Wise Water Use

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Repairs

  • Check for leaks in your toilets at least once a year. Add 10-15 drops of food colouring to the toilet tank, leave for 15 minutes and then check. If you see any colour in the bowl, there is a leak which needs to be fixed. Approximately 20% of toilets leak.
  • Fix leaky faucets right away as these can account for as much at 5% of all indoor water use.

Retrofitting Water Efficient Fixtures

Low flow shower head

  • Replace older toilets with high-efficiency, low-flow or dual flush toilets, which use as little as 5 lires per flush as opposed to 15 litres for traditional toilets.
  • Install high-efficiency, low-flow aerators on all faucets. These restrict the flow and can cut consumption by 6%. Prices start at about $1.
  • Install high-efficiency, low-flow showerheads. Prices range from $5-$20 and they take less than 10 minutes to install.
  • Ensure that hot water pipes are insulated - costs about 15¢ a foot!
  • Buy a “Retrofit Kit” from a hardware or plumbing store. A typical kit may contain two low-flow showerheads, two toilet tank displacement devices and two toilet tank leak detection dye tablets, as well as literature on efficient water-use practices.

Use of Water

turn the faucet off

  • Decreasing indoor hot water use will save you in energy costs as water heaters account for about 15% of a home’s total energy requirements.
  • Turn off the water when brushing your teeth, shaving or washing.
  • Clean fruits and vegetables in a pan instead of running the faucet.
  • Plan ahead - thaw food in the refrigerator instead of under running water.
  • Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when full. Front loading washing machines cost more but they use 1/3 less water per load. Washing machines with the “Suds Saver” option are suggested.

Saving Water Outdoors

Water your lawn only when needed

  • Water your lawn only when needed, or not at all. Walk on your grass to find out if it needs watering; if you leave footprints, it may be time to water. If not, the lawn probably does not require it.
  • Water in several short sessions: three 10-minute sessions an half-hour apart. This encourages deeper, healthier root systems.
  • Adjust your lawnmower to a higher setting and mow more frequently. Longer grass blades (2½-3")provide more shade and helps retain moisture.
  • Water your gardens and flowerbeds in the cool of early morning or late evening to decrease evaporation which can be as much as 30%.
  • If it doesn’t grow, don’t water it! Ensure that your sprinkler is positioned so that water is not wasted on sidewalks, gutters or paved areas.
  • Lay 2" of mulch around trees and plants to retain moisture.
  • Clean hard surfaces with a broom, not a hose.
  • Wash vehicles with a bucket and sponge instead of a hose.
  • Get a cover for your pool and cut evaporation up to 90%.
Further Reading
Treating Your Septic System with Care Mono web page icon
Protecting and Conserving Water | Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE) External web page icon
10 Examples of Water Conservation | Ontario Water Conservation Alliance External web page icon
Blue Economy Initiative External web page icon