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Michigan State University Extension
21885 Dunham Road, Suite 12, Clinton Township, MI 48036
(586) 469-6440

Water Conservation Tips for Residents





For Every Room in the House with Plumbing

  • Repair all water leaks immediately and be especially alert for leaks in toilets and faucets.
  • Consider replacing old equipment (like toilets, dishwashers and laundry machines).
  • Install and maintain flow restrictors (aerators) on faucets.
  • While waiting for running water to warm or cool for use on plants or in cleaning, capture flow for other uses.

In the Kitchen

  • When cooking, peel and clean vegetables in a large bowl of water instead of under running water.
  • Fill your sink or basin when washing and rinsing dishes.
  • Only run the dishwasher when it's full.
  • When buying a dishwasher, select one with a "light-wash" option.
  • Only use the garbage disposal when necessary. Buy a drain screen and empty food waste in garbage.
  • Install faucet aerators. Composting is a great alternative also.
  • Scrape food from dishes without water prior to rinsing.
  • Operate the dishwasher only when it is fully loaded.
  • Rather than running the tap for cool drinking water, keep a filled container in the refrigerator

In the Bathroom

  • Take short showers (5 minutes) instead of baths. Or consider turning off shower while soaping and/or washing hair
  • Turn off the water to brush teeth, shave and soap up in the shower. Fill the sink to shave.
  • Repair leaky toilets. Add 12 drops of food coloring into the tank, and if color appears in the bowl one hour later, your toilet is leaking.
  • Install a toilet dam, faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads.
  • Do not use toilets as wastebaskets or ashtrays.
  • Turn off water when shaving and brushing teeth.


  • Run full loads of laundry. Set water level to match clothes amount.
  • When purchasing a new washing machine, buy a water saving model that can be adjusted to the load size.

Information compiled from:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

University of Massachusetts Amherst: