Indoor Conservation: Using Water Wisely

Every Floridian can play a role in helping to conserve our precious drinking water resources. Conservation of water in the home not only saves water, it also saves the energy used to process and distribute water. Inside the home, less water will need to be heated. The savings may be seen in your water bill, including wastewater charges, and also in your energy bill. Below are some suggestions to save water indoors and outdoors.

No- or Low-Cost Water-Saving Practices

  • Never use the toilet as a waste basket. Some older model toilets use 7 gallons of water each time they are flushed!
  • Check toilets for leaks at least yearly using a simple dye test. A leaky toilet, usually caused by a warped or poor fitting flapper, can waste up to 200 gallons of water each day. Check for leaks by placing ten drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. After a few minutes, if you see color in the toilet bowl, you have a leak. For step-by-step information on toilet flapper replacement, and to see which replacement flapper to purchase for your specific toilet, see The Flapper.
  • toothbrushTurn the water off when shaving or brushing your teeth. This practice can save up to 10 gallons each time you shave or brush.
  • Replace high flow faucet aerators in sinks with low flow aerators. For bathroom faucets, choose an aerator with 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm) flow. For a kitchen faucet, an aerator using 1.5 to 2.5 gpm will work fine. This practice could reduce water use by 25 percent.
  • Use low-flow Showerheads. While older heads use 5 to 10 gpm, new models use up to 2.5 gpm while providing equal water coverage and force. This practice could reduce water use by 35 percent.
  • When doing laundry, use the correct water level or load size adjustment for the size load you're washing.
  • Fix those leaky faucets! Even a small leak the size of a pin head could waste up to 7 gallons each day.
  • Do not use water to defrost frozen foods. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Operate the dishwasher only when it is completely full.

Other Indoor Water-Saving Practices

  • Install high efficiency appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines, to save water and energy. Most ENERGY STAR qualified appliances are also water conserving. For example, high efficiency clothes washers use 18-25 gallons of water per load, compared to 40 gallons used by a standard machine. See Energy Star for specific models, research news, and more information.
  • Install instant (point-of-use) water heaters in bathrooms and kitchens to minimize water loss waiting for hotel water to reach the faucet from a remote water heater.
  • Replace high flow toilets, which use from 3 to 7 gallons per flush, with low-flow toilets that use 1.6 gallons per flush. New High Efficiency Toilets (HETs) use even less - 1.3 gallons per flush or less!

Calculate Your Water Ways

CalculatorUnderstanding where and how much water we use is the first step in beginning to conserve one of our most precious resources. This simple home water check up will allow you to understand household consumption, both indoors and outdoors. After calculating your water patterns, you can begin to conserve in ways that work best for your life style.
Indoor Water Use

  1. Showers
    Total number of showers taken each day by members of your household, times the average number of minutes spent in the shower, times four gallons per minute equals water used for household showers each day.
    Gallons used in the shower: ___showers/day x ____minutes x 4 gallons/minute = ____
  2. Baths
    Total number of baths taken each day by members of the household, times 40 gallons equals daily water used for baths.
    Gallons used in baths: ____baths/day x 36 gallons =_____
  3. Toilets
    Total number of people in household, times four flushes, times gallons per flush equals daily water used in household toilet.
    Gallons used for flushing: ___people x 4 flushes/day x 4 gallons/flush = ____
  4. Faucets
    Total number of household members that use faucets to shave, brush teeth, and wash hands faucets, times average minutes used, times three gallons per minute equals total gallons used daily through faucets.
    Gallons used daily from faucets: ___people x ____minutes x 3 gallons/minute = ____
  5. Laundry
    Number of loads of laundry done each week, times 55 gallons of water per load equals gallons used per week. Divide the total by seven to determine daily consumption.
    Gallons used daily for laundry: ___loads/week x 40 gallons/load ÷ 7 days/week = ____
  6. Dishwasher
    Number of times dishwasher is used each week, times 15 gallons per load equals water used each week by the dishwasher. Divide amount by seven to determine daily consumption.
    Gallons used daily by dishwasher: ____loads/week x 13 gallons/load ÷ 7 day/week= ____
  7. plateHand Washing Dishes
    Number of times dishes are washed by hand each day, times three gallons per minute, times average number of minutes water runs equals water used in daily dish washing.
    Gallons used in daily dish washing: ___times/day x ____minutes x 3 gallons/min.= ______

Estimated Gallons of Indoor Water Use:
Gallons used in showers ______
Gallons used in baths ______
Gallons used in toilet flushing ______
Gallons used in faucets ______
Gallons used in laundry ______
Gallons used in dishwasher ______
Gallons used in hand washing ______
Estimated total gallons of water used indoors ______

Outdoor Water Use

  1. Lawn and Landscape Watering
    Number of times each week lawn and landscape is watered, times the number of minutes of watering, times three gallons per minute. Divide by seven to calculate daily water use.
    Gallons used watering daily: ___times/week x ____total minutes x 3 gallons/minute = ____ ÷ 7 days/week = _______
  2. Other Outdoor Water Uses
    A lot of water is used outdoors for wash cars, fill the pool, rinse outdoor furniture, clean equipment, and other household uses. Calculate all water use outdoors at a rate of 10 gallons per minute. Gallons used outdoors: ____uses x _____minutes x 10 gallons/minute ÷ 7 days/week = ______

Estimated Gallons of Outdoor Water Use:
Gallons used to water lawn and landscape daily ______
Gallons used outdoors for other activities daily _____
Estimated total gallons of water used outdoors daily______
INDOORS:_____Gallons/Day + OUTDOORS:_____Gallons/Day=______
Top Three Water Users In and Around Your Home:

  1. _________________
  2. _________________
  3. _________________

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