Use your automatic dishwasher only for full loads. Using an automatic dishwasher to pre-rinse dishes is an unnecessary and wasteful use of water.
If you wash dishes by hand, don't let the water run for rinsing. Kitchen faucets use 2 to 3 gallons a minute. If you have two sinks, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have only one sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a pan full of hot water. Install a low-flow aerator on all faucets.
Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Just rinse them in a plugged sink or a pan of clean water.
Refrigerate drinking water. Keep a bottle of water in the refrigerator ready to drink instead of letting a faucet flow until the water is cold enough to drink.
Use your automatic washing machine only for full loads. Use the proper water level or load size selection on the washing machine.
Choose energy efficient appliances. When purchasing a washing machine or dishwasher, consider water consumption as well as energy efficiency. For example, a high efficiency front-loading washer uses about 30 percent less water and 40 to 50 percent less energy than a top-loading clothes washer.
Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Leaks waste water 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and often can be repaired with only an inexpensive washer.
Plant drought-resistant trees and shrubs. Many beautiful trees and plants thrive with far less watering than other species. Landscaping plants that are native to the region require less care and water than ornamental varieties.
Limit the watering of lawns and gardens. The watering of lawns and gardens can double normal household water use during the hot, dry summer months. At standard household water pressures, a garden hose will discharge 6.5 gallons of water per minute. To apply an inch of water to 1,000 square feet of lawn or garden requires 620 gallons of water. Watering should be limited to gardens and newly planted lawns and landscaped areas. (Established lawns and landscape plantings will usually survive without watering).
Water your lawn only when it needs it. A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If it springs back up when you move, it doesn't need water. If it stays flat, fetch the sprinkler.
Water during the cool parts of the day. Water before 9 a.m. or after 7 p.m. Early morning generally is better than dusk since it helps prevent growth of fungus.
Sprinklers. Use sprinklers that throw big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller drops and mist often evaporate before they hit the ground.
Deep soak your lawn. When you water, do it long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots where it will do the most good. A light sprinkling can evaporate quickly and tends to encourage shallow root systems. Do not water on windy days.
Add mulch to slow evaporation. Put a layer of mulch around the trees and plants. Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture and discourage weed growth. For best results, use mulch sparingly as you approach the plant crown or tree trunk. Use soaker hoses and trickle irrigation systems. They reduce the amount of water used for irrigation by 20 to 50 percent.
Check your toilets for leaks. Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately. Leaks inside the toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day. When constructing a new home or remodeling your bathroom, install low consumption (1.6 gal/flush) toilets.
Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Even the smallest drip from a worn washer can waste 20 or more gallons a day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds.
Stop using the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, you waste five to seven gallons of water.
Put plastic bottles in your toilet tank. To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill them with water and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from operating mechanisms. In an average home, the bottles may displace and save 10 or more gallons of water a day.
Take shorter showers. Long, hot showers can waste five to 10 gallons every unneeded minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rinse off. If your shower has a single-handle control or shut-off valve, turn off the flow while soaping or shampooing.
Install water-saving showerheads or flow restrictors. Your local hardware or plumbing supply store stocks inexpensive water-saving showerheads or restrictors that are easy to install. Leaking diverter valves (valves which divert water from the tub spout to the showerhead) should be replaced.
Take baths. A bath in a partially filled tub uses less water than all but the shortest of showers.
Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush. There is no need to keep water pouring down the drain. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.
Rinse your razor in the sink. Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of warm water. This will rinse your blade just as well as running water, and be far less wasteful.
Use a broom, not a hose, to clean sidewalks, steps and driveways. Using water for this purpose is wasteful.
Don't run the hose while washing your car. Clean the car with a bucket of soapy water. Use the hose just to rinse it off. Control hose flow with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets, and couplings. Leaks outside the house may not seem as bad since they're not as visible. But they can be just as wasteful as leaks inside. Check frequently and keep them drip-free.
Public Facilities. Turn off excess water in public facilities and recreation areas. If there's a problem with a water tap, notify the manager of the facility or contact Easton Suburban Water Authority at 610-258-7181 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Large water-using facilities. 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.
Service groups. 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.
Outdoor landscaping. Encourage use of drought tolerant vegetation in outdoor landscaping at large facilities and community sites.
Older buildings. Retrofit older buildings and facilities with water-efficient plumbing fixtures.