Pay attention to your indoor water usage. That means check routinely for leaks…leaking faucets, leaking toilets, leaking appliances. Watch your water bill…suspect a leak if you have any sudden increase in usage without changing your usual patterns. Studies have shown that more than 10 percent of the water used in the home can be due to leaks…which is serious money down the drain. Fixing leaky faucets and plumbing joints can save 20 gallons a day for each one stopped. The single greatest water waster in the home is a leaking TOILET…a leak of one gallon every six minutes — not an unusual amount — adds up to ten gallons an hour, or 240 gallons per day! A leaking toilet can double the total monthly water usage by the whole household. Most toilet leaks involve poorly seated tank balls, worn valves, or other minor components that are relatively easy to fix. Unfortunately, many toilets are silent while flushing your dollars down the drain…so check all the toilets for leaks regularly!

While we’re on the subject of toilets…if your toilets are more than 15 years old, replace those water-guzzling 5-7 gallon a flush toilets with the 1.6 gallon per flush models. You can check the date stamp inside the toilet tank for the make, model and date of manufacture. You’ll start to see the payback on the first water bill. Just so you know…toilets flush about 27 percent of a household’s water down the drain. Next, consider your shower use. Do you have water-saving — or flow restricting — shower heads? Replacing old ones can save 500 to 800 gallons a month. And, how long do you shower? Even a one or two minute reduction in time can save up to 700 gallons a month. Multiply that by the number of people in your household and now we’re talking about some serious water savings! Something as minor as turning off the water while you brush your teeth can save another three gallons a day.