Water Saving Tips

There are many ways to conserve water, and reduce your water bill ranging from simple habit changes to more (initially) expensive solutions.    Let’s start with the simple…


As you can imagine a lot of water gets used in the bathroom.    A few simple tips can amount to a lot of savings (and more money in your pocket!):

Turn off the water as you brush your teeth (as opposed to letting it run while brushing)

Don’t uses the toilet as a trash can

Although not for everyone…follow the “when it’s yellow, let it mellow” approach

Take shorter showers (sometimes easier said than done!)

When showering, shut off water when lathering, then turn back on to rinse

Note:  toilets are notorious leak sources, and can be leaking without you being aware.   A simple way to determine if you toilet is leaking is to drop a toilet dye tablet (available from the Water Department) or even a few drops of food coloring into your toilet tank and wait 15 minutes.  If color appears in the bowl then you have a leak.   The internal part of a toilet can be relatively easily replaced by a handy homeowner (parts readily available at your local hardware store) – or by a licensed plumber if you are not confident.  


If possible use a dishwasher to wash dishes (they tend to use less water than hand washing – especially the newer models)

Scrape dishes (for dishwasher cleaning) instead of rinsing

Only run full loads of dishes

If washing by hand, use a tub or basin and only use water to rinse

Consider composting rather than using garbage disposal


Install low-flow aerators

Repair leaks as soon as possible

Replace old toilets with water-conserving models (EPA Watersense –labeled)

Upgrade your clothes washer to a water-efficient model (High Efficiency)

Upgrade your dishwasher to a water-efficient model (Energy Star labeled)


Irrigation accounts for a significant amount of water usage (and large seasonal increases to your water bill).     Irrigation methods are becoming more sophisticated and increasingly incorporate concepts like seasonal changes to evapotranspiration rates.    

Established lawns don’t need watering every day – water more less frequently (that is give your lawn a good soaking once or twice a week instead of every day)

Mow your grass at a higher setting

Install a moisture or precipitation sensor to your automatic irrigation system

Follow Water Department outdoor water use restrictions

Maintain your irrigation, and replace leaking heads as necessary

Don’t water pavement!   Re-direct stray sprays

Consider planting drought-resistant grasses such as Zoysia or Pearls Premium (there are other brands as well)

Consider planting native, drought-resistant shrubs

Contract with a conservation savvy landscaper

Use a broom to clean your walkway or driveway (as opposed to the hose)

How to check for leaks

High water bill?   Do you suspect a leak?   Checking for a leak is relatively simple.  First, make sure no water is being used in the house.   Then, check your water meter.   If it is registering then you know there is a leak.  Some of the older analog meters have a small red triangle on the face.  If you know that no water is being used in the house, and this red triangle is spinning then you have a leak.  The newer digital meters do not have this handy leak detector, but you can still observe the register increasing - and if you know that water is not in use then you have a leak.