Saving water in your home

JANUARY 23, 2018

Water is a precious resource that should not be wasted. Read our tips on how to be water-efficient.

Tub and shower tips

  • Showering generally uses less water than bathing in a tub.
  • Leave a timer in the bathroom to help keep showers short and sweet.
  • Fill the tub only one-quarter full, if you prefer bathing.
  • Soak your shower head in vinegar to remove mineral deposits. Tie a bag filled with vinegar around the shower head with a long twist tie. Let it soak all day.
  • Install a low-flow shower head and faucet aerators.
  • Insulate all the hot water pipes in your home to keep hot water warmer for longer.
  • Use a bucket to collect water that runs while the shower heats up so you can use it for cleaning/chores.
  • Turn off the water when you brush your teeth or shave.

Toilet tips

  • Don’t flush things like cotton swabs, dental floss or hair down the toilet. This wastes water and can clog your sewer lines.
  • Check your flapper valve. If you hear your toilet filling without having been flushed, it could be leaking. Put a few drops of food colouring into the toilet tank water. Wait 10-15 minutes. If you see the coloured water in the toilet without flushing, then the flapper valve ought to be replaced to avoid wasting water.
  • Consider a dual-flush toilet. They use different means to flush liquid and solid waste. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended schedule for routine maintenance of dual flush toilets.

Laundry tips

  • Use a full load in the washing machine (but don't overfill). Too much water will cause the washer to work less efficiently.
  • Don’t waste water on small loads. Three-quarters full leaves room for the clothes to move around the agitator and reduces the chance for wrinkles or damage.
  • Use the right amount of detergent per load. Check the manufacturer's handbook as a guide.
  • Use the pre-soak option for heavily-soiled loads. You’ll use less energy and water than washing the same load twice.
  • Leave your washer open to dry for an hour or two after the last load to cut mold growth. Clean your washer once a month to remove mildew or soap scum.
  • Consider updating your washer with a newer, high-efficiency model. New ENERGY STAR® qualified models use less energy overall, and half as much water than ENERGY STAR® qualified washers made before January 1, 2007.

Leak tips

  • Repair dripping faucets and leaky valves.
  • Check your water meter periodically to monitor for leaky plumbing. If you see dial movement when no water is on, look for signs of leaks.
  • Check the shut off valves under sinks. Look for water dripping from the valve stems as well as water stains on the floor or cabinet base.
  • Check valves and hose connections behind washing machines, dishwashers, and bypass humidifiers.
  • Inspect connections to well pumps, pressure tanks, softeners, filters, boilers, and water heaters. If there is excessive corrosion, get them replaced by a professional.
  • Make sure that water lines supplying outdoor hose bibs are emptied before winter, that the pipe inside is insulated, and the outside faucet has an insulated hose bib cover.

Yard tips

  • Water lawns, shrubs, trees and gardens wisely. Many plants can be watered at the end of the day when heat is lower and evaporation will be reduced.
  • Set up a rain barrel at the bottom of a downspout to collect rain water. This water is safe to water shrubs, flowers, trees, and vegetables.
  • Use mulch around shrubs, flowers, trees, and vegetables to retain moisture in the soil while reducing weeds and the use of herbicides.
  • Reduce the size of your lawn by replacing it with native plants. They replace nutrients like nitrogen that grasses take out. You get better soil, a more diverse and disease-resistant yard, and use much less water.