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The Boston Globe

West

Tips for saving water

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, which supplies about 200 million gallons of water daily to residents across Greater Boston, has some tips for how people can conserve water — and cut down on their water bills.

 Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving. That saves 1 to 2 gallons per minute.

 Shorter showers can save big time, up to 2 to 4 gallons per minute.

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 Find and fix leaks. Leaks in faucets and showerheads are obvious; not so obvious are leaks in toilets, under sinks, or behind a washing machine, which can be significant and can also damage floors and ceilings. To see whether a toilet has a leak, crush a dye tablet into the center of the toilet tank. After 10 minutes, if no dye has appeared in the bowl, there is probably no leak.

 Replacing a dishwasher, washing machine, or toilet with higher efficiency models can save big money. Toilets are a home’s single biggest water user, according to the MWRA, accounting for about one-third of water used.

 Do not water your lawn and garden at midday, because a lot of the water will evaporate. Water early in the morning. One heavy watering is better than frequent light waterings. Raise the blade of your lawn mower — longer grass retains water better, requires less fertilizer, and competes better against weeds. Use drip irrigation. Use a rain barrel, which is especially good for filling watering cans for indoor use or for watering nearby plants.

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