Water Conservation Tips
General Water-Saving Tips
- Check for leaks in your plumbing, pipes, and fixtures. A single dripping faucet can waste hundreds of gallons per year. In fact, leaky toilets are the number one cause of unexpected high water bills.
- Keep a jug of drinking water in your refrigerator to avoid running water until it is cold enough to drink.
- Redirect water from downspouts. Channel storm water across lawns and into garden beds away from your house.
- Insulate hot water pipes. Winterize outdoor spigots when the temperature dips below 20 degrees to prevent pipes from bursting or freezing. Know where the master shut-off valve is located in case your pipes ever burst.
- Capture and recycle rainwater. Place rain barrels beneath downspouts. Use rainwater for outdoor plants or to wash your car.
Conserving Water in the Kitchen
- Only run the dishwasher when full. When washing by hand, fill one sink with soapy water and the other with rinse water. Always turn off the water when washing individual dishes.
- Install faucet aerators. (Customers from DP&L may qualify for free faucet aerators.)
- Peel and clean vegetables in a large bowl of water instead of under running water.
- Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or use a refillable water bottle. This will cut back on the number of glasses you have to wash each day.
- Only use the garbage disposal when necessary. Compost food scraps instead. (Just don't compost meat or dairy, because it attracts pests.) Sign up for Compost Kitchen classes with Five Rivers Metroparks to learn more.
Conserving Water in the Bathroom
- Turn off the water when you brush your teeth and shave.
- Limit showers to five minutes or less. You can also turn off the water while soaping or shampooing.
- Take showers instead of baths: Baths use more water than a typical shower.
- Don't use your toilet as a trashcan. Flushing unnecessary debris with your toilet wastes water, and it can damage your home plumbing and the public sewer system.
- Upgrade your toilet. The toilet is the biggest water user in your home. Flushing an old toilet may use up to 7 gallons per flush and account for 30% to 40% of the water used in your home. By replacing an old model with a new low-flow toilet, you can permanently reduce your water consumption by up to 25%.
- Regularly check your toilets for leaks. To test your toilet for invisible leaks, place a few drops of food coloring or a dye tablet into the toilet's tank. Wait 10 to 15 minutes (without flushing). If the coloring appears in the bowl, you have a leaky toilet. To repair this, the flush valve ("flapper") or the valve seat may need to be cleaned or replaced. Parts are inexpensive and easy to install.
Conserving Water When Doing Laundry
- Always run full loads of laundry.
- Wash your clothes in cold water. It saves energy and helps your clothes keep their color.
- Next time you are shopping for a washing machine, buy a water-saving model that can be adjusted based on the load size.
Conserving Water Outdoors
- Spread mulch around shrubs and flower beds to reduce evaporation, promote plant growth, and control weeds. Weed regularly. Weeds compete with other plants for water, nutrients, and light.
- Don't use your hose as a broom. Always use a broom to clean walkways, driveways, decks, and porches, rather than hosing off these areas.
- Cover pools and spas to reduce water evaporation.
- Regularly check hose bibs and sprinklers for leaks. Repair immediately.
- When washing a car, wet it quickly, then use a bucket of water to wash the car. Only turn on the hose for the final rinse.
- Only water the lawn or garden when necessary (once a week is best). Avoid watering on windy, hot days. Water in the early morning or late in the evening. Allow mulched grass clippings to remain on the lawn to help cool the soil and retain moisture.
- Adjust your sprinkler system to ensure that you only water your lawn, not the house, sidewalk, or street.
- Install a rain shut-off device on your automatic sprinklers to eliminate unnecessary watering.
Part of your water bill is based on water usage, also called "consumption." To a point, the less you use, the less you pay. Use these tips to help you conserve water and reduce your bill.