10 Ways to Save Money on Your Water Bill

Decreasing your water bill not only saves money but also helps the environment. With just a little effort, you can trim your water bill and make a dent in your electric bill as well.

Here are ten easy ways to start saving water and money.

1.  Stop running the water unecessarily
When brushing your teeth, shaving or even doing the dishes, turn the water off when you aren’t directly using it.  When in the shower, get wet then turn the water off while you soap up.  Turn the water on to rinse off.

2.  Only do full loads
No more partial loads in the dishwasher or when doing laundry..  Partial loads use the same amount of water as full loads.  Fewer loads reduce energy and water use.

3.  Keep drinking water in the refrigerator
By keeping a pitcher of drinking water in the fridge, you don’t waste water while waiting for the tap to get cold.

4.  Place a bottle in the toilet tank 
Displacing a portion of the water filling the tank each time decreases water waste.  Here are easy to follow instructions that will help save a little water with each flush.

5.  Stop using the garbage disposal
Garbage disposals require the tap to be running when in use.  Compost food or toss it in the trash.  Both are water-free options.

6.  Install faucet aerators
This $2 part simply screws onto the bottom of the faucet and reduces water flow without reducing water pressure.  Newer faucets typically have built-in aerators.

7.  Change to a low-flow shower head
Older shower heads use 4.5-5.5 gallons of water per minute (gpm) or more.  There are a number of 1.5gpm – 2.5 gpm models available at your local hardware store, box store or online.  Changing out your shower head can reduce your water bill by 25

8.  Check for leaks and drips
In general, homes can waste more than 10% due to leaking faucets, pipes and irrigation systems.  A leaky faucet alone can waste up to 2,000 gallons of water per year.   

Inside your home, check for leaks and drips both at the faucet and the pipes underneath. Outside, check for water standing water in gutters or mud puddle and for leaks around sprinkler heads and drip sprayers.

To safeguard your home and wallet, look at Leak Alarm.  For under $35 you can get a water sensor and flood detector.


9.  Adjust Your Outdoor Watering Schedule – “Two for Ten”
According to the Marin Municipal Water District up to 20% of outdoor water use is wasted.  Switch to the “Two for Ten” approach.  For every 10 minutes you water, cut down by 2 minutes.  If you water for 20 minutes, cut it back to 16.  Water in the evening rather than during sunlight when the water evaporates rather than feeding the roots.  If it’s a cool day, skip a day or two of watering.  When possible, switch from sprayer heads to drip irrigation for an overall decrease in water use.

10.  Mulch your garden and flowerbeds
Mulch reduces evaporation, ensuring that your plants get the full benefit of irrigation and rainwater. 

For even greater savings…

  • When replacing appliances such as a dishwasher or washing machine, do your homework and shop for high-efficiency models. 
  • When replacing a water heater, look for  tankless, on-demand or instantaneous systems.
  • When replacing toilets, look for low-flow models