Indoor water use is considered essential for health, so while you cannot stop using water altogether, you can use it more efficiently though your appliances and behavior changes.
Toilets are the highest consumer of water inside, around 30% of household water usage. High-efficiency toilets (HETs) use 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) or less, and can save 4,000 gallons per year. Look for WaterSense labeled models when replacing yours. Toilets purchased and installed since 1996 are already efficient toilets, using 1.6 gpf, which is the current standard set by the EPA.
High-efficiency, front-loading clothes washers use 35 percent to 55 percent less water, 50 percent less energy, and less detergent and are gentler on clothes.
Hot water on demand systems are growing in popularity. While they do not actually save much water, they do reduce energy costs, as the hot water is not heated 24-hours a day, but only when it is needed. Look for an Energy Star model if you opt to install one at your property.
In the bathroom
Showerheads installed in the 1980's use 3-4 gallons per minute (gpm) Some newer models are available that only use 1.5 gpm! Current standards require that showerheads use 2.5 gpm. Look for models that bear the WaterSense label.
Install faucet aerators that use 1.0 gpm or less. Again, look for WaterSense labeled models.
- Toilets are often the cause of high water usage due to flapper leaks. If you suspect yours is leaking, put a few drops of food coloring in the tank (back part) of the toilet. Do not flush. Let sit for at least 10 minutes. Look at the water in the bowl (part you sit on), if the food color has appeared here then your flapper is leaking. The easiest way to fix this is to replace the flapper--be sure to note the brand and model of your toilet when you go to purchase a new flapper to ensure a proper fit.
In the kitchen
- Wash dishes in the dishwasher, rather than hand washing, even if not completely full. New models use less water and energy than hand washing.
- Fill the sink with soapy water instead of letting water run continuously, if hand washing.
- Install an efficient aerator on kitchen faucet that uses 2.5 gpm or less.
- When thawing out frozen food, plan ahead and put food in the refrigerator the day before to thaw or set food in a bowl or sink full of warm water, rather than under a running faucet.
- Save water and salt by running the minimum amount of regenerations necessary
- Turn off while on vacation
- Ensure you have the proper size for your household.