There are many ways of conserving water indoors. Here are a few guidelines to follow in making your home more water efficient:
In the Kitchen/Laundry Room
- Equip faucets with aerators. Installing aerators on kitchen and bathroom sinks can reduce indoor water use by about 4%. San Jose Water Company offers free faucet aerators that are available from our inspectors during our water audits and at our main office at 110 W. Taylor St., San Jose.
- Operate your clothes washer and dish washer with full loads only. By waiting until you have a full load of laundry or dishes, you’ll save on water and energy costs.
- Replace your clothes washer, the second highest water user indoors. New high-efficiency clothes washers can reduce water and energy use by 40%. Rebates for new clothes washers are available.
In the Bathroom
- Fix toilet leaks. Toilet leaks are easy to identify and fix. Check that the water level in your toilet tank is not above the overflow tube; the water level should be about an inch below the top of the tube. Also check your toilet flapper for proper seating and wear. Over time the flapper in your toilet tank becomes worn and does not work effectively to stop leaks into to the toilet bowl. To test for a toilet leak, place a few drops of food coloring or a toilet dye tablet in your tank. Wait a few minutes. If the coloring appears in the bowl, you likely have a leak.
- Shower instead of using the bath tub and take shorter showers. A full bath tub can use 25-70 gallons of water, while taking a five-minute shower uses 10 to 25 gallons. If you take a bath, stopper the drain immediately and adjust the temperature as you fill the tub.
- Replace your old toilet, the largest water user indoors. If your toilet is from 1992 or earlier, you probably have an inefficient model that uses 3.5 gallons per flush or more. Consider replacing it with a new and improved high-efficiency toilet. These new models use 1.3 gallons per flush or less. Rebates are available for high efficiency toilets.
- Install low-flow showerheads. Replace older showerheads with new efficient models that use 2.5 gallons per minute or less. Older models can use up to 7 gallons of water per minute and can waste thousands of gallons per month. San Jose Water Company offers free low flow showerheads that are available from our main office at 110 W. Taylor St., San Jose. Low flow showerheads are also available from our water audit inspectors during one of our free home water audits.
- Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving. Remember that a typical faucet uses 2 gallons per minute!