Using Water Wisely
Cascade videos now available!
Cascade has developed a series of videos on a variety of topics, including drip irrigation, fixing a toilet flapper, and how to set your sprinkler controller. You can find the videos at the Cascade Video Library. Check it out to get some great watering and gardening tips!
Fix those Leaks!
The average American home may waste more than 10,000 gallons of water every year due to running toilets, dripping faucets, and other household leaks. These leaks can significantly raise a homeowner’s water and wastewater bills and waste our limited water resources.
One of the most common types of leaks, a leaking toilet, can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day. Finding the leak is the first step in fixing the problem. In recent years, residents in Sammamish Plateau Water’s service area have saved thousands of gallons per day by fixing leaking toilets. Residents can detect and fix a leaking toilet in four easy steps:
- Carefully remove and set aside the toilet tank lid.
- Place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank.
- Wait 15 minutes. Do not flush the toilet.
- If food coloring appears in the toilet bowl after that time, you may have a leaky flapper valve in your toilet. Replace with a new flapper.
Cascade Water Alliance: http://cascadewater.org/conservation.php
Environmental Protection Agency Water Sense: https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/
Water Saving Tips
We are fortunate to live in an area with frequent rainfall, but with the increasing pressure on resources it is always a good idea to use water wisely. Your careful use benefits you, your neighbors and our local fish and wildlife friends. Clean water is a limited resource. Only 1% of the earth's water is fresh water available for use. The rest is saltwater in the oceans or water locked in glaciers. We actively manage and monitor water resources to bring you the best quality drinking water. We need your help to make sure water is available for all of us.
Try using these water saving tips that will help you be water smart!
In the Bathroom
- Check toilets for leaks. Use food coloring or dye tablets in the toilet tank. If color appears in the bowl without flushing, you may have a leak. Fixing it could save you up to 1,000 gallons per month.
- Replace your old 3.5 to 7 gallon per flush toilet with an efficient 1.2 – 1.6 gallon per flush toilet.
- Use a water efficient showerhead. They are easy to install and can save up to 750 gallons per flush.
- Check faucets and pipes for leaks and repair them right away. Faucet repair can save up to 300 gallons per month.
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or when shaving and save up to 25 gallons per month.
- Shorten your showers by a minute or two and save 150 gallons per month
In the Kitchen
- Wash only full loads of dishes.
- Consider purchasing a water efficient dishwasher.
- Install aerators on your kitchen faucets.
- Keep a bottle or pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator. This eliminates running the tap until the water is cold.
- Clean vegetables in a pan of water and not under a running faucet.
- In-sink garbage disposals use about 12 gallons of water each day. Try composting organic wastes rather than using the garbage disposal.
- Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full and save up to 1,000 gallons per month.
- Use the proper water level, load size selection and water temperature when washing clothes.
- Consider the purchase of a water and energy efficient washing machine.
In the Yard
- Water lawns deeply, but infrequently. One inch a week during the summer is all that you need. Daily watering is rarely necessary.
- Water early in the morning or late in the evening. Avoid watering during the heat of the day, as much of the water is wasted due to evaporation.
- Arrange sprinklers so they cover lawn area, not pavement.
- Inspect all hoses for leaks and make sure all connections fit tightly prior to use.
- Cover your planting beds with two to four inches of mulch such as organic compost to reduce evaporation and hold in moisture.
- Mow high, mow often, and leave the clippings for extra fertilizer.
- If you choose to let your lawn go dormant, water it at least once a month to help it survive.
- Aeration, dethatching and overseeding in the spring or fall can improve poor lawns.
- Plant native and drought tolerant plants that do not require as much water.
More Helpful Information
We offer cool water education programs for students. Through our partnership with Cascade Water Alliance, trained educators will come to your classroom or conduct programs in the field free of charge.
Help us balance our peak water use by using our Lawn Watering Calendar.
Learn more about your automatic irrigation system.
Learn how watering can be efficient.
The Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense website has lots of great water efficiency tips and information.