Connecticut Water Conservation Tips

Why Conserve Water?
Water conservation is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to reduce our emand for water. Using less water also puts less pressure on our sewage treatment facilities and uses less energy for water heating.

The Water and Energy Connection
Saving water also saves energy. Much of the energy used in Connecticut is for pumping water throughout the state. Regarding your personal energy bill, using less hot water saves on water heating. On the flip side, saving energy and using alternative energy saves water. Electricity production from fossil fuels and nuclear energy is responsible for 39 percent of all freshwater withdrawals in the nation.

What can YOU do to help?
There are many effective ways to conserve water in and around your home. Look through this list for ways that will work for you. Indoor savings are based on a family of two adults and one child.

  1. Put a plastic bottle or a plastic bag weighted with pebbles and filled with water in your toilet tank. Displacing water in this manner allows you to use less water with each flush. This saves 5 to 10 gallons a day. That adds up to 300 gallons a month, even more for large families. Better yet, for even greater savings, replace your water-guzzling five-to-seven-gallon-a-flush toilet with a one and a half gallon, ultra-low flush model.
  2. If you're taking a shower, don't waste cold water while waiting for hot water to reach the shower head. Catch that water in a container to use on your outside plants or to flush your toilet. This saves 200 to 300 gallons a month.
  3. Check toilet for leaks. Put dye tablets or food coloring into the tank. If color appears in the bowl without flushing, there is a leak that should be repaired. This can save 400 gallons a month.
  4. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth to save three gallons each day.
  5. Turn off the water while shaving. Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of water to rinse your razor. Doing this saves three gallons each day.
  1. If you wash dishes by hand--and that is the best way--don't leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with rinse water. If you only have one sink, use a spray device or short blasts instead of letting the water run. This can save 200 to 500 gallons a month.
  2. When washing dishes by hand, use the least amount of detergent possible. This minimizes rinse water needed. This saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.
  3. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. This beats the wasteful habit of running tap water to cool it for drinking. This saves 200 to 300 gallons a month.
  4. Don't defrost frozen foods with running water. Either plan ahead by placing frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or defrost them in the microwave. Doing this saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.
  5. Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Rinse them in a filled sink or pan to save 150 to 250 gallons a month.
  6. Use the garbage disposal less and the garbage more (try composting). This saves 50 to 150 gallons a month.
  1. Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Chunks of bark, peat moss or gravel slow down evaporation. This saves 750 to 1,500 gallons a month.
  2. If you have a pool, use a pool cover to cut down on evaporation. It will also keep your pool cleaner and reduce the need to add chemicals. This saves 1,000 gallons a month.
  3. Water during the cool parts of the day. Early morning is better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. This saves 300 gallons.
  4. Don't water the lawn on windy days. There is too much evaporation. You can waste up to 300 gallons in one watering.
  5. Cut down watering on cool and overcast days and don't water in the rain. Adjust or deactivate automatic sprinklers. You can save up to 300 gallons each time.
  6. Set lawn mower blades one notch higher. Longer grass means less evaporation. You can save 500 to 1,500 gallons each month.
  7. Do you have an evaporative air conditioner? Direct the water drain line to a flower bed, tree base or lawn.
  8. Drive your car onto a lawn to wash it. Rinse water can help water the grass.
  9. Tell your children not to play with the garden hose. This saves 10 gallons a minute.
  10. If you allow your children to play in the sprinklers, make sure it's only when you're watering the yard--if it's not too cool at that time of day.
  11. Xeriscape--Replace your lawn and high-water-using trees and plants with less thirsty ones. But do this only in wet years. Even drought-resistant plantings take extra water to get them going. That will save 750 to 1,500 gallons a month.
  12. When taking your car to a car wash--a good idea for saving water--be sure it's one of the many that recycles its wash water.
  13. Dispose of hazardous materials properly! One quart of oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of water, effectively eliminating that much water from our water supply. Contact your city or county for proper waste disposal options. And don't flush prescription medications!

Water is an essential ingredient in most manufacturing operations. For those 1 billion of us in the high-consumption class, cutting down on our purchases of material things--from clothes and shoes to paper and appliances--conserves and protects water supplies as effectively as installing a low-flush toilet. As with so many natural resources, as long as prices in the marketplace fail to reflect full social and ecological costs, voluntary changes in consumption patterns will play an important role in the quest for sustainability.

For example, we rarely think about water when we see an automobile, but producing a typical U.S. car requires more than 50 times its weight in water (39,090 gallons)! Choosing a fuel-efficient model will help--it takes 44 gallons of water to refine one gallon of crude oil and 1,700 gallons of water to produce a gallon of ethanol.

A kilogram (2.2 lbs) of hamburger or steak produced by a typical California beef cattle operation, for instance, uses some 20,500 liters (5,400 gal.) of water.

  1. Producing one pound of bread requires 500 gallons of water.
  2. Producing one serving (8 oz.) of chicken requires 330 gallons of water.
  3. Growing one cotton T-shirt requires 256 gallons of water (source: The King of California by Arax and Wartzman)
  4. Producing one egg requires over 100 gallons of water.
  5. Producing one serving (8 fl. oz.) of milk requires 48 gallons of water.
  6. Producing one serving (2 oz.) of pasta requires 36 gallons of water.
  7. Producing one serving (4.6 oz.) of oranges requires 14 gallons of water.
  8. Producing one serving (4.3 oz.) of tomatoes requires 8 gallons of water.