Water conservation is a huge concern right now, especially in the southwest states where the drought continues to linger. Water restrictions are becoming mandatory in many areas and they are certainly necessary, however there are several less obvious ways in which we as consumers can limit our water usage. Of course we know to limit our landscape watering, don’t run unnecessary conservationwater and installing low flow fixtures around the house, but what are some other less obvious ways to save water throughout our home? Let’s take a look at 5 alternative ways we can save on water.

  1.  If you have a dishwasher, put down the sponge. It may feel more virtuous to wash by hand, but it’s actually more wasteful: You use up to 27 gallons of water per load by hand versus as little as 3 gallons with an ENERGY STAR-rated dishwasher. And just scrape off the food scraps instead of rinsing each dish before you load it.
  1. Consider installing an instant hot water heater on your kitchen sink. Letting the water run down the drain while waiting for it to heat up to do dishes can waste several gallons of water each time you do it. Not only will an instant hot water heater conserve water but it will also help to reduce heating costs in your home. Another option is to make sure your hot water pipes are insulated properly which will allow water to heat up much faster.
  1. Refrain from using your garbage disposal. Kitchen sink disposals require a significant amount of water to operate properly which is a huge waste of water. Consider starting a compost pile with your food waste; a compost pile will help you save on water with the added bonus of creating some amazing fertilizer for your plants.
  1. Check for hidden leaks in your home. Read your water meter then wait for two hours without using any water and read it again. If the meter does not read the same then you have a hidden leak somewhere in your home. You can also easily check your toilets for leaks by adding food coloring to the tank; if the toilet is leaking, you will notice your toilet water changing color within 30 minutes.
  1. Consider turning your whole house water flow down. You are able to adjust the temperature of your water to accommodate the lower flow and are better able to balance out the water temperatures than with a higher flow of water.

It is a great idea to sit down and evaluate your family’s daily water usage. By listing out how and when you use water throughout the day, you will be better able to spot trouble areas and make adjustments accordingly. Even small adjustments can have a significant impact on water consumption.