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Water conservation


Water conservation quick tips:

  • Verify your home is leak free - read your water meter before and after a one-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak somewhere.
  • Repair leaky faucets and pipes.
  • Check the toilet tanks - add a few drops of food coloring into the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the water in the bowl within 30 minutes.
  • Install a replacement device in the toilet tank. This will cut down on the amount of water needed per flush.
  • Operate dishwasher and washing machine only when fully loaded.
  • Connect a shut-off nozzle to your hose.
  • Use a broom and dustpan to clean debris off the patio, sidewalk and driveway.
  • Calculate how much water you use
  • Become an informed citizen - report all significant water losses (broken pipes, errant sprinklers, open hydrants, etc).


Water-saving devices for your home

There are many devices that can be installed in your home to reduce the amount of water that is used. Some of them can be self-installed, others need professional installation. Toilets are one of the greatest water users in the home. Low-flow toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush and can reduce water use by 23-46%, compared to conventional models that use 3.5 to 5 gallons per flush.

Before you buy:
Madera homes were built with low-flow toilets and showerheads. If you are replacing an appliance in your home, be sure to research all available techniques and choose the right one for your home. Visit your local home improvement store to purchase any of the below easy-to-install devices.

DISCLAIMER NOTE: UF/IFAS WEC Extension support the use of water-saving devices in the home. However, we are not endorsing any particular, brand, company or device.


<strong>A toilet-tank displacement device can cut water use by 40 percent. Image courtesy of City of Clearwater, FL at www.clearwater-fl.comToilet-tank displacement device / toilet dam

The height of the water in the toilet tank is what causes the bowl to flush. Adding a displacement device (bag or plastic bottle) or toilet-tank dam will reduce the amount of water used per flush. This technique works best for older toilet models and be sure not to interfere with the operation of the tank.

A toilet-tank displacement device can cut water use by 40 percent.

Faucet aerators can reduce faucet water use by 50 percent. Image courtesy of City of Clearwater, FL at www.clearwater-fl.comFaucet aerators

These devices deliver a strong spray but help to control water consumption. They can be self-installed in all of your home's faucets and showerheads to increase spray velocity. Visit H20USE to find out more


Faucet aerators can reduce faucet water use by 50 percent.


<strong>Shower water use can be reduced 50% with a low-flow showerhead. Image courtesy of City of Clearwater, FL at www.clearwater-fl.comLow-flow showerheads

These work by mixing air into the water flow (like an aerator), which is restricted to increase the water pressure. For the best efficiency, choose a low-flow showerhead with a shut-off valve. This allows you to turn off the water while soaping up and turn it back on instantly without readjusting the temperature. Visit H20USE for more information.

Shower water use can be reduced 50% with a low-flow showerhead, and can save up to 20,000 gallons of water per year!


Hot water recirculation pump

This system provides hot water almost immediately. It circulates ambient temperature water in the hot water pipes back to the water heater. No extra plumbing is required and it is designed to use with any hot water system. Visit www.gothotwater.com for more details about a brand of hot water recirculation pumps.

DISCLAIMER NOTE: Please remember that this is a recommendation for a TYPE of product that may help you conserve water and energy, however this is NOT an endorsement for a particular brand.


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Copyright © 2004 UF/IFAS Extension and Mark Hostetler
Content written by Elizabeth Swiman and Mark Hostetler
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611