Water Conservation Tips
Saving Water Outdoors
- Don’t over-water your lawn. One inch of water per week in the summer will keep most common grasses healthy. In fact, if you pamper your lawn too much by over watering, the turf will never develop the kind of deep root system needed to keep it healthy long-term.
- Automatic sprinkler systems are great, but they can sometimes waste a great deal of water if not used and maintained properly. Make sure the system is set to water only when needed. For example, turn the system off after a good rainfall so you’re not duplicating what Mother Nature has already provided. Check sprinkler heads regularly to make sure they are working properly. Adjust sprinkler heads to avoid unnecessary over-spray on sidewalks or driveways.
- Whenever possible, water during the early morning hours, before the sun is high in the sky. This will allow time for the water to soak into your lawn between midnight and 4 a.m. Also, avoid watering on windy days. Strong winds waste water by blowing water where it’s not needed and by speeding up evaporation.
- Don’t “scalp” your lawn. By keeping your lawn 3 inches or taller during the summer, you will help the lawn hold in more moisture. Also, try not to cut more than one-third of the lawn’s length at one time.
- Don’t clean your sidewalks or patios with a hose; use a large broom to sweep away dirt and debris.
- Use lots of mulch around your plants and shrubs to retain moisture.
- If you wash your own vehicles, use a bucket of soapy water to wash and only use the hose for rinsing.
Saving Water Indoors
In the Kitchen
- Always operate your dishwasher with a full load. This saves water, energy, detergent; and money.
- Consider purchasing a new, Energy Star dishwasher. These models save both energy and water, and sometimes qualify for a rebate from PG&E!
- Don’t rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Dry scrape the food remnants into a trash can instead.
- Don’t leave your water running when you aren’t using it.
- Install faucet aerators - The difference in flow is hardly noticeable, and you’ll cut your kitchen sink water consumption in half!
- Using a garbage disposal can waste water unnecessarily. Use them only for really messy stuff. Use the garbage for everything else (egg shells, potato peels, etc.). Rinse your vegetables in a pan of cold water rather than under a running faucet.
In the Bathroom
- Take a shower instead of a bath and keep your showers short.
- Replace your showerhead with a low-flow model that uses 2 gallons per minute or less. Some low-flow showerheads also have a “soap and soak” button that reduces the water flow significantly while you shampoo your hair. Use it regularly and save even more!
- Replace your old toilet with a more water efficient one. This can save as much as 5 gallons per flush. You can also use less per flush by installing a water displacement device. One do-it-yourself method is to fill a plastic gallon milk container with water and set it inside your tank. That will reduce your flush by one gallon.
- Watch carefully for dripping or leaky faucets. A small drip can waste a large amount of water over time.
- Don’t leave the water running while brushing your teeth. Keep it shut off until it’s time to rinse.
- Don’t leave the water running while shaving. Fill the sink partially with hot water to rinse the razor instead of rinsing it in the stream. For the same reason, don’t shave in the shower; every minute you spend shaving is wasting several gallons of water.
In the Laundry Room
- Wash only when you have a full load. If you must wash a partial load, use the load setting with the correct amount of laundry to be washed.
- Buy an Energy Star-rated clothes washer. Energy Star washers save energy, water, and money in several ways. First of all, they use up to 40% less water than conventional washers. During the spin cycle, they extract more water, meaning less time in the dryer. They use less detergent than regular models, and they also are gentler on your clothes. PG&E also may offer rebates.