WATER CONSERVATION INFORMATION
Check Faucets and Toilets for Leaks.
A leaky faucet can waste up to 1,660 gallons of water per year, and toilet leaks can waste as much as 73,000 gallons a year.
Use Less Water.
Turning off the water faucet while you brush your teeth can save up to 4 gallons of water a minute. Try a shorter shower and save up to 4 gallons for every minute you cut back.
Install Water-Efficient Plumbing Fixtures and Faucet Aerators.
Water-efficient plumbing fixtures can reduce water consumption by 25% to 60%. Installing aerators will cut in half the amount of water used by each faucet.
Wash Full Loads of Laundry.
Washing only full loads of laundry can save up to 3,400 gallons of water each year. Need a new clothes washer? Invest in an ENERGY STAR qualified model, which typically uses 35% to 50% less water and 50% less energy per load.
Try a Native Landscape and Water Wisely.
Plants that are native to Texas typically require lesser amounts of water, pesticides, fertilizers, and maintenance. Water your yard thoroughly, but only as needed—usually no more than one inch, once a week. Use drip irrigation and water early in the morning to minimize evaporation.
The Facts on Leaks:
• Leaks can account for, on average, 10,000 gallons of water wasted in the home every year, which is enough to fill a backyard swimming pool.
• The amount of water leaked from U.S. homes could exceed more than 1 trillion gallons per year. That's equivalent to the annual water use of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami combined.
• Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.
• Common types of leaks found in the home include leaking toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. All are easily correctable.
• Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners more than 10 percent on their water bills.
• Keep your home leak-free by repairing dripping faucets, toilet valves, and showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts don't require a major investment and can be installed by do-it-yourselfers.
Checking for Leaks:
• A good method to check for leaks is to examine your winter water usage. It’s likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 12,000 gallons per month.
• Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.
• One way to find out if you have a toilet leak is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. Make sure to flush immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank.
Fix a Leak: Showerheads
• Some leaky showerheads can be fixed by making sure there is a tight connection between the showerhead and the pipe stem and by using pipe tape to secure it. Pipe tape, also called Teflon tape, is available at most hardware stores, is easy to apply, and can help tame unruly leaks.
• For more complicated valve leaks in showers that drip when not in use, contact an experienced handyperson or licensed plumber.
• Tip: It's also a good idea to check and, if needed, replace the washer or "o" ring inside the showerhead while making this repair.
Fix a Leak: Toilets
• A common reason why toilets will leak is an old or worn out toilet flapper (sometimes called a "valve seal"). Flappers are inexpensive rubber parts that can build up minerals or decay over time. Replacing them can be a quick and easy fix for your water woes. To fix this leak, consult your local hardware store, home improvement retailer, or licensed plumber.
• Tip: Bring the old flapper to the hardware store for comparison to make sure you buy a new flapper that fits your toilet model. You can also check the owner’s manual, if you have it, or the manufacturer’s Web site for the appropriate replacement part number for the flapper.
Fix a Leak: Outdoors
• If you have an in-ground irrigation system, check it each spring before use to make sure it wasn't damaged by frost or freezing.
• Also check your garden hose for leaks at its connection to the spigot. If it leaks while you run your hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench.