Protecting our water environment is in your hands, too! 

How you can conserve water in your home:

  1. Use an aerator and/or a water flow-reducer attachment on your tap to reduce your water usage. Source: The Water Project

  2. Check faucets and pipes for leaks. A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons. Source: Eartheasy

  3. 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 within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install. Source: Eartheasy

  4. Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks. Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak. Source: Eartheasy

  5. Put plastic bottles or float booster in your toilet tank. Put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. Or, buy an inexpensive tank bank or float booster. This may save ten or more gallons of water per day. Source: Eartheasy

  6. Take shorter showers. One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water. Source: Eartheasy

  7. Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush. There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing. Source: Eartheasy

  8. Rinse your razor in the sink. Fill the sink with a few inches of warm water. This will rinse your razor just as well as running water, with far less waste of water. Source: Eartheasy

  9. Minimize use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units. In-sink garbage disposals require a significant amount of water to operate properly and also add considerably to the volume of solids in a septic tank which can lead to maintenance problems. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste. Source: Eartheasy

  10. When washing dishes by hand, do not leave water on while soaping dishes. Source: Eartheasy

  11. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge. Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful. Source: Eartheasy

  12. Always run a full load of laundry! 

  13. Always run a full load in the dishwasher! 

  14. When buying a dishwasher, select one with a "light-wash" option. Source: US EPA 

  15. Avoid using the garbage disposal! It might clog and damage piping. Composting is a great alternative. 

  16. Research a green washing machine. When purchasing a new washing machine, buy a water saving model that can be adjusted to the load size. Source: US EPA

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How you can conserve water in your yard:

  1. Add compost or an organic matter to soil as necessary, to improve soil conditions and water retention. Source: US EPA

  2. When mowing your lawn, set the mower blades to 2-3 inches high. Longer grass shades the soil improving moisture retention, has more leaf surface to take in sunlight, allowing it to grow thicker and develop a deeper root system. This helps grass survive drought, tolerate insect damage and fend off disease. Source: US EPA

  3. Maximize the use of natural vegetation and establish smaller lawns. For portions of your lot where a lawn and landscaping are desired, ask your local nursery for tips about plants and grasses with low water demand (such as creeping fescue). Consider planting more trees, shrubs, ground covers, and less grass. Shrubs and ground covers provide greenery for much of the year and usually demand less water. Use native plants in flower beds. Native plants have adapted to rainfall conditions in New England and often provide good wildlife habitat. Cluster plants that require extra care together to minimize time and save water. Source: US EPA

  4. Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs, and plants. If you are planting a new lawn or over seeding an existing lawn, use drought-resistant grasses such as the new "Eco-Lawn.” Many beautiful shrubs and plants thrive with far less watering than other species. Replace herbaceous perennial borders with native plants. Native plants will use less water and be more resistant to local plant diseases. Consider applying the principles of xeriscape for a low-maintenance, drought resistant yard. Source: Eartheasy

  5. Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth. Adding 2 - 4 inches of organic material such as compost or bark mulch will increase the ability of the soil to retain moisture. Press the mulch down around the drip line of each plant to form a slight depression which will prevent or minimize water runoff. Source: Eartheasy

  6. Don't water the gutter. Position your sprinklers so water lands on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas. Also avoid watering on windy days. Source: Eartheasy

  7. 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, the lawn is ready for watering. Letting the grass grow taller (to 3") will also promote water retention in the soil. Source: Eartheasy

  8. Water during the early parts of the day; avoid watering when it's windy. Early morning is generally better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. Early watering, and late watering, also reduce water loss to evaporation. Watering early in the day is also the best defense against slugs and other garden pests. Try not to water when it's windy - wind can blow sprinklers off target and speed evaporation. Source: Eartheasy

  9. Add organic matter and use efficient watering systems for shrubs, flower beds, and lawns. Adding organic material to your soil will help increase its absorption and water retention. Areas which are already planted can be 'top dressed' with compost or organic matter. Source: Eartheasy

  10. Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks. Source: Eartheasy

  11. Collect rainfall for irrigation in a screened container (to prevent mosquito larvae growth). Source: US EPA

  12. Reduce the impact of water guzzling plants. Species with low water needs will save you time and money in the garden.  These include: established or slow growing plants; small plants; varieties with small or narrow leaves; grey or silver foliage; or leathery, hairy, curled or fuzzy leaves that typically require less moisture. Growing a majority of thirsty plants that suck up moisture can steal your time and money!  These include: those with high fertilizer needs; species with large leaves; newly planted vegetation; or fast growing species. Source: The Micro Gardener

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