Water Conservation

When you save water, you save money too!

What is Water Conservation?

Water conservation means doing the same with less, by using water more efficiently or reducing where appropriate, in order to protect the resource now, and for the future. Using water wisely will reduce pollution and health risks, lower water costs, and extend the useful life of existing supply and waste treatment facilities (www.ec.gc.ca/eau-water).

To ensure that we have enough cost-effective water for current and future Steinbach residents, we need to work at reducing the amount of water we waste daily.

Water Conservation Tips

In the Kitchen:

  • Dripping Water TapWhen washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • Some refrigerators, air conditioners and ice-makers are cooled with wasted flows of water. Consider upgrading with air-cooled appliances for significant water savings.
  • Run your dishwasher only when you have a full load. You can save up to 3,800 litres a month!
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Instead, compost vegetable food waste and save litres every time.
  • For cold drinks, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes into you and not down the drain.
  • Wash fruit and vegetables in a partially filled sink or in a container of water, instead of allowing water to run continuously. A quick final rinse should be all that is necessary.
  • Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables and use it to water houseplants.
  • Designate one glass for your drinking water each day or refill a water bottle. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
  • Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety.
  • Soak pots and pans instead of letting the water run while you scrape them clean.
  • Install an instant water heater near your kitchen sink so you don’t have to run the water while it heats up. This also reduces energy costs.
  • Plug the sink before you turn on the tap to wash dishes. Adjust the temperature as the sink fills.
  • If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones.
  • Re-use the water left over from cooked or steamed foods to start a scrumptious and nutritious soup.
  • Scrape dishes with a utensil or cloth before loading them into the dishwasher. Don’t rinse them unless absolutely necessary (i.e. in cases of sticky or burned on food).
  • Use the shortest dishwasher cycle that will properly wash the load. Using a setting that uses more water will not clean the dishes any better and will waste water.

In the Bathroom:

  • If your shower fills a four-litres bucket in less than 20 seconds, replace the shower head with a water efficient model.
  • Take a shower instead of a bath. A shower with a water-efficient shower head uses less water than a bath.
  • Shorten your shower by a minute or two and you’ll save up to 570 litres per month. Try to limit showers to five minutes in length.
  • Upgrade older toilets with water-efficient models. If you do not wish to go to the expense of changing your toilets, there are various devices such as early closing flappers, fill valves, and displacement devices that can reduce water use at a small cost.
  • Put a couple drops of food colouring in your toilet tank. Wait 15 to 30 minutes. If the food colouring seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it can save up to 3,800 litres a month!
  • When running a bath, plug the tub before turning the water on, then adjust the temperature as the tub fills.
  • Reduce the level of water used during your bath by an inch or two.
  • Use a water efficient shower head. They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and can save you up to 2,800 litres a month!
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 95 litres a month.
  • Turn off the water while you shave and save up to 1,100 litres a month.
  • If your toilet flapper doesn’t close after flushing, replace it.
  • Bathe your young children together.
  • Don’t use your toilet as a trash can. Drop your facial tissue in the trash instead of flushing it and save water every time.
  • Turn off the water while shampooing your hair to save up to 560 litres a month.
  • To save water and time, wash your face and/or brush your teeth while in the shower.
  • At home or when staying at a hotel, consider reusing your towels.
  • Install a faucet aerator.

In the Laundry Room:

  • Run your clothes washer only when you have a full load. You can save up to 3,800 litres a month!
  • If your machine has an adjustable water-level indicator, match the water level to the size of the load to use only as much water as necessary.
  • Use cold water for all laundry loads. Cold water saves on energy while helping your clothes keep their colours. It also conserves hot water for uses that cold water cannot serve.
  • When shopping for a new clothes washer, compare resource savings among energy efficient models. Some of these can save up to 75 litres per load and energy too.
  • Use the ‘suds-saver’ feature, which reuses the clean rinse water for washing the next load, if your machine has one.

Credit: City of Steinbach website