Counting Gallons: Are You Observant or Oblivious?

When it comes to water usage in your home, are you conscientious about leaky faucets and full loads of laundry or do you let this natural resource go down the drain?

We’ve gathered some facts and figures to help make you more aware of the need to conserve water in your home, and we’ve provided you with some tips to help you do so.

Household chores


  • Use cold water to wash dark clothes. You’ll save water and energy, and you’ll prolong the life of your clothes.
  • Match the water level to the size of your load.
  • A typical household can save 3,400 gallons of water a year when opting for a full load of laundry versus a half load.


  • Collect the water used while rinsing fruits and vegetables to water houseplants.
  • Select the proper size pan so that you don’t use more water than necessary.
  • Cook food in as little water as possible. You’ll also prevent loss of nutrient value.


  • Scrape dishes rather than rinsing them before washing.
  • If washing by hand, avoid running the water. Fill one sink basin with wash water and the other basin with rinse water.
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly to save gallons. Instead, compost vegetable and food waste.

Bathroom routines


  • Replace your showerhead with an ultra-low-flow version if your current showerhead fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds.
  • Take quick showers instead of baths since a full tub requires up to 70 gallons of water.
  • Shorten showers by a minute or two to save up to 150 gallons per month.


  • Save up to 4 gallons a minute by turning off the water while brushing your teeth. That’s up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four.
  • When shaving, instead of running the water, plug the sink to rinse your razor. You’ll save up to 300 gallons a month.
  • Brush your teeth while you wait for the water to warm when washing your face.

Around the house

  • Avoid unnecessary flushes. Dispose of tissues, insects and other waste in the trash instead.
  • If your faucet drips at a rate of one drop per second, 2,700 gallons of water are wasted in one year. Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers.
  • Next time you replace a flower or shrub, choose a low-water-use plant and save up to 550 gallons each year.

You’ve seen how to be smart about saving water. Now see how your current water-use habits stack up with a home water audit.

Whether you start with a drop or a full bucket, do something daily to help save water. And tell your friends, family and co-workers to do the same. It all adds up, and we can make a difference when we work together.

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