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No drop in the bucket – water conservation pays off

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You turn on the faucet, and the water flows. Pure water is something we can take for granted, but it’s a fact that water is not an endless resource.

The typical home uses 350 gallons of water per day or 127,000 gallons per year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). By making a few small changes in your daily routine, you can save a significant amount of water, which will help you save money and preserve this precious resource.

Finding leaks is essential. Little leaks can add up quickly. For example, a showerhead leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year.

How do you determine if you have leaks in the bathroom? Here’s a handy checklist:

  • Toilets: Listen for running water and conduct the dye test. *Dye Test– place a dye tablet or a few drops of food coloring into the tank of the toilet and let it sit for 10 minutes. If color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak. Make sure to flush afterward to avoid staining. Toilet dye tabs can be found in the NID main lobby.
  • Faucets: Listen for drips and turn on the tap to check for water going in the wrong direction.
  • Showerheads: Turn on and look for drips or stray sprays that can be stopped with tape.
  • Tub: Turn on water to the tub, then divert the water to the shower and see if there is still a lot of water coming from the tub spout; that could mean the tub spout diverter needs replacing.
  • Under the Sink: Check for pooling water under pipes and rust around joints and edges.


Beyond checking for and repairing leaks, how can you conserve water in the home? Here’s some easy steps for cutting back on water usage:

  • Use the dishwasher instead of hand-washing dishes, and only run full loads. Scrape dirty dishes and cookware rather than rinsing them.
  • Plug the sink or use a basin of soapy water if washing dishes by hand.
  • Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator rather than letting the faucet run until the water is cool.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Turn off the tap when shaving or brushing teeth to save up to 2,400 gallons of water a year.
  • Wash only full loads of laundry to save more than 3,400 gallons of water each year.


Check out NID’s Conservation webpage to learn more about the importance of conserving water.

 Measure Your Water Use Calculator Click on the link and answer the questions to find out how much water your home uses and how to save water, energy and money.

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