Indoor Water Conservation

Here are some tips on places to look for household water conservation:

Older model toilets use 3.5 to 7 gallons of water per flush. Toilet flushing accounts for 40% of indoor water use. Place a water displacement bottle in your toilet tank. A clean, heavy glass jar, such as a barrel pickle jar, no taller than 6½ inches will work well. The full glass jar without a lid will not move around in the tank and will not deteriorate over time. Place it in a corner where it will not interfere with the operation of the float assembly.

When replacing your old toilet, purchase one of the new water-saving models. They use as little as 1.6 gallons per flush. Ultra-low flush toilets install just like conventional toilets, making them ideal for remodeling and new construction. They can be purchased in a wide spectrum of decorator colors and styles. Two flushing styles are available; gravity and pressure assist. Performance standards and testing criteria are available on the new models. Do your homework to determine which one is best suited for your home.

Bathing is the second largest volume of water used in the home. If your home was built before 1991, you may use 40 gallons of water or more for an 8-minute shower. Switch to a high efficiency showerhead that uses no more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. A full bathtub may use 36 gallons of water. At minimum water level, you will use only 10 gallons of water. You save on the water usage, as well as your power bill.

Conserve water in your existing washer by doing full loads, or adjust the water level. Most top-load washers use from 32 to 60 gallons of water per load.

Look for front-loading washers when buying a new appliance. Depending upon the model, they use from 15 to 22 gallons of water per load. Look for models with a variety of water levels and temperature settings to maximize water and energy savings. Some models have internal coils to heat the water as it enters the washer. The higher spin rates on the front-load washers mean more energy savings from a shorter drying time. Less water going into a septic system can increase the life of the drainfield.

Use faucet aerators on all faucets. Like the water-saving showerheads, the aerators give you the same water pressure without using as much water.