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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.