Water Conservation At Home

Water Conservation At Home

(An average Prince George County home uses slightly less than 200 gallons of water per day)

  • Clothes washer - 21.7% of water use; 56,000 gallons/year
    • Operate only full loads and/or use correct volume settings
    • Consider replacement - old washers use approximately 41 gallons per load, while new high-efficiency machines use only 23 gallons.
  • Dishwasher - 1.4% of water use; 3600 gallons/year
    • Wash full loads
    • Consider replacement - reduce by 30-50% water usage per load
  • Faucet - 16% of water use; 35,000 gallons/year
    • Turn off the water running while brushing teeth, shaving, or washing
    • Catch "warm-up" water and use for plants
    • Consider installing low flow restrictors/aerators to faucets ($2-4)
  • Irrigation systems - seasonally highest domestic use; up to 100,000 gallons/year or more
    • Lawns need only 1 inch of water per week, and they don't need to be watered daily; over watering causes 85% of turf problems
    • Water at night, if possible, to reduce evapotranspiration*.
    • Upgrade your sprinkler clock
    • Install a rain shutoff device
    • Collect rainwater with a rain bucket or cistern system with drip lines
    • Convert turf to low water-use landscaping such as drought resistant grass, plants, shrubs and trees
  • Showerhead - 16% of water use; 37,000 gallons/year
    • Take shorter showers (typical shower lasts 8 minutes and uses 17 gallons; an efficient shower lasts 3 or 4 minutes and uses 7.5 gallons)
  • Leaks 14% of water use; 30,000 gallons/year
    • Check for and repair toilet leaks - will waste from 30 to 500 gallons of water per day
    • Fix faucet leaks (usually a washer will work) - a gradual dripping faucet can leak up to 5 gallons of water per day
    • Irrigation systems typically leak 20-40%
  • Toilet - 27% of water use; 60,000 gallons/year
    • Offset older toilets with a plastic jug of pebbles and water to minimize flushing 
      Flush less frequently

*Evapotranspiration (ET) is the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration. Evaporation accounts for the movement of water to the air from sources such as the soil, canopy interception, and waterbodies. Transpiration accounts for the movement of water within a plant and the subsequent loss of water as vapor through stomata in its leaves. Evapotranspiration is an important part of the water cycle. 

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