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.
■ 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.