Install water-saving showerheads and faucet aerators (3.0 gallons or less per minute). Older showerheads may use 5 to 10 gallons per minute. Many low consumption showerheads come with a shut-off valve, allowing you to shut the water off while soaping up, then turn it back on without re-adjusting the temperature. Look for a good quality low-flow showerhead, not a "flow restrictor" or cheap plastic fixture which may provide an unsatisfactory shower. Water-saving fixtures save not only water, but hot water, thereby lowering energy and heating costs.

Turn off water while shaving or brushing your teeth. Just turn it on when needed to rinse. Running faucets use 3 to 5 gallons of water per minute.

Repair leaky faucets. A drop per second can waste up to 50 gallons of water per week.

Take short showers rather than baths. If you have one, use a shut-off valve to turn water off when soaping up and shampooing.


Since June of 1991, all new houses must be equipped with ultra-low consumption (1.6 gallons per flush) toilets. Homes with older toilets can save 30-40% on their indoor water usage by switching to these new units. A good low consumption toilet can cost less than $100, and in two years you can recoup this investment. If you decide to replace just one toilet, make sure you choose the one that gets the most use.

To reduce water consumption in an older toilet, try placing a weighted plastic soda bottle in the tank. Make sure the bottle does not interfere with the flushing mechanism. Do not use bricks; they can disintegrate and cause problems.

Check for leaks by placing some food coloring in the tank. Check the bowl after 15 minutes. If the water in the bowl has changed color, the toilet is leaking. Most can be fixed with parts purchased at the hardware store.

Do not use the toilet as a trash can or ash can. Flushing cigarette butts and tissues waste 3 to 5 gallons of water each time and may foul your septic system.

Bathroom Hazardous Products - Alternatives

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