Save Water Inside Your Home

According to a region-wide study completed by our drinking water supplier, Seattle Public Utilities, an average family uses about 64 gallons per person per day.  In a water efficient home, that number could be reduced to around 40 gallons per person per day.   Installing efficient fixtures and taking conservation actions can help reduce your water use year-round.  From the kitchen, to the bathroom, to the laundry room, changing your habits can save money on your water bill and help conserve a vital resource. 

Indoor image002Here’s HowSave Water in the Bathroom

 Leaks - Check all faucets, pipes, and toilets periodically for leaks. A faucet drip or invisible leak in the toilet can add up to a significant amount of wasted water that you are paying for.  Check our fact sheet on Water Leaks for help identifying and locating water leaks.  To check for a toilet leak, remove the toilet tank Indoor image004cover and place a few drops of food coloring into the tank.  Don’t let anyone use the toilet for about 15 minutes.  Then, check for color in the toilet bowl.  If you see any color, your toilet has a leak and should be repaired immediately.   There is also a great website for the do-it-yourself toilet repair person.  Check it out:

Consider replacing your old toilet.  If your toilet is leaking and it is an older model toilet, consider replacing it with a FlushStar model. New toilets use only 1.6 gallons per flush, or less!

Indoor image005Showerheads – Install a water-saving showerhead.

Low-flow showerheads deliver 2.0 gallons of water or less per minute and are relatively inexpensive.  Older showerheads use 5 to 7 gallons per minute.   There are now many quality models to choose from in the stores.

Faucet Aerators – Install high efficiency, low-flow faucet aerators.  Indoor image007Older faucets use between 3 and 7 gallons per minute.  Use 1.0 gallon per minute (gpm) bathroom faucet aerators and 2.0 gpm kitchen aerators.  The aerators can be attached to most existing faucets.  The kitchen aerator shown in the photo has a flip switch to turn the faucet on and off without losing your hot water.

Save Water in the Kitchen

Indoor image010Fill your dishwasher.  Your dishwasher uses the same amount of water whether it is full or just partially full of dishes, so be sure to fill it.  Many dishwashers have a water saver cycle to save even more water.

Consider replacing your older model dishwasher with an Energy Star Model.  They usually save both water and energy.  Unless you are very frugal with water use, dishwashers will typically use less water than washing dishes by hand.

Save Water in the Indoor image012Laundry

Consider replacing your older model washer with a high-efficiency machine.  If your family does one load of laundry per day, you could save about 100 gallons per week!  Not only will you see water savings, but high-efficiency machines use less detergent as well.  On a high-efficiency model, the proper water level is automatically selected by the amount of clothes you put in the washer.  If you are not yet ready to replace your washing machine, you can control the amount of water used by your clothes washer by selecting the proper water level for each load of laundry.    

Behavior Changes can save a lot!

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Take Shorter Showers.  Simply taking shorter showers will save gallons of water.  For long exposures to the water, a partially filled bath instead of a shower will use less water.


Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket.  Using a wastebasket instead of the toilet for tissues and other bits of trash will save gallons of water that are otherwise wasted.

Turn off the water while shaving, brushing teeth, etc.

Don’t let the water run when you brush your teeth, wash your face or hands, or shave.  This can save 3-7 gallons per minute.

Keep drinking water in the refrigerator.  Don’t let the faucet run until the water cools down.  Instead, keep a container of drinking water in the refrigerator.  Running faucets can waste 3-7 gallons per minute.  Your water will taste better too!   Chlorine dissipates in a short period of time when water is placed in a pitcher. 

Additional Resources

How to Find and Fix Leaks Around the Home (Saving Water Partnership)  Take the tour to investigate your water saving opportunities in each area of your home. Click on each location to show you both the facts and specific advice.