When doing laundry, always wash full loads.

  • Conventional washers built before 2011 typically use about 40 gallons (151.4 liters) per load; resource-efficient washer may use as little as 15 gallons (56.8 liters) per load.
  • Adjust the water level in the washer to the amount needed for the load.  Some of the new efficient washers will do this automatically.

When it’s time to replace the clothes washer, choose a high-efficiency washer with a low water factor.

  • The smaller the water factor, the more efficient the clothes washer.
  • Energy Star models currently have a maximum of 6.0, although many well-performing machines are available with lower water factors.  Look for the lowest water factor available to achieve the highest water savings.

If washing dishes by hand, fill the sink with water rather than continually running the tap.

Install an efficient dishwasher.

  • Technological advances in dishwashers make it possible to use less water to achieve the same goal.  Selecting a new dishwasher that uses less water per cycle will reduce household water use.
  • Dishwashers use less water than handwashing, particularly if you limit pre-rinsing.

Only wash full loads of dishes in the dishwasher.

Avoid using running water to thaw frozen foods.

  • Instead, defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

Find and fix any leaky faucets.

  • A faucet leaking 60 drops per minute will waste 192 gallons (726.8 liters) per month. That is equal to 2,304 gallons (8.7 m3) per year.

Install efficient faucets and/or faucet aerators.

  • The U.S. EPA WaterSense program labels efficient faucets and aerators that use a maximum of 1.5 gallons (5.7 liters) per minute.
  • Look for the WaterSense label when selecting new faucets or aerators.

Turn off the faucet.

  • When lathering hands, shaving, or brushing teeth.

If it takes a long time for the hot water to reach the shower, use it as an opportunity to collect water for other uses, such as watering houseplants.

  • Replace showerheads that have a flow rate greater than 2.5 gallons (9.5 liters) per minute (the current national energy policy act standard).
  • If the showerhead is not labeled, the flow rate can be checked by catching the water in a 1-gallon (3.8 liters) bucket.  If it takes less than 24 seconds to fill up, the showerhead flow rate is more than 2.5 gallons (9.5 liters) per minute.  The U.S. EPA WaterSense program labels efficient showerheads that use a maximum 2.0 gallons (7.6 liters) per minute.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Reducing a 10-minute shower to 5 minutes will save 12.5 gallons (47.3 liters) of water if the showerhead has a flow rate of 2.5 gallons (9.5 liters) per minute (even more if the showerhead has a higher flow rate).

Replace toilets installed before 1994 (1992 for Texas and California) with High-Efficiency Toilets (HETs).

  • Replacing an older toilet that uses 3.50 gallons (13.2 liters) per flush (gpf) with a HET that uses 1.28 gpf (4.85 liters) will save 2.22 gpf (8.4 Lpf).  The EPA WaterSense program labels efficient toilets that use a maximum 1.28 gpf.
  • If the toilet is flushed an average of six times each day it will save 13 gallons (49.2 liters) per day or 4,745 gallons (17.9 m3) per year.  Some older toilets may use as much as 7 gallons (26.5 liters) per flush.
  • Check toilets to verify they are working properly.
  • Make sure the water level is not too high, the fill valve is working properly, and the flapper is not leaking. A running toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day.


*Taken from Home Water Works