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Save water (and the planet) this Earth Day

Courtesy of Texas Water Utilities

Earth Day (April 22) is a good time to think about ways to protect one of our planet’s most valuable resources: water.

The best way to make sure there is enough water for future generations is to curb consumption where possible. Many people don’t think about how much water everyday items use and how quickly that can add up.

Currently, according to the Water Research Foundation, household appliances that use the most water on a daily basis include toilets (33 gallons per day), showers (27 gallons per 8-minute shower) and washing machines (22 gallons per load), as well as baths (36 gallons per bath), dishwashers (2 gallons per load) and faucets. 

Utility customers can make a big difference in decreasing water consumption, and Texas Water Utilities has provided the following tips to help:


  • Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth.
  • Take short showers instead of tub baths. Turn off the water while soaping or shampooing.
  • If you must use a tub, close the drain before turning on the water and fill the tub only half full.
  • Bathe small children together.
  • Never use your toilet as a waste basket.

Kitchen and Laundry

  • Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a basin. Use a vegetable brush.
  • Do not use water to defrost frozen foods; thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the dishwasher; wash only full loads.
  • Add food wastes to your compost pile instead of using the garbage disposal.
  • Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine.


  • Consider purchasing high-efficiency toilets, or place a plastic container filled with water in the tank of your conventional toilet. Be sure it does not interfere with operation of the toilet’s flush mechanisms.
  • Install low-flow faucet aerators and shower heads.
  • Consider purchasing a high efficiency washing machine which can save over 50% in laundry water and energy use.
  • Repair all leaks. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons per day. To detect leaks in the toilet, add food coloring to the tank water. If the colored water appears in the bowl, the toilet is leaking.

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