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With more and more people on the planet, it’s important to be SMART about our water use. After all, water is involved in almost everything that we do. Small adjustments and a little awareness can go a long way. As a simple example, did you know that recycling a pound of a paper saves the environment 3.5 gallons of water? This is because less water is used in the manufacturing of recycled paper. A little change like that can add up over time.

Here you can find information on how you can be more efficient when it comes to YOUR water usage, as well as some helpful tips on how to improve your home.

Leak Detection


Not all leaks are clearly noticeable. Below is a list of simple tests you can perform to help identify potential leaks.

1) Check Your Water Meter
  • Locate your water meter and look for a small, red or black triangular shaped indicator on the meter face. Make sure no water inside or outside the home is being used. If the leak indicator is spinning or moving, this indicates water is passing through the meter, thus indicating a possible leak.
2) Toilet Tank Test
  • Place food coloring in the toilet tank. Do not use the toilet for twenty minutes. Check the toilet bowl after twenty minutes to see if any color has seeped into the toilet bowl. If the toilet bowl has color in it, the toilet is leaking. This can be an indication of a leaky “flapper” valve. Toilet flappers are easy and cheap to replace. For more information about toilet leaks or replacing a flapper, visit your local hardware store and ask a sales rep for details.
3) Water Softener
  • Check the settings on your water softener. If you are adding more salt than usual, this may cause the water softener to cycle more often than it should.
4) Sprinkler System
  • Check the zones on your sprinkler system to see how long they run per cycle. You should not set the zones to run any longer than 10 minutes per zone, per day. Check for and replace broken sprinkler heads.

Water Saving Tips

Water saving is helpful for the environment and for your wallet. Here are a few water saving tips that can help you to avoid any wasteful water usage.

1) Check faucets.
  • If one of your faucets is dripping at a rate of one drop per second, you can expect to waste 2,700 gallons of water per year! Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers or by calling a professional plumber.
2) Replace aerators and flow restrictors.
  • Retrofitting household faucets with flow restricting aerators can reduce the flow of water through the faucet, which results in less water used.
3) Inspect water softening systems.
  • If you have a water softening system, you may be able to save both water and salt by running the minimum amount of regenerations necessary to maintain water softness. Turning off the water softener when it is not needed (such as if you are on vacation) may also avoid water waste.
4) Only run appliances when full.
  • Running a dishwasher or laundry machine half full can use twice the water necessary to complete a task, depending upon your household’s habits. Wait until you have enough dishes or clothes, then use the washer or dishwasher.
5) Consider changing your habits.
  • How long you shower, brush your teeth, and how often you flush the toilet can impact your water use. Simply changing habits like throwing trash away rather than flushing it, taking shorter showers and turning off the water when you brush your teeth can have a positive impact on your water bill.


Check out our Seven Ways to Conserve brochure.

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Find out how much water you use. This will take you to a new website, courtesy of SWFWMD.

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More Tips

Visit the Florida Department of Environment Protection website for more tips about saving.

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A large contribution to water use is irrigation. Sustainable irrigation practices are helpful in reducing water usage, while also benefiting the environment. Below are some tips regarding sustainable irrigation practices.

Irrigation Tips

1) Schedule your watering.
  • Run your irrigation system during the morning hours. Less water is lost to evaporation when the temperature is cooler.
2) Check for leaking systems.
  • Fix leaking valves. Look for water running on sidewalks or over curbs after the irrigation system is off. If water flows constantly when the irrigation system is off, that indicates a valve is not fully closing.
3) Manage fertilizer usage.
  • Consider reducing the use of fertilizers. Fertilizers encourage rapid growth which results in higher water use. More frequent application of fertilizer in small doses may also help.
4) Check your irrigation program.
  • If you irrigate with automatic sprinklers, program your irrigation timer so that it waters in 2-3 short cycles rather than a single, long period of time. This allows the water to soak in to the ground between the cycles.
5) Install or check rain sensors.
  • Consider installing a rain sensor or check existing sensors. Rain sensors will shut down the irrigation system in the event of rainfall.
6) Remove barriers that waste water.
  • Make sure tall grass, ground covers, or shrubs are not blocking or deflecting the water spraying out of the sprinklers. The water from sprinkler heads that pop-up less than 3 inches high is deflected by tall grass around the sprinkler head. When the water pattern is deflected by tall grass or leaves, it results in uneven watering and water waste.
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