Town of Chilhowie

Water Conservation Tips


  • Avoid runoff – don’t water sidewalks or gutters.
  • Use a broom or rake to clean driveways. Using a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways, walkways or patios can save 80 gallons of water.
  • Adjust your watering schedule with the weather.
  • Use a bucket and pistol grip nozzle to wash automobiles. Hoses without a nozzle can spout 10 gallons or more per minute.
  • Water only between midnight and 10 a.m.
  • Apply a layer of mulch around trees and plants to slow evaporation.
  • Group plants with similar water, soil and sun exposure needs.
  • Replace a portion of your lawn with water-efficient ground cover, shrubs and perennials. Lawn care accounts for 32 percent of outdoor water use. Xeriscaping (landscaping that does not require supplemental irrigation) can save up to 550 gallons of water a year.
  • Remove water-stealing weeds.
  • Maintain your irrigation system – check for leaks, clogs or misdirected sprinklers and emitters.
  • Incorporate hardscape elements such as decks, patios and paths into your landscape.
  • A covered pool can save 900 to 3,000 gallons of water a month.


  • Install an efficient faucet aerator.
  • Use faucets at less than full pressure.
  • Hand wash dishes by filling the sink or dishpan for washing and another for rinsing.
  • Fill the sink or dishpan to wash vegetables and other foods instead of using running water.
  • Keep a jug of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of running tap water until cold. This also improves the taste.
  • When running the faucet for hot water, collect the initial cooler water for plants and other uses.
  • Pre-rinsing dishes prior to loading in a dishwasher is unnecessary and wastes water.
  • Do not use running water to melt ice or frozen foods. If necessary, use ponded water.
  • Use water-conserving ice makers.
  • Pre-soak utensils and dishes in ponded water instead of a running water rinse.
  • Scrape dishes instead of using the pre-rinse cycle on the dishwasher.
  • When using the dishwasher, use the shortest running cycle you need for each job.
  • Run the dishwasher only for full loads of dishes.
  • The average washing machine uses 43 gallons of water per load.
  • Use the water level appropriate for the load.
  • Wash only when you have a full load. Running the dishwasher and washing machine with only full loads can save 1,000 gallons of water a month.
  • Don’t use the optional rinse cycle unless the clothes are really dirty.


  • Place a glass quart jar without a lid in the tank of your toilets as a displacement device.
  • Flush only when necessary, and do not use toilets as garbage disposals. If everyone in the U.S. flushed the toilet just one less time per day, we could save a lake full of water about one mile long, one mile wide and four feet deep.
  • Replace old fixtures with new 1.6-gallon-per-flush models. A water-saving ultra low flush model toilet can save up to 14,000 gallons of water a year.
  • Fixing a leaking toilet can save more than 500 gallons of water a month; fixing a leaking faucet can save 140 gallons of water a week.
  • Shower heads more than five years old should be replaced with a high-efficiency model that uses 2.5 gallons per minute. A standard shower head uses about five to seven gallons of water per minute. A low-flow shower head reduces water use by 50 percent or more.
  • Take shorter showers and turn off the water while soaping or shampooing. Cutting showers to five minutes or less can save up to 1,000 gallons of water a month.
  • Taking a shower instead of a bath saves about 30 gallons of water.
  • Install a 1.5-gallon-per-minute aerator in faucets to cut water use in half.
  • Use faucets at less than full pressure.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving. Only run the water to rinse. Turning water off while brushing teeth can save nearly 1,000 gallons of water a year for an average family household.
  • When shaving, put a stopper in the sink and dunk the razor in water instead of rinsing it under the faucet. Turning off water when brushing teeth, washing or shaving can save up to 10 gallons of water a day.

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