Galveston County Water Control and Improvement District #1

Water Conservation Tips

Here are a few ways to save water, energy and money.

  • Check every faucet and toilet for leaks.  Even a slow leak can waste a lot of water each day.  80% of all leaks occur in faulty commodes.
  • Take short showers and shallow baths.
  • Turn off the water while you are washing your hands, brushing your teeth or scraping the dishes.
  • Don't use the toilet for flushing tissues, gum wrappers or any other small scraps.  It shouldn't be used as a trash can.
  • Be careful to water the lawn --- not the sidewalk, driveway or street.
  • Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.  Partial loads waste water, electricity and money.
  • Use a broom to clean the driveway --- not water from a hose.
  • Use a bucket of water for washing the car.  Then use the hose to rinse it.
  • Keep a jug of drinking water in the refrigerator, so you don't have to run the faucet until the water cools.
  • Free toilet leak detectors are available for customers in The Water District office.

Check your water system for leaks.

WATER - Every drop counts!
Water is a limited resource!
That's why it's so important to use water wisely.

Water is a big part of our everyday lives.

  We use water: 
  • at home - for drinking, bathing, cooking and cleaning 
  • at work - for example, to help manufacture goods and to provide power, heating and cooling 
  • at play - for swimming, fishing, boating and gardening.
There are many benefits to using water wisely:

When you save water, you also:  
  • save money
  • save energy
  • help protect the environment  
Careful water use today may be the only way to avoid severe shortages in the future!
There are 3 basic ways to use less water.  

1.   Change your habits.   
A lot of water goes down the drain needlessly.  Think about the amount of water you're using and how you can use less.

2.   Repair leaks.   
A single dripping faucet can waste hundreds, even thousands of gallons per year.  Most leaks are easy to find and repair.

3.   Install water-saving devices.   
If you don't already have water-efficient or low-flow fixtures, you can cut your water use with:   
  • aerators (to mix air with water)   
  • displacement devices (to reduce the amount of water used in older toilets).

Some areas allow water reuse.  
Used water may be suitable for some purposes.  Be sure to comply with local laws and regulations regarding water reuse.

Wise water use begins at home.

In the bathroom:  
  • Flush only when necessary.  Don't use the toilet to dispose of cigarette butts or other trash.   
  • Repair leaks.  Add food coloring to the toilet tank water, and check the bowl in 15 minutes.  (Don't flush.)  Color in the toilet bowl probably means there's a leak.  
  • Plug the drain and use only as much water as you need to wash and shave.
  • Don't let water run when you brush your teeth.   
  • Repair leaks and drips.  
Tub and shower

Plug the drain before you run water for baths.  Take shallow baths and keep showers short.

Water-saving devices are available for the toilet and the shower.

In the kitchen:

  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks.   
  • Replace washers, and repair or replace fixtures if necessary.   
  • Install an aerator or flow restrictor in the faucet.

Dish washing  
  • Scrape dishes but don't prerinse.
  • Soak pots and pans before washing.
  • Don't keep the water running. Plug the wash and rinse basins. Use only as much water as you need.
  • Use only as much detergent as needed.
  • Run the dishwasher only when it is full.
  • Inspect all connections to the dishwasher, and repair any leaks.
When doing laundry:  
  • Use the load selector. Match the water level to the size load, or do only full loads.
  • Presoak heavily soiled items.
  • Use only as much detergent as needed.
  • Check faucets and hose connections for leaks.
Use these water-saving tips outdoors.

Car washing   
Rinse your car once, then wash from a bucket of soapy water.  Rinse quickly again.

Hoses and irrigation systems   
  • Use a hose nozzle that can be shut off.  To avoid leaks, shut off water at the house when finished.  
  • Check irrigation systems for leaks.  Repair, replace or adjust sprinkler heads, as needed.
  •  Don't overfill.  This helps reduce splashing and spilling.  Use a cover to slow evaporation.   
  • Check the pool and filtration system for leaks.  Have leaks repaired.
Lawn and garden   
  • Water slowly and thoroughly when it's cool and not windy.  Water as little as possible. 
  • Let grass grow taller in hot weather.  Use mulch in the garden and around shrubs to save moisture.   
  • Plant native plants and shrubs that don't need a lot of water.  Consider alternatives to big, thirsty lawns.   
  • Obey any watering restrictions in your community.
Check your water system for leaks.

Here's how to tell if you have a leak and how much water you're losing:

1.   Find your water meter.   
It may be in the basement or wherever the water line enters your home.  (Some meters are not accessible to homeowners.  Check with water officials if you can't find your meter.)

2.   Read the meter twice.   
Read it first at night, after the day's water use has ended - and again in the morning, before any water is used.

3.   Find the difference.   
Subtract the first from the second reading to tell how much (if any)

4.   Look for leaks.   
Find them by checking pipes, hoses and connections.  Have leaks repaired quickly.

Check with your local water department for information about water-saving programs.

If everyone saves a little, together we'll save a lot!  

A Consumer's Guide to Water Conservation

 The Outside Story

Landscaping is a major consumer of residential water.  What can you do to reduce outside water consumption without sacrificing an attractive landscape?  

1. Water in the early morning or evening.   
If you sprinkle your lawn under the hot midday sun, you'll lose as much as 30 percent of your water to evaporation.

2. Several short watering sessions are better than a single long one.   
Lawns can only absorb water so fast.  It's better to water your lawn for three 10 minute sessions - with each session a half-hour apart - than it is to water steadily for 30 minutes and cause run-off.

3. Better yet...Xeriscape™.   
Xeriscaping is water wise landscaping that stresses proper soil preparation, efficient irrigation, and the use of water stingy plants.  For homeowners, it means less maintenance, lower water bills, and a colorful decorative look.  Contact your local greenhouse or water utility for more information.

Other tips for reducing water usage.  

1.    Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways, walks and patios.
2.    Keep grass at least two inches high to shade roots and hold moisture.
3.   Aerate lawns regularly and use mulch around plants to reduce evaporation.
4.   Water trees slowly, deeply, and infrequently to encourage deep rooting.
5.   Visit WaterWiser®, the water efficiency clearinghouse at

A Consumer's Guide to Water Conservation  

The Inside Story  

Just 10 years ago, you were the odd person in your neighborhood if you conserved water.  Today that's no longer true.  The fact is, it's cheaper to save water than to waste it.  Here are some tips for conserving water in your home.

Tip #1.  Check for Leaks.   
Dripping faucets and leaky toilets account for a large portion of home water waste.  Check your faucets and toilets to see if they are leaking.

Repair all leaks, or if you feel uncomfortable with do-it yourself repairs, call a plumber.  In the long run, the water you save will pay for itself.

To detect slow leaks, add several drops of dark food coloring into the toilet's water tank.  If the water in the bowl is tinted after fifteen minutes, your toilet is leaking.  If so, all it usually needs is a new toilet flapper, an easy and in-expensive repair job.

Tip #2.  Take short showers.   
Bathing is the second highest use of indoor water.  Bathing also uses energy to keep the water warm.  A five-minute shower is usually all that's needed.  Be sure to install a low-flow (2.5 gals./minute) shower head.

Tip #3.  Reduce flushing water.   
The toilet is a big guzzler of indoor water.  A good quick fix is to fill a plastic bottle with some pebbles or sand and water and put it in the toilet tank to reduce the fill amount.  Don't use a brick, as it will decompose and gum up plumbing.  Better yet, install an ultra-low flow (1.6 gals./flush) toilet.

Other Tips for Saving Water:

1.      Install low flow (2.2 gals./minute) aerators on bathroom and kitchen faucets.
2.     Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full.
3.     Visit WaterWiser®, the water efficiency clearinghouse at for more tips on how to save water.