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THE WISE WATER USER - Water Conservation Tips
Low Flow Toilets
Toilets are the single biggest user of water in the home. Flushing accounts for 38% of the water used in the home each day. By using a low flow toilet you can reduce your water consumption by 75% or more. These toilets are called 1.6 gal/flush, low consumption, low-flush or ultra low-flush.
Washing Machines
High efficiency clothes washers save water, energy and space. Most are front loaders that use a tumbling action. Look for an Energy Star Label. These washers use 30-50% less water, 50-60% less energy, and use 1/3 less detergent. Clothes get less wear and tear and need less time in the dryer.
Shower Heads
Install a shower head which uses 2.5 gal/min vs 3-7 gal/min and save 60%.
Low-flow aerators mix air with water to reduce the flow to 1.5-2.5 gal/min and save 70%. Faucets without aerators use 3-7 gal/min.
Look for the Energy Star Label. These dishwashers use about 6-10 gal/load of dishes (some as little as 3.7 gal). Compare to a 9-12 gal/load for the average dishwasher and 20 gal for hand washing. Newer models require little or no pre-rinsing. Save 50%.
In the Bathroom
•  Install low flow toilets ore use a displacement device in existing units. Save 1+ gal/flush; up to 75%.
•  Limit showers to 5 min, save 3-7 gal/shower; install low flow shower head, save 2-4 gal/min; up to 60%.
•  Never use the toilet as a wastebasket; save 3-7 gal/day.
•  Turn off tap while brushing/shaving, save 4-10 gal/day.
•  Turn off water flow while shampooing/soaping.
In the Kitchen
•  If hand washing/rinsing dishes, fill basin/sink; save 8-15 gal/day and also hot water costs.
•  Install low flow faucet aerators, reduce flow to 1.5 gal/min; save 70%.
•  Run dishwasher when full, save 12 gal/load and also hot water costs.
•  Run garbage disposal when necessary, save 2-7 gal/min; or place material in compost bin.
•  Don't run the tap for cool water, fill a container, keep in the refrigerator.
•  Wash fruits and vegetables in a basin and use a vegetable brush to clean produce.
•  Defrost frozen foods over night or in the microwave instead of using running water.
In the Laundry
•  Run washing machine with full loads as this appliance uses 22-39 gal/load; newer machines use as little as 15 gal/load; save 30%.
•  If small loads use appropriate water level load size.
•  The Inch Rule: Most plants and lawns need 1 in/wk, if it rains 1 inch - don't water.
•  In the Garden: Water early morning or evening and only when needed.
•  Water only when the soil is dry to a depth of 1 1/2" and soak down to 3-4".
•  Raise the lawn mower blade to 2-3", longer grass maintains moisture.
•  If using automatic sprinklers, set timer to operate according to watering needs; and turn off in rain.
•  Never water on a windy or a bright sunny day .
•  Install a rain sensor on automatic sprinkler systems; check for properly functioning heads.
•  Choose low water plants and cluster together for efficient water use.
•  Cultivate beds to decrease compaction and increase water filtration.
•  Use mulch, peat moss, and composted leaves, to improve soils and maintain moisture.
•  Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses instead of overhead sprinklers, save 30-70% of water.
•  Cover pools and spas to minimize water evaporation.
•  Do not clean sidewalks, driveways and patios with a hose; sweep only.
•  Wash cars with a bucket of water instead of a hose.
Stop Leaks
Check all water-using appliances and fixtures for leaks and repair immediately.
Simple Test For a Leak
A leaky faucet is obvious but not a leaky toilet, under a sink or behind a washing machine.
•  Read the water meter.
•  Wait six hours, making sure no one uses water during this time.
•  Check the meter again. If the reading has changed, check for leaks.
Dripping faucets and shower heads can waste several hundred gals/wk.
•  Look for warn out washers.
•  Clean aerator periodically.
•  Hold a bucket under the shower head for 20 sec. If there is more than 1 gal, you need a new head.
A trickling sound can mean 50 gal/day. But some leaks are silent.
•  Place a few drops of food coloring into the center of the toilet tank.
•  Wait 8-9 minutes .
•  Check the bowl for signs of coloring. If there is coloring the flapper or flush valve may need to be replaced. If there is no coloring there is probably no leak.
Using Water Wisely in the Home
Water efficiency plays an important role in protecting water resources and improving water quality. You can save money and protect the envirnoment.

Using water-saving techniques you can save hundreds of dollars annually and also also reduce river pollutants. Efficient water use can also ease the burden during droughts.
How Much Water Do we Use?
Large water users are toilets and clothes washers; followed by showers, faucets, leaks, and dishwashers. Nearly 14% of the typical homeowner's water usage is never used; it leaks into the drain. About 35% of total water use by a homeowner is used outdoors.
* This information was provided by the City of Newton Public Works.
For more on water use visit
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