Replace efficient showerheads with water-sense-labeled models.
● The U.S. EPA WaterSense program certifies showerheads that use a maximum of 2 gallons (7.6 liters) per minute.
● If the showerhead is not labeled, the flow rate can be checked by catching the water in a 1-gallon (3.8 liter) bucket. If it takes less than 24 seconds to fill up, the showerhead flow rate is more than 2.5 gallons (9.5 liters) per minute.
Take shorter showers.
● Reducing a 10-minute shower to 5 minutes will save 12.5 gallons of water (47.3 liters) if the showerhead has a flow rate of 2.5 gallons (9.5 liters) per minute, and even more if the showerhead has a higher flow rate.
Install a thermostatic shut-off valve, either integrated into a showerhead or as an add-on positioned between the showerhead and shower.
● The valve automatically reduces the showerhead’s flow to a trickle once the water temperature reaches approximately 95° F (35° C), reducing water waste during the user’s warmup routine (known as ‘behavioral waste’).
● If installing a valve isn’t an option, and it takes a long time for the hot water to reach the shower, use it as an opportunity to collect water for other uses, e.g. watering houseplants.
Replace inefficient toilets with WaterSense-labeled models.
● Replacing an older toilet that uses 3.5 gallons (13.2 liters) per flush (gpf) with a high-efficiency toilet that uses 1.28 gpf (4.85 liters) will save 2.22 gpf (8.4 Lpf). The EPA WaterSense program labels toilets that use a maximum of 1.28 gpf.
● Some older toilets may use as much as 7 gallons (26.5 liters) per flush.
● For more information and resources, visit the Toilets section of the AWE Resource Library.
Check toilets to verify they are working properly.
● Make sure the water level is not too high, the fill valve is working properly, and the flapper is not leaking. A running toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water per day.
Check water bills for any instances of high water use, as this may be an indication of a leak.
● Your water bill will often show abnormal water consumption if there is a leak. Many water utilities have information on how to read your water bill online. For more information and resources, visit the Household Leak Detection section of the AWE Resource Library.
Composting food waste saves water by reducing the water needed to run a garbage disposal.
Pool owners can use a cover to reduce water loss through evaporation. A pool cover can also save energy and reduce the need for chemicals.
Sweep outdoor surfaces with a broom instead of using a hose.
Wash vehicles at a carwash that recycles its water. If washing at home, make sure the hose has a shutoff valve.
Alliance for Water Efficiency Resource Library
U.S. EPA WaterSense® Program