Wednesday, July 1, 2009

19 Helpful Water Saving Tips

As of June 1, 2009, mandatory water restrictions started for most of San Diego County. A three year drought has reduced the supply from the state water project in Northern California. We are already using reserves for everyday water. For more information about the restrictions, you can visit

Here are 19 tips for conserving water on your own:

In The Bathroom
1. While waiting for hot water to come through the pipes, catch the cool, clean, water in a bucket or a watering can. You can use it later to water plants, run your garbage disposer, or pour into the toilet bowl to flush. (Can save up to 50 gallons a week per person.)
2. Replace your regular showerheads with low-flow showerheads. (Can save up to 230 gallons a week.)
3. Keep your showers down to five minutes or less using a low-flow showerhead. (Can save up to 75 gallons a week per person.)
4. Turn the water off while lathering-up in the shower. Then turn the water back on to quickly rinse. (Can save up to 75 gallons a week per person.
5. Take shallow baths, no more than 3 inches of water. (Can save up to 100 gallons a week per person.)
6. Replace your older model toilets with new ultra-low-flush models. (Can save up to 350 gallons a week.)
7. Check your toilets for leaks. Drop a dye tablet or a teaspoon of food coloring (avoid red) in the tank. If color appears in the bowl after 15 minutes, you probably need to replace the "flapper" valve. (Can save up to 100 gallons a week for each toilet repaired.)
8. Flush the toilet only when necessary. Never use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. (Can save up to 50 gallons a week.)
9. Never let the water run while brushing your teeth or shaving. (Can save up to 35 gallons a week per person.)

In The Kitchen
10. Hand wash dishes just once a day using the least amount of detergent possible. This will cut down on rinsing. Use a sprayer or short blasts of water to rinse. (Can save up to 100 gallons a week.)
11. If you have a dishwasher, run it only when you have a full load. (Can save up to 30 gallons a week.)
12. Scrape food scraps off dishes in the garbage can or rinse them off with very short blasts of water. (Can save up to 60 gallons a week.)
13. Never use hot, running water to defrost frozen foods. Plan ahead and place frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or use the microwave oven. (Can save up to 50 gallons a week.)
14. Rinse vegetables and fruits in a sink or a pan filled with water instead of under running water. (Can save up to 30 gallons a week.)
15. Run your garbage disposer only on alternate days. (Can save up to 25 gallons a week.)

Around The House
16. Repair all leaky faucets, fixtures and pipes both inside and outside your home. (Can save more than 150 gallons for each leak.)
17. When doing the laundry, never wash less than a full load. (Can save up to 100 gallons a week.)

18. Set lawn mower blades one notch higher since longer grass reduces evaporation. Leave grass clippings on your grass, this cools the ground and holds in moisture.
19. Mulch, compost and wood chips are available at the Miramar Greenery.

From the City of San Diego's Water Conservation program.

Join your neighbors and community in conserving water.

---Virginia Hall

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for these easy water saving tips! Water shortage is a growing concern worldwide and these steps will help us conserve water. Small steps like turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth can save 3 gallons per day, taking a shorter shower saves 5 gallons a day, and installing a smart sprinkler controller in the garden saves 40 gallons per day. In this way, we can save many gallons of water each day! More water saving tips at