What You  Can Do
In the bathroom...
  Never use your toilet as a wastebasket
  Don't let the water run while shaving or brushing
  your teeth
  Take short showers instead of tub baths
  Turn off the water flow while soaping or shampooing
  Before pouring water down the drain, consider
  other uses for it, such as watering a plant or
In the laundry...
  Use the appropriate water level or load size
  selection on the washing machine
  Wash full loads whenever possible
In the kitchen...
  Keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of
  letting the faucet run until the water is  cool
  Wash fruits and vegetables  in a basin
  Use a vegetable brush to clean produce
• Do not use water to defrost frozen foods; thaw
  them in the refrigerator overnight
• Use a dishpan for washing and rinsing dishes
  Add food wastes to your compost pile instead of
  using the garbage disposal
• Operate the dishwasher only when completely
* Sweep driveways, sidewalks, and steps rather
  than  hosing them off
  Wash the car from a bucket, or consider using a
  commercial car wash that recycles water
  When using a hose, control the flow with an
  automatic shutoff nozzle
  Avoid purchasing water toys that require a con-
  stant stream of water
• Lower the water level in your pool to reduce the
  amount of water splashed out
  Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation when the
  pool  is not in use
                       Take a tour of the Water Saver Home
                       To learn more about what you can do in and around your home to use water
                       more efficiently, take a virtual tour of the Water Saver Home at www.h2ouse.org
                       on the Internet. With bold graphics, this web site provides user-friendly infor-
                       mation on water use inside and outside the average home. \bu can learn about
 water-saving devices, opportunities to save water and energy, tips for buying efficient products, mainte-
 nance and repair, and much more!

 The Water Saver Home was developed by the California Urban Water Conservation Council in coopera-
 tion with EPA. The goal of the web site is to help homeowners learn how to use water efficiently.
A Message from the Administrator
Christine Todd Whitman

                 I believe water is the biggest
                 environmental issue we face in
                 the 21st Century in terms of both
                 quality and quantity. In the 30
                 years since its passage, the Clean
                 Water Act has dramatically
                 increased the number of
waterways that are once again safe for fishing and
swimming. Despite this great progress in reducing
water pollution, many of the nation's waters still
do not meet water quality goals. I challenge you to
join President Bush and me to finish the business
of restoring and protecting our nation's waters for
present and future  generations.
Por  More Information
For more information, contact EPA's Office of
Wastewater Management or visit EPA's web site
at www.epa.gov/owm/genwave.htm. For more
information on ENERGY STAR clothes washers, visit
                                                           may also contact:
                                                       U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                                                       Office of Wastewater Management
                                                       1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
                                                       Washington, DC 20460

                                                             United States Environmental Protection Agency
                                                                     Office of Water (4101 M)
                                                                  EPA800-F-02-001 •  June 2002
                                                                                                                                                                           In celebration of the 30th anniversary
                                                                                                                                                                           of the Clean Water Act, EPA presents
                                                                                                                                            THE YEAR OF
                                                                                                                                            O I AN WATHt

Using Water Wisely in the Home
       Water efficiency plays an important role in
       protecting water sources and improving
water quality. By using water wisely, you can save
money and help protect our environment.
                            hough 80 percent
                           of the earth's
                  ~Ui iuce is covered by
                  water, only 0.6 percent
                  (6/1000) is available to  be
                  used in the home.
     • efficiency means using less water to pro-
vide the same benefit. There are many ways to
increase water efficiency in your home—detecting
and fixing
leaky faucets,
clothes washers
and toilets,
and water-
ing the lawn
and garden with the minimum amount of water
needed. Since watering the landscape with an
automatic irrigation system  is likely the  single larg-
est use of water in the home, you can dramatically
improve water efficiency by using proper irrigation
and scheduling techniques such as cycling the

Using water-saving techniques not only can save
you hundreds of dollars per year but also can
reduce the amount of pollutants entering rivers,
lakes, and streams. In addition, efficient water use
can reduce water and wastewater treatment costs
and the amount of energy used to treat, pump, and
heat water. And it could help to ease the burden
on water resources during drought conditions.
Did you know?
• Fixing a toilet that silently leaks 500 gallons of
  water per day might save nearly $ 1,000 per year.

• Installing high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and
  appliances can help a typical family
  of four reduce indoor water
                                                                                      How much water do we use?
                                                                                    Clothes washer
  use by one-third, save
  about $95 per year
  on their water
  and sewer bill,
  and cut energy
  use by as much
  as 6 percent.
                                                          Currently, about
                                                          8 percent of U.S.
                                                          energy demand is used
                                                          to treat, pump, and heat water.
                                                          Using less water  can lower energy demand,
                                                          thereby reducing  the amount of pollutants
                                                          released from power plants.

                                                          Water heating accounts  for 19 percent of home
                                                          energy use. If 20  percent of U.S. homes used
                                                          high-efficiency clothes washers, the national
                                                          energy savings would be enough to supply the
                                                          needs of more than 1 million homes.

                                                          Communities that institute broad water efficiency
                                                          programs have been able to reduce overall water
                                                          use by up to 20 percent, not only conserving water
                                                          supplies and reducing water pollution but also cut-
                                                          ting costs for new  water and wastewater facilities.
How much do we spend on water?
      The typical family of four spends $820 per
      year on water and sewer charges, but costs
can be twice that or more in some places because
of higher rates or greater lawn watering and other
     outdoor uses. But that's just part of the cost.
            American households also spend an
                average of $230 per year to heat
                   water. By changing appliances
                     like the dishwasher and
                     clothes washer and inef-
                      ficient fixtures like shower-
                      heads and toilets, a family
                     of four can save as much
                     as $210 per year in water,
                   sewer,  and energy costs.
                                                   Other domestic
                                                                  How much water do we use?
                                                                ome water use varies considerably depend-
                                                                ing on household size, water use practices,
                                                         climate, type of plumbing fixtures and appliances,
                                                         and a number of other factors. The two largest water
                                                         users are toilets and clothes washers. Note that nearly
                                                         14 percent of the water the typical homeowner pays
                                                         for is never used—it leaks down the drain.
                                                         Outdoor water  use averages about 117 gallons per
                                                         home per day, or  about 37 percent of total home
                                                         water use. But outdoor use varies considerably by
                                                         climate zone and  can be two to three times greater
                                                         than indoor water use in hot, dry areas of the
                                                         country. How we use water outdoors might offer
                                                         many opportunities for considerable savings.
Top Five Ways to Save
There are many ways to save water in and around
your home. Here are a few that might get the best
Stop leaks  Check all water-using appliances, equipment,
            and other devices for leaks. Running toilets,
            steady faucet drips, home water treatment
            units, and outdoor sprinkler systems are
            common sources of leaks.
Replace    The major water use inside the home is toilet
old         flushing. If your home was built before
toilets      1992 and you haven't replaced your toilets
            recently, you probably could benefit from
            installing high-efficiency toilets that use
            1.6 gallons or less per flush. A family of
            four can save 14,000 to 25,000 gallons of
            water per year by making this change.
Replace    Washers are the second largest water user
old         in your home. If your clothes washer is old,
clothes     you should consider purchasing a model
washers    with EPA's ENERGY STAR certification.
            ENERGY STAR washers use  35 to 50 percent
            less water and 50 percent less energy
            per load.
                                                         Plant the
            Whether you're installing a new landscape
            or changing the existing one, select plants
            that are appropriate for your climate and
            use a suitable landscape and irrigation
            design. Consider using xeriscaping, a land-
            scaping technique designed to create a
            visually attractive landscape by using
            low-water-use and drought-resistant grass,
            plants, shrubs, and trees.  If maintained
            properly, a xeriscape can use less than
            one-half the water of a traditional landscape.
                                                         the water
            Automatic landscape irrigation systems are
            a home's biggest water user. To make sure
            you're not overwatermg, adjust your irrigation
            controller at least once a month to account
            for changes in the weather and install a ram
            shutoff device, soil moisture sensor, or
            humidity sensor to better control irrigation.