bill this summer.
- Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Simply replacing a worn faucet washer can save thousands of gallons per year. To find hidden leaks, read your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
- Toilet leaks account for more than 95 percent of water waste! Drop some food coloring into the tank. Wait 20 minutes without flushing, and then look in the toilet bowl. If there’s a leak from the tank into the bowl, color will begin to appear. To fix it, try replacing the tank’s rubber flapper that lets water through.
- Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket. Every time you flush, five to seven gallons of water is wasted. Throw tissues, insects, and other waste in the trash.
- Avoid baths and take short showers instead. Reducing your shower time by five minutes saves thousands of gallons per year!
- Turn off the sink water as you brush your teeth. Wet your brush and fill a glass of water for rinsing. To save time and money, brush your teeth in the shower.
- Only run your dishwasher and clothes washer when you have a full load. Match the water level to the proper size of the load. If washing dishes by hand, fill the sink with water rather than continually running the tap.
- Avoid using running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost food overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost setting on your microwave.
- Designate one glass for your drinking beverages each day, or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
- Running tap water to cool it off for drinking is extremely wasteful. Keep a safe drinking bottle full of water in the fridge.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway.
- Cover your pool. Hundreds of gallons of water per month can be lost due to evaporation. Most importantly, don’t fill the water to the very top in order to eliminate water loss due to splashing.
- Don’t water your street, house, driveway or sidewalk. Adjust your sprinklers so that your water lands on the lawn and shrubs, not the paved areas. No sprinklers? Collect rain water in a barrel and use it to water your outdoor plants.
- If you wash your own car, park it on a grassy area that needs water. Make sure the hose has a shutoff valve. Even better, use a commercial car wash that recycles its water.
- Be sure to turn off water from the hose when it’s not in use. Set a timer to remind yourself.
- Avoid kids toys that require a running hose or constant flow of water, such as sprinklers and slip-n-slides. Instead, fill up water guns or balloons and use them on a dry lawn. Even better, join the community pool.
Click here to view more conservation tips from Pennsylvania American Water, or visit their website for information on water quality, restoration, and their H2O Help to Others assistance program. We are proud to call Pennsylvania American Water one of our utility partners.