Save Money on Your Water Bill

35 Ways to Reduce Your Water Usage

Reduce your water bill, and your impact on the environment with these water-saving tips:

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    KITCHEN

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    Utility Bill. Photo © Erin Huffstetler
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    Use Your Dishwasher

    Contrary to popular belief, it takes more water to hand-wash dishes than it takes to .

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    Don't Pre-Rinse Dishes

    Scrape food from plates, and let your dishwasher do the rest.

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    Only Run the Dishwasher When Full

    You'll use the same amount of water whether you run a full load or a partial load.

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    Install a Faucet Aerator

    It screws onto the bottom of your faucet to reduce water flow, without reducing water pressure. You can even get some that swivel to allow you to direct the water where you need it. Note: If you have a newer faucet, it may already have one built-in.

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    Keep Drinking Water in the Fridge

    Then, you won't waste water while you wait for the tap to get cold. Another option: Fill a cup with tap water, and drop in a couple ice cubes to chill it.

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    Heat Water on the Stove/In the Microwave

    Then, you won't waste water while you wait for the tap to get hot.

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    Install a Point-of-Use Hot Water Heater

    If you regularly need hot water for pots, dishwashing, and hot drinks, consider installing a point-of-use hot water heater (also known as an instant hot water system) under the kitchen sink. It’ll supply you with hot water as soon as you turn on the tap, and only costs a couple hundred dollars.

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    Don't Use the Disposal

    Compost food waste or throw it in the trash. Both are water-free options.

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    Switch to a Low-Flow Shower Head

    Low-flow showerheads use 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm); older models use as much as 5.5 gpm. Make the switch and you'll reduce your water bill by 25-60% (US Department of Energy).

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    Take Shorter Showers

    Aim for a five-minute shower. With a low-flow showerhead, you'll use 12.5 gallons of water or less. Compare that to 37.5 gallons for a 15-minute shower, and the savings is pretty easy to see.

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    Shower Instead of Taking Baths

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it takes 35 gallons of water to fill the average bathtub. Switch to a five-minute shower with a low-flow showerhead, and you'll save 22.5 gallons each time you scrub up!

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    Repair Faucet Leaks

    A leaky faucet can waste 1000-2000 gallons of water a year ().

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    Install a Faucet Aerator

    It screws onto the bottom of your faucet to reduce water flow, without reducing water pressure. Note: If you have a newer faucet, it may already have one built-in.

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    Turn the Water Off While You Brush/ Shave

    Less flow time equals less water used.

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    Check Toilets for Leaks

    According to the National Sanitation Foundation, a leaky toilet can waste as much as 500 gallons of water each day! Place a dye tablet (free at home improvement stores) in the toilet tank, and watch to see if the dye seeps into the bowl. If it does, you have a leak that needs to be addressed.

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    Replace Your Toilet Flapper Once a Year

    Toilet flappers break down quickly and should be replaced once a year – even if they say they're good for longer. A couple dollars spent on a replacement flapper will save you much more on your water bill.

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    Install an Adjustable Flapper

    Several manufacturers now offer flappers that you can adjust to your desired flush volume. According to Niagara Conservation, an adjustable flapper can save up to three gallons per flush.

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    Install a Fill Cycle Diverter

    Save another 1/2 gallon per flush by installing a fill cycle diverter in each of your toilets. This simple add-on costs less than a dollar and is designed to divert overflow water back to the tank during the fill cycle.

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    Place a Bottle in the Toilet Tank

    Fill a bottle with water, and place it in the toilet tank. It'll displace water, and cause the tank to fill with less water. Just how much water will this save? An amount equal to the size of the bottle that you placed in the tank. A 20 oz. bottle, for example, will save 20 oz. of water per flush.

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    Switch to a Low-Flow Toilet

    When it's time to replace your toilet, replace it with a low-flow model that uses 1.6 gallons per flush, compared to a traditional toilet, which uses 3.6 gallons.

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    Only Wash Full Loads

    You’ll save water and wear and tear on your machine.

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    Wear Clothes More than Once

    Pants and outwear usually don't get very dirty. Wear them twice before washing, and you'll cut down on your water use and your housework. Now that's hard to argue with!

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    Upgrade to a High-Efficiency Washer

    A high-efficiency washer can be as much as three times as efficient as a regular washer. (US Department of Energy). Upgrade when your current washer dies, and enjoy the savings.
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    AROUND THE HOUSE

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    Utilize Greywater

    Save your cooking water, unused drinking water, and the water that comes out of your shower while you're waiting for it to warm up. Then, use it to water your plants.

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    Insulate Pipes

    Cover your hot water pipes with foam insulation to prevent heat loss. The payoff: hot water faster and less water waste.

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    Place Your Hot Water Heater Close to Where You Use It

    The shorter the distance the water has to travel, the faster you'll have hot water.

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    Install a Hot Water Recirculation System

    This relatively inexpensive system (just a couple hundred dollars) uses a pump to pull hot water from the hot water heater faster, and returns cool water from the pipes to the water heater for reheating.

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    Install a Tankless Hot Water Heater

    When it's time to replace your hot water heater, consider upgrading to a tankless unit (also known as an on-demand water heater). It heats water faster and only when you need it – a water savings and an energy savings.

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    OUTDOORS

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    Collect Rain Water for Plants

    Attach rain barrels to the end of your gutter drain spouts to collect rainwater. Then, use it to water your plants and wash your car.

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    Water with Soaker Hoses

    Use a soaker hose to water the plants in your yard, and you'll have precise control of where the water goes – and more importantly – where it doesn't.

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    Use a Wading Pool Instead of a Sprinkler

    Fill a wading pool for your kids, instead of letting them play in the sprinkler. They can splash around for hours without the continuous flow of water.

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    Choose Drought-Resistant Plants

    Then, let the rain handle all of the watering.

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    Mulch Your Garden

    Mulch reduces evaporation, ensuring that your plants get the full benefit of rainwater and your waterings.

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    Sweep Sidewalks Off Instead of Spraying

    A little sweeping action can save a lot of water – as much as 80 gallons a year, according to , and it's good exercise.

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    Wash Your Car Less Often

    , says it takes up to 100 gallons of water to wash a car. The Environmental Protection Agency says it can take over 500 gallons. Either way, that's a lot of water to devote to car washing.

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    Take Your Car to A Car Wash

    You'll eliminate 100 gallons (or more) of water from your water bill each time you take your car to a car wash, and if you choose a facility that recycles water, you'll be helping the environment, too.