Water Saving Tips & Tricks

Do's and Don'ts

  • Do fix all leaks in your house.
  • Don't wash your car (use a car wash that uses recycled water).
  • Do place a weighted plastic one-half gallon jug or toilet dam in conventional toilet tanks.
  • Don't rinse dishes before putting in the dishwasher.
  • Do sweep, not hose, driveways, steps and sidewalks.
  • Don't wash anything less than a full load of laundry.
  • Do use mulch around shrubs and garden plants.
  • Don't water your lawn.
  • Do report water main breaks and illegally-opened fire hydrants. Call 311 in Baltimore City and 410- 396-5352 in Baltimore County.

Using water every day

Do you know how much water you use every day? You'd be surprised! Before you can start saving water, you have to know how much you're using doing common, everyday activities. Each of us uses fifty gallons of water each day. Here's how:

  • Toilet - 19 gallons
  • Bathing & hygiene - 15 gallons
  • Laundry - 8 gallons
  • Kitchen - 7 gallons
  • Housekeeping - 1 gallon

Stop the dripping!

A drop of water may not break your home budget, but pile them up one after another and you've got a serious leak - in your pipes and in your pocket! A hot water leak wastes not only water but the energy used to heat it! In this case, you're losing money two ways!

Toilet leaks are some of the worst. A leaky or running toilet can waste about 200 gallons of water every day. If you can't hear the water running, test your toilet by adding a couple of drops of food coloring to the water in the tank. If it shows up in the bowl, your toilet leaks.

With a leaking faucet or toilet, you're pouring money down the drain. Repair it!

Saving water in the bathroom

  • If you remodel your bathroom, put in low use (1.6 gal/flush) toilets
  • Place a weighted plastic one-half gallon jug or a toilet dam in the tanks of conventional toilets to displace and save water with each flush. (Don't use bricks.)
  • Install low-flow aerators and showerheads. They're cheap, easy to put in, save water and save energy.
  • Don't run the faucet flow when you're brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Take showers instead of a bath.
  • If your shower has a single-handle control or shutoff valve, turn off the water when you're soaping up or shampooing your hair.
  • Replace leaking diverter valves (valves which divert water from the tub spout to the showerhead).

Saving water in the kitchen and laundry

  • Don't run your water for a cold drink; keep a container of water in the refrigerator.
  • Stop up the sink for washing and rinsing dishes. Put a low-flow aerator on all faucets.
  • Don't rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. You don't need to. It's a waste of water.
  • Run the washing machine and dishwasher when they are fully loaded.
  • Use the right water level or load size on the washing machine. · When you buy a washing machine or dishwasher, think about water use and energy efficiency. Most manufacturers now give this information to consumers.

Saving water outside the house

Watering lawns and gardens can double household water use during summer. Usually a garden hose will squirt out about 6½ gallons of water every minute! To cover 1,000 square feet of lawn or garden with an inch of water, you need to use 620 gallons of water…that's over 95 minutes of watering.

Limit watering to gardens, newly planted lawns and landscaped areas. Fixed lawns and landscape plantings will usually survive without watering. Trying to water them Inadequately encourages shallow root growth and increases the risk of mortality. When water is scarce, save your community or individual water supply for your most essential needs.

  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways, steps and sidewalks. · If a hose must be used, control the flow with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
  • Water your garden during the coolest part of the day. Do not water on windy days.
  • Use mulch around shrubs and garden plants to reduce evaporation from the soil surface and cut down on weed growth.

Saving water in the community

  • Encourage the use of water conservation devices by large water-using facilities such as schools, health clubs, motels and others.
  • Survey water users within large water using facilities and develop plans to reduce water use
  • Encourage a community-based service organization such as a scout group, service club or church youth group to start a water conservation program. Water conservation is stewardship of our natural resources.
  • Encourage use of drought tolerant vegetation in outdoor landscaping at large facilities and community sites.
  • Retrofit older buildings and facilities with water-efficient plumbing fixtures.