Savings Tips

Small Steps Add Up to Big Savings

Your family has taken the first step in saving water by installing the kit items your child brought home from school as part of the Water Detective Program. The kit items are meant to help both parents and students learn how to use water more efficiently at home, resulting in big savings. Now take that savings even further by putting to use the savings tips below. Learn how you and your family can make a big impact on water usage!

All savings tips are derived from WaterSense® at EPA.gov/WaterSense.

Indoor Water Savings Tips

Water and energy are connected. In many cases when you are saving water, you are saving energy as well. It takes energy to heat water, clean water, and bring the water to our homes. Water is a vital resource to our planet and our health. Additionally, all of the appliances in your home cost money to run, but there are steps you can take to cut down on your usage, while saving comfort and money at the same time. Read on to learn simple ways you can conserve.

  • Turn the water off while brushing your teeth.
  • Set the timer and take short, five-minute showers instead of baths.
  • Only wash clothes when there is a full load to be washed. And don’t forget to wash clothes in cold water to save both hot water and energy!
  • Collect the water that would otherwise run down the drain while rinsing produce or waiting for the water to warm up, and use it to water houseplants.
  • Plug up the sink or use a wash basin if washing dishes by hand.
  • Scrape your plate instead of rinsing it before loading it into the dishwasher.
  • Only run the dishwasher when it is fully loaded.
  • Fix a Leak. Small household leaks can add up to gallons of water lost every day.
  • Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.
  • Thaw food in the refrigerator overnight rather than under a running tap of hot water.

Outdoor Water Savings Tips

Although we think often about indoor water savings, outdoor water savings are just as important to the environment. Consider the below water-efficient tips the next time you’re outdoors.

  • Use regionally appropriate, low water-using and native plants that are adapted to local soils and climatic conditions.
  • Wash the car with water from a bucket, or consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.
  • Avoid watering in the middle of the day with the hot sun will evaporate much of the water before it can get to the thirsty plants.
  • Check your system for clogged, broken, or missing sprinkler heads.
  • Update your system’s watering schedule to align with the seasons. An improperly scheduled irrigation controller can waste water and money. Lawns typically only need up to one inch of water a week, including rainfall. Shrubs, trees, and other perennials generally will need even less because of their deeper root structure.
  • Sweep driveways, sidewalks, and steps rather than hosing them off.
  • Redirect sprinklers to apply water only to the landscape to avoid any unnecessary watering on sidewalks or driveways. If water begins to pool, turn off your sprinklers to prevent overwatering and runoff.
  • Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes or hoses. If water pools in your landscape or you have large wet areas, you could have a leak in your system. A leak the size as the tip of a ballpoint pen can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month!
  • Use rain barrels or cisterns when the rain does come to harvest rain water for irrigation and other outdoor water uses.
  • Install soil moisture sensors, efficient sprinkler heads, and micro- or drip-irrigation to get the most out of your irrigation system.