Soil and Water Conservation

Johnston County, North Carolina

Thirty Things You Can Do To Save Water

In The Bathroom....

  1. Shorten your shower. A one or two minute reduction can save up to 700 gallons of water each month. If possible, take a shallow bath instead of a shower for even greater savings.
  2. Replace your showerheads with low-flow showerheads or install flow restrictors .
  3. Put trash in the wastebasket, cigarettes in the ashtray - don't flush! Each time you flush a small bit of trash, you waste five to seven gallons of water.
  4. Check for leaks in your toilets. Drop a dye tablet in your toilet tank or add a few drops of food coloring - let stand for at least three hours. If the color begins to appear in the bowl without flushing, your toilet has a leak that could be wasting thousands of gallons of water each year. Repair those leaks!
  5. When brushing your teeth, wet your toothbrush, then turn off the water.
  6. Rinse your razor in a partially-filled sink instead of under a running tap.
  7. Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Replace worn washers - even a small drip from a worn washer can waste 20 or more gallons a day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds.
  8. Put a plastic bottle in your toilet tank. Fill the bottle with water and a small amount of pebbles (to weigh it down) and place in your tank; away from the operating mechanisms. Your plastic bottle can save you 10 or more gallons of water each day.
  9. While waiting for your bath water to get warm, place a bucket under the faucet to catch the cold water. Use later to water your house plants.
  10. Building or remolding your home? Ask your builder to install ultra-low flush toilets and faucets.

In the Kitchen and Laundry.....

  1. Keep a bottle of water in the refrigerator for drinking. Don't run the tap waiting for cold water.
  2. Rinse vegetables in a pan of water - not under a running faucet.
  3. Use your dishwasher and washing machine for full loads only.
  4. Never leave the water running if you wash dishes by hand. Fill one sink with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have only one sink, use a dish rack and rinse with hot water.
  5. User the smallest amount of detergent possible when washing dishes by hand. This reduces the amount of rinse water needed.
  6. Check your kitchen/bath pipes and faucets for leaks and replace worn washers immediately.
  7. Use the garbage disposal less and the garbage can more often. Better yet, compost!
  8. Defrost frozen foods in the microwave or refrigerator, instead of under running water.


  1. Water your lawn in the early morning or evening when there's less evaporation.
  2. Plant drought-resistant native trees and plants. There are many beautiful plants and trees that thrive on smaller amounts of water.
  3. Don't let your children play with the hose and sprinkler.
  4. Place a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch slows evaporation of moisture and discourages weed growth.
  5. Don't water your lawn on a windy day to prevent excessive evaporation.
  6. Set lawn mower blades one notch higher since longer grass means less evaporation.
  7. If you have a pool, use pool cover to cut down on evaporation.
  8. Don't water the sidewalk. Adjust sprinklers so they miss the sidewalk, driveway, and street.
  9. Water only when your lawn really needs it. If the grass springs back after you step on it, there's no need to water. (If you'd like to install a water-efficient irrigation system, call a landscape architect - 85% of landscape problems are directly related to overwatering.)
  10. Check for leaks in hoses, faucets, pipes and couplings. Outside leaks can waste just as much water as those inside.
  11. Sweep sidewalks and driveways, don't hose them down.
  12. Wash your car with a pail of soapy water - not a running hose. Use the hose for rinsing only.

Daily Indoor Water Use: Family of Four

  • Toilet Flushing - 100 Gallons
  • Showering and Bathing - 80 Gallons
  • Laundry - 35 Gallons
  • Dishwashing - 15 Gallons
  • Bathroom Sink - 8 Gallons
  • Utility Sink - 5 Gallons

(Information provided by: Soil and Water Conservation)