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Water Conservation Indoors and Outdoors

In Maine we are fortunate to have an adequate supply of water for our everyday needs, but it is important to use this water wisely since our water supplies are valuable and the state’s water resources are limited. Conserving water helps us to avoid the considerable expense of developing new water supply sources, and ensure we have adequate supplies in storage for fire protection and other system demands. You can take simple measures to significantly reduce your water consumption and help save on your water bills.

Indoors

Did you know the bulk (85 percent) of a typical residential customer’s water usage is for toilets, showers, tubs and sinks? 

What can you do to conserve?

  • Run full dishwasher loads
  • Set your washing machine’s water level to match the amount of clothing being washed
  • Wash cars with a bucket, rather than running a hose
  • Peeling fruits and vegetables before rinsing them can save two gallons a minute
  • Shutting the water off when brushing your teeth can save up to 10 gallons
  • A bath can use up to 50 gallons of water, where a shower uses about half that amount

See how much water you can conserve inside your home with the Alliance for Water Efficency's Water Calculator.

Outdoors

Outside water usage can cause a significant change in your water consumption. Simply following best practices for outside water use result in more efficient water use.

Here are some tips for when and how to water a lawn:

  • The best time to water a lawn is early morning.
  • Water the lawn only when needed, such as when footprints become visible.
  • Restrict use of automatic sprinklers during periods of heavy rains. Use automatic shutoff device to prevent the irrigation system from operating during rainstorms or disable the timer and operate the system manually.
  • Position sprinklers to avoid watering pavement and sidewalks.
  • Use a solar cover on pools to minimize evaporation.
  • Use plants that require less water. There are many varieties of low water plants that can withstand dry summers and actually thrive in drier soil.
  • Use mulch as ground cover to reduce water evaporation in the soil while reducing weeds that compete for soil moisture.
  • Use a soaker hose or trickle irrigation system in the garden.
  • Water shrubs longer and less frequently since they have deeper root systems.

Test your knowledge of water efficiency facts by playing an interactive online game about water use in your home provided by the U.S. EPA's WaterSense Program