Water Conservation Tips

Our customers have access to an abundance of water much of the time, so the importance of clean water is often overlooked. For most of us, water use is a habit. We are accustomed to having water available at the twist of a faucet. We usually do not think about how much water we use.
Average Daily Water Use
Be aware of how much water you use! Awareness is the first step in conservation. The average person uses 50 gallons of water per day on the following activities:
  • Bathing and hygiene - 15 gallons per day
  • Housekeeping - 1 gallon per day
  • Kitchen - 7 gallons per day
  • Laundry - 8 gallons per day
  • Toilet - 19 gallons per day
Daily water use graph showing type of water use and amount used
Outdoor Water Usage
An additional 40 gallons of water per day is used for outdoor water usage.

Our current town-wide average is 57 gallons per day per person. To bring in new sources of water supply to the Town, we must reduce water usage to a goal of 65 gallons per day per person. Please do your part to conserve.
Pie chart showing water use by indoor fixture
Determining Your Average Daily Water Use
Metered Water
If your water use is metered, review your water bill. Divide your water usage by the number of days in the billing period and also by the number of residents of your household.

Water Savings
The amount of savings depends on:
  • Amount of water leakage through fittings and toilets
  • Current flow rates of fixtures
  • Current water consumption habits
  • Energy costs
  • Flush volumes of toilets
  • Sewer
  • System pressure
  • Water
How Much Water Can We Save Indoors
The following chart highlights how much water can be conserved by installing water-saving equipment in place of conventional plumbing fixtures, fittings and appliances:

Water Use

Fixture/Fitting/Appliance Water Use in Gallons
Vintage toilet*
4 - 6 per flush
Conventional toilet**
3.5 per flush
Low consumption toilet***
1.6 flush
Conventional showerhead
3 - 10 per minute
Low-flow showerhead
2 - 2.5 per minute
Faucet aerator
3 - 6 per minute
Flow regulating aerator
0.5 - 2.5 per minute
Top-loading washer
40 - 55 per load
Front-loading washer
22 - 25 per load
Dishwasher 8 - 12 per load
* Manufactured before 1978
** Manufactured from 1978 to 1993
*** Manufactured since January 1, 1994
Saving Water Indoors
During droughts or other emergencies, you may be asked to help by conserving water. You'll be surprised at how much you can save without hardship right in your own home. Water conservation is a good way of life. Let's practice it together.

Indoor Water-Saving Tips
  • A little leak can go a long way. Just a slow drip can waste up to 15 to 20 gallons a day! Most leaks are caused by worn washers. Check all the faucets once a year.
  • Many washing machines use 40 gallons of water for a load whether you have them stuffed full or with only a couple of socks. Save up for a full load and make your water work more efficiently. Or remember to set your machine for a lesser load if it can be adjusted.
  • Showers can take less water than baths, but not if you spend 10 to 20 minutes in the shower. Since most showers pour out between 5 to 10 gallons per minute, that can add up in a hurry. It's more a matter of self-control. A partially filled tub or a shorter shower will no doubt use less water. Time yourself next time, the odds are you really don't need to stand that that long nor do you need the shower running at full, hot blast.
  • When shaving and brushing our teeth, try not to leave the water running. Run as much as you need, then turn off the tap until you need some more. It adds up to a whale-of-a-lot of wasted water.
Saving Water Outdoors
This is the time of the year when the department likes to share tips for conserving water. Since outdoor water use presents the most stress to our water system, the district suggests the following landscaping tips:

Outdoor Water-Saving Tips
  • Add organic material or compost to the soil. Mulch will also help soil to maintain moisture.
  • Buy a rain gauge to set in your lawn which will help you to determine how much natural or lawn sprinkler water your landscaping has received.
  • Choose grass species that are drought tolerant. The Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture recommends tall Fescue and fine Fescues as the most drought tolerant grasses.
  • Don't cut your grass too short or too often during low rainfall periods.
  • Don't water on windy days or in the middle of the day when you'll lose much of the water to evaporation.
  • Shady areas need less water. Plant shade trees and carefully maintain those that are already in the yard.
  • Watering thoroughly once or twice a week should be adequate for any type of landscaping. Deep watering less often promotes deeper roots which in turn require less water. Irrigation systems should be used only to supplement natural rainfall.
  • When preparing a landscape plan, include alternatives to grass such as ground covers, wood chips, stones, or natural features. Keeping a lawn green and healthy requires more water. Consider a patio or rock garden as an alternative to grass.
Drought Tolerant Plants
Flowers
  • Clematis
  • Coreopsis
  • Cosmos
  • Daylily
  • Dianthus
  • Morning glory
  • Phlox
  • Salvia
  • Sedum
  • Yarrow
Trees & Shrubs
  • Blue rug juniper
  • Bradford pear
  • Crabapple
  • Hawthorn
  • Linden maple
  • Mock orange
  • Redbud
  • Scotch broom
  • Yew