How to save water at home - conservation tips and resources
Arkansas has tremendous surface and groundwater supplies. However, our state is also susceptible to drought. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that 2.3 million Arkansans collectively use 421 million gallons of public-supplied water per day for domestic use. This equates to over 180 gallons per person per day.
Why conserve water?
Relieving stress on our water supplies is just one benefit of home water conservation. Other benefits include decreased water bills, decreased wastewater treatment costs for communities and preservation of our aquatic environment.
What can I do to conserve water at home?
Don’t Let the Faucet Run.
Keeping a pitcher of water in the refrigerator or turning the faucet off while we brush our teeth can save several gallons of water each day.
Before you turn on the tap, think of ways you can use less water to accomplish the same purpose.
Fix the Drip.
There is no such thing as a little drip. A leaky faucet with a drip of just 1/16 of an inch in diameter can waste 10 gallons of water daily. Replace worn washers or valve seats.
Close the Hose.
Letting the garden hose run faster or longer than necessary while we water the lawn or wash the car wastes water. A 1/2-inch garden hose under normal water pressure pours out more than 600 gallons of water per hour, and a 3/4 inch hose delivers almost 1,900 gallons in the same length of time.
If left on overnight, one garden hose can easily waste twice as much water as the average family uses in a month.
Bathroom water usage tips
Check for toilet leaks.
Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install.
Don’t use the toilet as an ashtray or a wastebasket.
Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, 5 to 7 gallons of water is wasted.
Put plastic bottles in your toilet tank.
To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. This may save 10 or more gallons of water per day.
Be sure at least 3 gallons of water remain in the tank so it will flush properly.
For new installations, consider buying “low flush” toilets, which use 1 to 2 gallons per flush instead of the usual 3 to 5 gallons.
Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators.
Your local hardware or plumbing supply store has inexpensive, water-saving shower heads or restrictors that are easy for the homeowner to install.
All household faucets should be fitted with aerators. This single best home water conservation method is also the cheapest!
Take shorter showers.
One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up and then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.