Water Conservation Tips | AIChE

Water Conservation Tips

Indoors - General

  • Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks. Read the house 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.
  • Invest in water efficient appliances. Saving water can put money back in your wallet in the long run.

Indoors - Kitchen

  • Minimize use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units. These require plenty of water to operate properly.
  • When washing dishes by hand, don't leave the water running while rinsing. If you have a double basin, instead fill one with soapy water and the other with rinse water. If you have a single basin sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or panful of hot water.
  • Try to save the running water that is wasted while waiting for hot water. Collect the colder water in a container and use it for watering indoor plants.
  • Do not let the faucet run while you clean the vegetables. Instead, rinse them in a stoppered sink or pan of clean water.
  • Plan ahead to defrost food by allowing it to thaw in the refridgerator or in the microwave oven instead of letting the water run over the food for thawing. Or place in a pan of warm water.
  • Fill the dishwasher with a full load before running since it uses the same amount of water regardless if its full or partially full.
  • Soak pots, pans, and plates instead of running water to clean stubborn leftover food.
  • If ice falls out from your ice machine or if you have ice from a leftover soda don't throw it in the sink. Place it in a flower or household plant pot.
  • Don't throw away the water you used to cook. Use it to water house plants instead.

Indoors - Bathroom

  • Don't use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket. Five to seven gallons of water is wasted each time.
  • Check your toilet for leaks by putting a little food coloring in the 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.
  • Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators
  • Take shorter showers. To put into perspective, a four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.
  • Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush. Also, you can fill a glass for mouth rinsing instead of allowing it to run.
  • Rinse your razor in the sink by filling it with a few inches of warm water.
  • Wash your face while showering to reduce your water use in the mornings.


  • Place a layer of mulch around the trees and plants. Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth.
  • Position your sprinklers so water reaches on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas.
  • Water during the early and late parts of the day as it reduces water loss to evaporation. Also avoid to water on windy days since wind can blow sprinklers off target and speed evaporation.
  • Time your sprinklers to shut off at a certain time. 
  • Don't run the hose while washing your car. Use only for rinsing.
  • Use a broom to clean driveways and sidewalks, instead of a hose.
  • Cover your swimming pool to assist in reducing evaporation. This can cut the loss of evaporation by 90%.
  • Use shut-off nozzles on hoses to completely turn off the water when not in use.
  • If you water your pet outside, do it in an area that needs watering.
  • If the kids want to play with the sprinkler outside, set it up in an area that needs watering.
  • When outside, water your plants and flowers by hand. Reserve the hose for larger areas.