Water Conservation

Water as a Resource
Water is a precious resource in Georgia and its neighboring states. Growing populations and ongoing drought are squeezing our water resources dry, causing natural habitat degradation and impacting our everyday use of water. We have no choice but to pay more attention to how we are using water, and how we may be wasting it. We must bridge the gap between our understanding of how important water is to our survival and what we can do to ensure that we have an adequate supply of clean water for years to come. Below is a list of many simple ways we can take action and conserve water, both inside and outside our homes.

The Toilet
  • Check for toilet leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. Check the toilet for worn, corroded or bent parts. A leaking toilet can waste 200 gallons per day.
  • Install a water-efficient, 1.6 gallon-per-flush toilet. This can save your family as much as $60 a year, lowering the cost of water and sewer bills.
  • Avoid flushing unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other similar waste in the trash rather than in the toilet.
The Shower/Bath
  • Check shower heads and faucets for drips or leaks and replace washers. Worn out washers are the main cause of leaks.
  • Replace your shower head with an ultra low-flow version.
  • Take shorter showers. Try a "Navy" shower: get wet, turn the water off, soap and scrub, then turn the water on to rinse.
  • Use the minimum amount of water needed for a bath by closing the drain first and filling the tub only 1/3 full. The initial burst of cold water can be warmed by adding hot water later.
  • Don't let the water run while shaving, washing your face, or brushing your teeth.
The Kitchen
  • Minimize the use of kitchen sink disposals. They require a lot of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing of food waste.
  • Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run to get a cool glass of water.
  • Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost them overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Fully load automatic dishwashers. They use the same amount of water no matter how much is in them.
  • Buy dishwashers with water and energy saving options.
  • Use the short cycle on your dishwasher and save up to 15 gallons of water per load.
  • Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it such as watering plants or a garden.
Washing Machines
  • Make sure to adjust the water level for each load.
  • A front-load washing machine uses 1/3 less water than a top-load machine.
  • Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. If your faucet is dripping at the rate of 1 drop per second, you can expect to waste 2,700 gallons per year.
  • Verify that your home is leak free. Read your water meter before and after a 2-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
  • Insulate your water pipes. You'll get hot water faster and avoid wasting water.
  • Don't over-water your lawn. As a general rule, lawns only need watering every 5 to 7 days in the summer.
  • Water lawns during early morning hours when temperatures and wind speed are the lowest. This reduces losses from evaporation.
  • Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Mulching also helps to control weeds that compete with plants for water.
  • Plant native and/or drought tolerant grasses, trees, shrubs and ground covers. Group plants together based on similar water needs.
  • Do not hose down your driveway or sidewalks. Use a broom instead.