Conserving Water At Home
When we turn on the tap, we expect to have a ready supply of water. During periods of
low rainfall, water is often in short supply. Water conservation becomes very important
during a water shortage. In Kentucky, water shortages are classified in two ways. A 'water
shortage watch' means we have conditions that could lead to a critical situation. A 'water
shortage warning' indicates that shortages are already occurring. As you hear media reports
about the current water supply situation, listen closely for these terms.
There are many things we can do around our homes to conserve water. Most of the water
used inside our homes is used in the kitchen, bathroom or laundry. Following are some tips for
conserving water in each of these three areas.
In the kitchen -
- Wash only full loads of dishes in the dishwasher. Use shorter cycles when possible
to save water.
- Scrape and wipe dishes before putting them in the dishwasher instead of rinsing them.
- When handwashing dishes, use a pan or basin for rinsing instead of letting the faucet
- Limit the use of garbage disposals.
- Use a bowl of water to wash fruits and vegetables instead of washing under a
- Keep a bottle or pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the tap
run to get cold water.
- Use the right size pans for cooking, and make sure lids fit tightly.
In the bathroom -
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Fill a glass with water and use that to wet
your brush and rinse your mouth.
- Use a basin of water when washing your hands or shaving. Fill the basin and dip
your razor or hands as needed.
- Limit showers to five minutes or less.
- Partially fill the tub for baths - five inches of water is a good rule to follow.
- Bathe small children together.
- Do not use your toilet as a wastebasket. Flush it only when needed.
- Fill a plastic bag or bottle with water and seal it tightly. Place the container in your
toilet tank. This will decrease the amount of water you use each time you flush.
- Install flow restrictors on faucets.
- Replace older showerheads with and low-flow models.
- As you wait for shower water to heat up, collect the water in a bucket for
watering plants and household chores.
In the laundry -
- Wash only full loads of clothes.
- If your washing machine has a water-level control, adjust it to the laundry load-size.
- Hand wash several items at the same time. Use the rinse water from one group of
items as the wash water for the next group.
- If your permanent press cycle fills the tub an extra time during washing, don't use this
cycle. Filling the tub can use up to 20 gallons of water.
Our daily habits affect the amount of water we use in our homes. By following these tips,
we can help conserve our water resources. For more information about water conservation,
contact the ______________ County Extension Service.
Contact: Kim Henken (859-257-7775)
Updated June 28, 2005