About 1.8 billion gallons of freshwater is taken from New York's rivers, lakes, and groundwater for public use each year. As New York's population increases, so does the demand for freshwater. Due in part to the increased demand, the average water bill in New York has doubled over the past decade.

However, there are a few simple things you can do to conserve water at home and lower your utility bill. Use the following tips in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and yard.

In the Bathroom

  • Check Your Toilet for Leaks. Place a few drops of food coloring in the toilet basin and check to see if any color runs into the bowl. If you see color, you have a leak. Adjust your valves or call your local plumber to help you.
  • Only Use Your Toilet to Flush Waste. Try to only flush your toilet after using the restroom and dispose of facial tissues and other products in the garbage. Every unnecessary flush wastes 5 to 7 gallons of water.
  • Replace Older Toilets with More Efficient Models. Newer ultra-low volume (ULV) flushing toilets save up to two gallons per flush compared to older models.
  • Install Low-Flow Showerheads. Low-flow showerheads save up to two and a half gallons of water per minute.
  • Fit Your Faucets with Aerators. Faucets with aerators use 30% less water, and they perform just as well as faucets without them.
  • Cut Your Shower Time by a Few Minutes. You can save 20 to 30 gallons of water by reducing your shower time by one to two minutes.
  • Turn Off the Sink While You Brush Your Teeth. If you leave the sink running while brushing your teeth, you're wasting about four gallons per minute. Try to leave your faucet turned off until you need to rinse your toothbrush.
  • In the Kitchen

  • Designate One Drinking Glass per Person per Day. By giving each person in your household a single glass to use each day, you can cut down on the number of glasses you need to wash-and the water you use to wash them.
  • Avoid Defrosting Food Under Running Water. Defrosting food under running water wastes water and poses food safety risks. Instead, defrost your food in the refrigerator.y risks. Instead, defrost your food in the refrigerator.
  • Install an Instant Water Heater. Instant hot water keeps you from having to wait for water to run hot before using it.
  • Don't Leave the Water Running When Doing Dishes by Hand. Instead, fill up one basin with soapy water, and fill another basin with rinse water.
  • Save Your Clean Cooking Water. After you boil pasta or vegetables, strain them over a container and save the water for use in your garden.
  • In the Laundry Room

  • Only Run Your Washing Machine When You Have a Full Load. Running multiple small loads wastes more water than a few big loads.
  • Replace Your Washing Machine with a Water-Efficient Model. Newer models save water and energy while cleaning clothes better than older models.
  • In the Yard

  • Collect Rainwater Runoff in Mosquito-Proof Barrels. Use the collected runoff to water your plants and your lawn.
  • Check Your Sprinklers. Calibrate your sprinklers so that they water your yard and not your driveway or sidewalk. Water that lands on hard surfaces either evaporates or drains into the sewer system.

  • Keep these tips in mind as you try to conserve water in your home. In the short term, you will be able to save money on your utility bill. In the long run, you will preserve precious water resources for future generations.

    Need help identifying leaks or installing more water-efficient fixtures? Contact your local plumbing specialists today, and see how to make your home even more efficient.