Water Conservation Tips
In the Bathroom
Take five-minute showers.
- Install water-saving showerheads. A quality water-saving showerhead provides a luxurious shower, yet uses no more than 2.5 gallons per minute. Ask your hardware retailer for advice.
- Check toilets for leaks. If you have a leak, you may be wasting up to 200 gallons of water per day.
- Don't use your toilet as a trashcan or ashtray. Toilets use anywhere from 1.3 to 3.5 gallons of water per flush.
- Replace your old toilet with a low-consumption toilet (visit the toilet rebate program page for more info and to determine if you're eligible for a $75 rebate).
- Turn off water while brushing teeth or shaving.
In the Laundry Room
- Use the proper water-level setting when washing clothes. If you machine's water level cannot be adjusted, do FULL loads only.
- When replacing a washing machine, look for one with the Energy Star label. It will use only 18-25 gallons per load. Traditional washers use 40 gallons per load. Learn more at www.energystar.gov.
In the Kitchen
- Don't leave the water running when washing dishes by hand or rinsing fruits and vegetables. Instead, fill your sink or a bowl with water to rinse them. Any dirt will sink to the bottom of the bowl or sink.
- Check pipes and faucets for leaks. A small drip can waste 50 gallons a day!
- Keep drinking water in the refrigerator. Stop the wasteful practice of running the tap to cool water.
- Run the dishwasher only when full.
- Use a hose nozzle when you wash your car.
- Water at the right time of day. Watering when the sun is low, winds are calm and temperatures are cooler minimizes evaporation by as much as 30 percent. The best time to water is during early morning hours.
- Adjust your watering schedule to the season.
- Reduce areas of thirsty turf grass by adding more mulched beds. Mulch not only helps plants retain moisture, but helps minimize weeds and keeps plants cool.
- Install a rain barrel to collect rain water, and use it to water your lawn and garden or wash your car.
- Install water-efficient drip irrigation systems for your landscape.
- Add organic materials, like compost, to planted beds to improve water and air holding capacities.
- Choose plants native to our area. They have lower water requirements, fewer pest problems and need less fertilizer than exotic or non-native plants.
- Plan your landscape for the most efficient water use by grouping plants with similar watering needs.
- Keep areas clear of weeds that rob your plants of water.
- Make sure you’re not sending water down the drain. Set sprinklers to water plants, not your driveway, sidewalk, patio or buildings.
- Through a WaterSense partnership, Virginia Beach Public Utilities joins others around the country in a mission to protect the future of our nation's water supply. For information on WaterSense products and services that meet EPA criteria for efficiency and performance, go to www.epa.gov/WaterSense.
- HR Green is a regional awareness campaign aimed at educating citizens on how to conserve resources and protect the environment. For HR Green news and information, visit askhrgreen.org.
Kids can learn about water conservation with fun and informative activities. Download and print the PDFs below!