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The average American family uses more than 300 gallons of water per day at home, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Reducing water use will not only help you save money on your utility bills  (both in the amount of water used, and the cost associated in heating water), but will also conserve water and help lessen the impact many communities now face in meeting challenging water demands.

Here’s a few quick tips to help homeowners easily identify opportunities for reducing water use and water heating costs at home:


1. Check your toilet for leaks. 

Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the coloring begins to appear in the bowl, you have a leak that may be wasting more than 100 gallons of water a day. A leaking toilet is the biggest water waster in most homes.

2. Take shorter showers.

A typical shower can use five to ten gallons of water a minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rise off.

3. Install water-saving shower heads.

Your hardware or plumbing supply store stocks inexpensive high efficiency shower heads that will cut your shower flow to about 2.5 gallons or less per minute instead of five to ten. They are easy to install, and your showers will still be cleansing and refreshing.

4. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.

Before brushing, wet your brush and fill a glass for rinsing your mouth.

5. Turn off the water while shaving.

Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of warm water in which to rinse your razor.

6. Check faucets and pipes for leaks.

Even a small drip can waste 50 or more gallons of water a day.

7. Use your automatic washing machine only for full loads only.

Older automatic washers may use 30 to 35 gallons per cycle.

8. Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables.

Rinse your vegetables instead in a bowl or sink full of clean water.

9. If you wash dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing.

If you have two sinks, fill one with rinse water. If you have only one sink, first gather all your washed dishes in a dish rack, then rinse them quickly with a spray device or a pan of water.


Visit the US Department of Energy’s website to explore more ways you can use less water and save money on water heating.