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Conserving Water Around the Home

Information from Colorado State University

With dry conditions in Colorado, residents may want to follow some tips to reduce the use of water in homes. On average, a person uses 50 gallons to 100 gallons of water per day inside the house. This water use doesn't include the average amount of water applied to landscapes, which accounts for about half the average water use in urban areas.

Following are tips from Colorado State University experts to conserve water in the home.

  • Fix leaky faucets. One leaky faucet can waste up to 2,200 gallons of water per year - enough to quench your thirst with 35,200 8-ounce glasses of water.
  • Toilets can use up to 7 gallons of water with each flush. Less frequent flushing or water-saving devices in the toilet can conserve much water. Adjusting the float level in a toilet's water tank or adding a quart-sized, water-filled capped bottle reduces the water use of a toilet by several gallons each flush. Don't use the toilet as a wastebasket.
  • If you are purchasing a new dishwasher or clothes washer, consider choosing one with water-conservation features.
  • Wait until the dishwasher is full before running it.
  • When washing dishes by hand, use the stopper in the sink to capture rinse water to use again instead of rinsing dishes in running water.
  • Saving food scraps to run through the garbage disposal once a day or less often reduces water use - or save the food scraps for a compost pile.
  • Don't run the tap to get cold water or hot water. Store water in the refrigerator for cold water and heat water in the microwave.
  • Showers, especially those fitted with flow restrictors or low-volume heads, usually use less water than a bath.
  • Allow small children to bathe together. Use only 2 or 3 inches of water in the tub.
  • Take quick, short showers and turn off the water between soaping and rinsing.
  • Turn the water off while brushing teeth, shaving or washing the face.
  • When cooking, use the smallest amount of water possible. For example, cooking frozen vegetables requires very little water. A tight-fitting lid on a pan saves water from boiling away and also cooks food faster and uses less energy. Use a pan of water when cleaning and peeling vegetables instead of letting the tap run.
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean sidewalks, garages and driveways.
  • Cover swimming pools to reduce evaporation.

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010