If you’re on a meter, the less water you use, the less money you spend. Even if you’re on a well, conserving water means fewer pump outs for septic tanks and longer lives for leach fields.
23.1 Use Less in Showers and Baths
Follow the same tactics you used to cut your water heating costs (see 22.3). Avoid bathtubs, install low-volume nozzles, take shorter showers—and even take Navy Showers, if you’re really committed or need to be committed. One additional tactic:
□ 23.1.1 Capture Cold Water
If your shower takes time to warm up, collect the water in a bucket and use it to flush toilets, water plants, or scrub floors.
23.2 Use Less in Toilets
□ 23.2.1 Put a Bottle in the Tank
Fill a plastic bottle with pebbles and place it in the flush tank.
□ 23.2.2 Flush Only When Necessary
You’re at the controls, so you make the call.
□ 23.2.3 Favor Low-Flush Toilets
When we redid our master bathroom, we installed a low-flow model. We use it more often than our other toilets because it uses less water.
□ 23.2.4 Consider Indoor Leaks
If water runs for over a minute after flushing, you have issues. Visit this great toilet repair checklist courtesy of Home Depot.
□ 23.2.5 Consider Outdoor Leaks
I live rurally amongst many critters. In one easy step, I cut water use and mark my territory.
23.3 Use Less From Faucets
□ 23.3.1 Fix Dripping Faucets
Leaky faucets waste water.
□ 23.3.2 Install Faucet Aerators
Conserve by cutting the water flow.
□ 23.3.3 Avoid Running Water
Don’t let water run while you brush teeth, shave, rinse dishes, or wash vegetables.
□ 23.3.4 Limit Garbage Disposal Use
Less water goes down the drain; and if you’re on a well, you don’t have to pump out the septic tank as often.
□ 23.3.5 Buy Fewer and Smaller Plants
This means less watering.
23.4 Use Less Outdoors
□ 23.4.1 Collect Water From Gutter Spouts
Attach rain barrels and use the runoff for lawns or gardens.
□ 23.4.2 Don’t Water Sidewalks and Driveways
Position lawn sprinklers correctly.
□ 23.4.3 Run Sprinklers in the Early Morning or After Sunset
This way, less evaporates.
□ 23.4.4 Use Alternatives to Sprinklers
Irrigate with drip lines or soaker hoses. Buy them used.
□ 23.4.5 Reschedule Irrigation Automatically
When wired into your sprinklers, a rain sensor tells your system to skip scheduled waterings after downpours.
□ 23.4.6 Plant Xeriscapes or Native Grasses
These reduce or even eliminate the need for irrigation. Visit LessLawn.com.
□ 23.4.7 Cover Bare Ground
Use chipped wood, mulch, or gravel to cut evaporation.
□ 23.4.8 Clean Without Water
Brooms or blowers work well on decks, sidewalks, and driveways.
□ 23.4.9 Use Nozzles With Automatic Shut-Offs
The water flow cuts off whenever you release the handle.
□ 23.4.10 Wash Cars Less Often
Cut back to every other week and use a car duster in between washes.