Tips for Water Conservation & Protection

Smart Moves to Cut Water Usage and Costs

Did you know that the average U.S. household uses approximately 400 gallons of water per day or 100 gallons per person per day? Luckily, there are many low-cost and no-cost ways to conserve water. Small changes can make a big difference - try one today and soon it will become second nature.

  • Take short showers: A five-minute shower uses 4 to 5 gallons of water compared to up to 50 gallons for a bath.
  • Shut off water while brushing your teeth, washing your hair and shaving to save up to 500 gallons a month.
  • Use a water-efficient showerhead. They're inexpensive, easy to install, and can save you up to 750 gallons a month.
  • Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  • Water plants only when necessary.
  • Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered. Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it and during the cooler parts of the day to reduce evaporation.
  • Teach your kids about water conservation to ensure a future generation that uses water wisely. Make it a family effort to reduce next month's water bill!
  • Visit www.epa.gov/watersense for more information. 

Small fixes, big savings

There are simple things you can do to stop leaks and conserve water in your bathroom.

Small fixes, big changes

  • Replacing your faucet aerator is a quick and economical option to save money and water.
  • Check out the WaterSense video (at left) on replacing a toilet tank flapper.
  • To check your toilet for a leak, place a few drops of food coloring in the tank and wait. If the color seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it or replacing it with a more efficient model can save up to 1,000 gallons a month. 

Source Water Protection Tips

Protection of drinking water is everyone's responsibility. You can help protect your community's drinking water source in several ways:

  • Eliminate excess use of lawn and garden fertilizers and pesticides - they contain hazardous chemicals that can reach your drinking water source.
  • Pick up after your pets.
  • If you have your own septic system, properly maintain your system to reduce leaching to water sources or consider connecting to a public water system.
  • Dispose of chemicals properly; take used motor oil to a recycling center.
  • Volunteer in your community. Find a watershed or wellhead protection organization in your community and volunteer to help. If there are no active groups, consider starting one. Use EPA's Adopt Your Watershed to locate groups in your community, or visit the Watershed Information Network's How to Start a Watershed Team.
  • Organize a storm drain stenciling project with your local government or water supplier. Stencil a message next to the street drain reminding people "Dump No Waste - Drains to River" or "Protect Your Water." Produce and distribute a flyer for households to remind residents that storm drains dump directly into your local water body.