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Water Conservation Tips

24 Ways to Save Hundreds of Gallons of Water Every Week (PDF)

Most people aren't aware of how many gallons of water the average household uses each week. In San Diego, a typical household uses around 14 hundred cubic feet (HCF) of water a month (more in the summer, less in the winter.) One HCF of water is equal to 748 gallons, so a typical household uses about 10,472 gallons a month.

Here are 24 simple ways to help you save water. Whatever your conservation goal is - 15 percent, 25 percent, or more - the more of these steps you take the more water you'll save. The more water you save, the more money you'll save on your water and sewer bill.

In The Bathroom

  • While waiting for hot water to come through the pipes, catch the cool, clean, water in a bucket or a watering can. You can use it later to water plants, run your garbage disposer, or pour into the toilet bowl to flush. (Can save up to 50 gallons a week per person.)
  • Replace your regular showerheads with low-flow showerheads. (Can save up to 230 gallons a week.)
  • Keep your showers down to five minutes or less using a low-flow showerhead. (Can save up to 75 gallons a week per person.)
  • Turn the water off while lathering-up in the shower. Then turn the water back on to quickly rinse. (Can save up to 75 gallons a week per person.)
  • Take shallow baths, no more than 3 inches of water. (Can save up to 100 gallons a week per person.)
  • Replace your older model toilets with new ultra-low-flush models. (Can save up to 350 gallons a week.)
  • Check your toilets for leaks. Drop a dye tablet or a teaspoon of food coloring (avoid red) in the tank. If color appears in the bowl after 15 minutes, you probably need to replace the "flapper" valve. (Can save up to 100 gallons a week for each toilet repaired.)
  • Flush the toilet only when necessary. Never use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. (Can save up to 50 gallons a week.)
  • Never let the water run while brushing your teeth or shaving. (Can save up to 35 gallons a week per person.)

In the Kitchen

  • Hand wash dishes just once a day using the least amount of detergent possible. This will cut down on rinsing. Use a sprayer or short blasts of water to rinse. (Can save up to 100 gallons a week.)
  • If you have a dishwasher, run it only when you have a full load. (Can save up to 30 gallons a week.)
  • Scrape food scraps off dishes in the garbage can or rinse them off with very short blasts of water. (Can save up to 60 gallons a week.)
  • Never use hot, running water to defrost frozen foods. Plan ahead and place frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or use the microwave oven. (Can save up to 50 gallons a week.)
  • Rinse vegetables and fruits in a sink or a pan filled with water instead of under running water. (Can save up to 30 gallons a week.)
  • Run your garbage disposer only on alternate days. (Can save up to 25 gallons a week.)

Around The House

  • Repair all leaky faucets, fixtures and pipes both inside and outside your home. (Can save more than 150 gallons for each leak.)
  • When doing the laundry, never wash less than a full load. (Can save up to 100 gallons a week.)

Outdoors

  • Set lawn mower blades one notch higher since longer grass reduces evaporation. Leave grass clippings on your grass, this cools the ground and holds in moisture.
  • Mulch, compost and wood chips are available at the Miramar Greenery.
  • Never hose down your patio or balcony, always use a broom or blower. (Can save up to 100 gallons a week.)
  • Don't allow children to play with the hose. (Can save up to 10 gallons a minute.)
  • If you have a pool, use a cover to cut down evaporation. This will also keep your pool cleaner and reduce the need to add chemicals. (Can save up to 250 gallons a week.)
  • Take your car to a car wash that recycles its wash water. If washing your car at home, use a bucket of water and sponge. Rinse quickly at the end. Never allow the hose to run continuously. (Can save up to 150 gallons a week.)
  • Water your lawn and landscaping before dawn or after the sun sets when there's less evaporation. Adjust your sprinklers so they don't spray on sidewalks, driveway or street. (Can save up to 250 gallons a week.)