Indoor Water Conservation
You can save water and help our community protect this important resource by tracking your water use, changing how you use water in your home, and checking for leaks.
The Top Four Places to Save Water Indoors
Have an older toilet? Consider an upgrade. Most high-efficiency models on the market today use 1.28 gallons per flush, and some ultra-efficient models require just 1 gallon of water per flush. Toilets manufactured before 1994 can use 3.5 gallons per flush or more. Considering how many times we flush every day, investing in a new high-efficiency toilet will help you conserve a lot of water over time.
Consider a water displacement device. If you are not ready to upgrade to a high-efficiency toilet and have an old toilet that uses more than 1.6 gallons per flush, you can install a water displacement device in the toilet tank. You can buy a displacement bag for a few dollars at the hardware store. You can also make your own displacement device by filling a plastic bottle with water, adding small stones to weigh it down, and placing it in the back of the toilet tank away from the flushing hardware.
Install water-efficient showerheads. Most standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons per minute. The high-efficiency showerhead that Jacksonville offers to our customers uses only 1.5 gallons per minute. That difference adds up: in one year of taking five-minute showers daily, you’d save about 1,800 gallons per year! Pick one up your FREE water-efficient showerhead from City Hall (while supplies last)!
Take shorter showers. Even with an efficient showerhead, a typical 10-minute shower uses 15 gallons of water—that’s a lot. Challenge yourself to cut your shower down to just 5 minutes or less. If everyone in Jacksonville did the same thing, imagine how much water we could save!
Install water-efficient faucet aerators. Faucet aerators reduce how much water comes out of your tap without affecting the water pressure. With an aerator, you’ll use only 1 gallon for every minute your sink is running. FREE faucet aerators are available to Jacksonville water customers. Pick one up from City Hall while supplies last.
Don’t let the water run. When washing dishes or brushing your teeth, run the water only while you are actively rinsing. Thaw frozen foods in the fridge, a bowl of warm water, or the microwave instead of under running water. Likewise, you can soak salad greens in a bowl of water or lettuce spinner instead of rinsing them in the sink.
Replace your washing machine with a high-efficiency unit. When you are in the market for a new washer, look at how many gallons of water each machine uses per load when you are deciding which one to buy.
Do laundry in full loads. Waiting to do laundry until you have a full load reduces the number of loads you do and the amount of water required.
Checking for Leaks
Inspect every water using fixture around the house for leaks and fix any leaks you find. Even a slow drip can waste as much as 20 gallons of water a day! Toilets and hot water heaters can have sneaky leaks that waste loads of water. If you suspect your toilet might be leaking, you can add a few drops of food coloring or leak detection tablets to the toilet tank, wait 15 minutes, and then check the bowl. If there is color in the bowl, you have a leak. Fill valves and flappers are the most likely culprits. Fortunately, both problems are easy fixes. If you suspect that your hot water heater is leaking, it is also worth checking the pressure relief valve on the tank. It may be plumbed directly into a drain, so you won’t detect a leak unless you check. If you are uncomfortable with this process, consult an expert.