Six Simple Winter Water-Saving Tips for 2018

Posted Friday, January 19, 2018

Just because it's cold and Northwest dreary outside doesn't mean you should stop thinking about using water wisely. Here are six simple water-saving ideas you can use at home to save water this winter:

  1. Winter is the perfect time for making plans to add or modify your landscape to use less water. Consider low-water gardens that attract wildlife, such as butterflies or birds. Or work around themes such as fragrance, edible, ornamental or native plants.

  2. Check indoor fixtures for leaks and fix right away. A small leak left unattended can account for hundreds of gallons of good, clean water lost. Leaks of 1/32 inches, or the size of a No. 2 pencil lead, can result in 6,000 gallons of water loss per month.

  3. Consider replacing an existing toilet with a high-efficiency model, which uses 1.28 gallons per flush or less. Save water and protect the environment by choosing WaterSense labeled products in your home and business.

  4. Insulate your water heater and water pipes. If your water tank is new, it’s likely already insulated. If you have an older hot water tank, check to see if it has insulation with an R-value of at least 24. If not, consider insulating your water tank, which could reduce standby heat losses by 25%–45% and save you about 7%–16% in water heating costs—and should pay for itself in about a year. Doing so will also will cut down on the amount of water that goes down the drain while waiting for hot water to flow. You can find pre-cut jackets or blankets available from around $20. 

  5. Install a low-flow showerhead. Skagit PUD sells high-efficiency showerhead and faucet aerator kits for just $11. Having a high efficiency showerhead is a very practical way to reduce water consumption during bathing. It not only reduces your water bill, it reduces your sewer and energy bills as well.

  6. Many washing machines use 40 or more gallons of water a load, whether the washer’s stuffed full or loaded with only a couple of socks. Save up for a full load and make your water work efficiently. Or remember to set your machine for a lesser load, if it can be adjusted.