Conserving Water is a Win-Win Practice

The average American home uses more than 300 gallons of water per day, and about 75% of that is for indoor uses, like laundry and showering. Whether you are on a public water source or private well, conserving water not only saves you money, but also helps protect the environment. It takes energy to treat and deliver water to homes, and heating water can be as much as 25% of your electric bill. Using less energy also helps the environment since energy production often uses fossil fuels. 

Fortunately, conserving water is relatively simple and we all can start with some common sense practices:


  • Use high efficiency appliances and fixtures like front loading clothes washers, low flow faucets, and low-flush toilets, to reduce the water volume entering sewer or septic systems.
  • Check for and fix leaks. Leaking toilets and plumbing fixtures can account for 12% of daily water use.
  • Limit water use by taking shorter showers, turning off water when brushing teeth, and fully loading appliances (dishwashers, laundry machines and dryers).
  • Fill your sink or use a basin to wash dishes rather than running water continuously.


  • Consider landscaping that naturally requires less water.
  • Use mulch around landscaping to reduce evaporation.
  • Only water lawn once per week and no more than one inch of water (use a can to collect water and measure time it takes to get an inch).
  • Collect rainfall with a rain barrel to water landscaping.
  • Use a bucket of water to wash your car or use a commercial car washing facility.
  • Clean driveways and sidewalks with a broom rather than washing.

These easy to do practices do make a difference to your wallet and to the environment around you.  

Got Groundwater?

Do you know where your drinking water comes from?

You may be thinking, I’m on city water, not a well; but in fact forty-four percent of American’s water comes from wells in the ground! Many municipalities and utilities use wells in addition to surface waters.

36E_32C_177274_3586387248_5Groundwater originates from rain that travels on land surfaces entering streams and rivers, and also percolates through soils and ends in underground aquifers that we tap into. Our water is essentially all connected and all recycled. This connectivity of water emphasizes the importance of protecting this critical resource, and further, that we can all play a role, which is why we are also observing Protect Your Groundwater Day, held this week on Sept. 3.

Everyday Choices

Many of our everyday activities can affect water quality of either ground or surface waters. What we put down our drains, where and how we wash our cars, what we throw away, the fertilizer we use, salting our roads or sidewalks — these and many other activities can negatively influence our water. Sure, some of water we use is treated, but not all contamination may be removed, and it all eventually ends up in our ground or surface waters.

Conserve and Protect

So what can we each do to be better stewards of water? A few simple practices go a long way. Conserve water by fixing leaking faucets, turn water off while brushing your teeth, use high efficiency appliances that use less water, limit shower time, use a rain barrel or rain garden outside and irrigate your lawn less. Recycle unwanted cleaners, fuels, paints, and prescriptions rather than dumping or flushing down toilet. If you have a septic tank, have it pumped every three to five years.

Remember, regardless of where you live and where your water comes from, much of what we do influences water quality. So think before you act and do your part in protecting our waters.

For more information on ensuring a clean and safe groundwater system, go to