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  • Do you hear water running inside your toilet tank in between flushes?  There’s probably a leak in there that needs to be repaired.  An easy way to detect a leak is to use food coloring or Kool-Aid.  The darker colored food coloring or powder drink mix works the best because you can see it better. 

Follow these steps:

  1. Carefully lift the lid off the toilet tank and set it aside.
  2. Pour a small amount of food coloring or powder drink mix into the tank.  The test can take as little as ten minutes or as long as thirty minutes, depending on the size of the leak.
  3. DON’T FLUSH THE TOILET!  Just watch the toilet bowl.  If you see the colored water int eh bowl of the toilet, then there’s a leak present.  It’s possibly the flapper piece in the toilet, you’ll have to investigate further to determine the exact cause.
  • Flush only when necessary:  Avoid using the toilet for a wastebasket.  Every flush you eliminate can save between two and seven gallons of water.  Install a water-efficient toilet.
  • Reduce water use:  If you don’t have a low-flow toilet, use plastic bottles filled with water pebbles to displace water in the tank.  Don’t obstruct float.  Don’t use bricks.


  • Brush teeth efficiently:  Don’t let the water run while you brush your teeth or shave.  Turn the faucet on briefly to rince.  An electric razor saves the most.
  • Conserve water:  Filling the tub uses about 50 gallons of water.  Try bathing in just 10 gallons.  Plug the tub when you shower:  how full does the tub get?
  • Don’t waste clean water:  Plug the bathtub and start the hot water: wait to add cold water until the water in the tub has reached the right temperature.  When you’ve finished bathing, use the bath water to clean the tub.

Washing Machine

  • Wash clothes wisely:  Match washer’s load selector to your load size.  Try to wash only full loads.  Minimize detergent use.  Save energy by using cold water to wash.
  • Save water and energy:  Buying a new washing machine?  Choose wisely.  Find the one that conserves water and energy and has a suds-saver attachment.


  • Use low-suds detergent:  Washing clothes by hand can be easier and save water if you use only a small amount of low-suds detergent and  presoak really dirty items.


  • Stop leaks:  Twice a year, check all faucets inside and outside for leaks.  Replace worn-out fixtures, washer, O-rings and hose connections.  Turn faucets off firmly.

Cleaning House

  • Conserve when cleaning:  For heavy cleaning, use water you’ve saved from other household uses and then a clean rinse.  Limit soaps and cleaning agents.


  • Short showers save water:  To be a water saver, install a low-flow shower head and keep showers under five minutes.  Turn off the water to soap up.

Pools, Spas

  • Cover pool or spa:  Cover pools and spas to reduce evaporation.  Avoid overflows and splashes by reducing water levels.  Water landscape with wading pool water.

Drinking Water

  • Conserve when dining out:  At restaurants, request only drinking water you need.  At work, fill your durable cup at the water fountain to reduce waste.
  • Use ice to cool water:  Cool drinking water in refrigerator or with ice, not by running tap.  Use leftover drinking water for pets or to water plants.

Garbage Disposal

  • Find a better way:  Avoid using garbage disposals.  Compost or feed leftovers to pets when possible.  Use recycled water in disposal.


  • Prepare food efficiently:  Speed cleaning food by using a vegetable brush.  Spray water in short bursts.  Faucet aerators cut consumption.
  • Defrost sensibly:  Plan ahead to defrost foods overnight in the refrigerator.  Don’t use running water.  Use the microwave or put wrapped food in a bowl of cold water.
  • Reduce dishwashing:  Use a rubber spatula to scrape dishes clean to limit pre-rinse.  Let really dirty pans or dishes soak to speed washing.
  • Use fewer dishes:  Limit dishwasher use to full loads.  Minimize detergent use.  Prepare food with an eye to reducing dishwashing.

Water Heater

  • Use Hot water efficiently:  Letting water run from the faucet until it heats up is a waste.  Instead of sending it down the drain, capture clean water for other uses.  Insulate hot water pipes to save energy.

Car Wash

  • Wash cars efficiently:  Choose a car wash that recycles water.  At home, use a shut-off nozzle and wash your car in small sections.  Direct runoff to water landscaping.


  • Water yards wisely:  Landscaping benefits most from slow, thorough, infrequent watering.  Minimize evaporation by watering in early morning or evening.  Aerate lawns.  Install drip irigation and automatic timers.
  • Mulch to retain water:  Plant hardy, water-saving plants, trees, and shrubs, particularly native species.  Mow less frequently in dry times.  Limit lawn by using gravel or bark.