Institute of Health Systems


Burden of Disease
Health Informatics
Public Health Databases

Household Water Saving Tips

Download PDF



Water Saving Practices:

Washing your bike or car with hose pipe floods your vehicle, giving pockets of accumulated water in nooks and corners. This promotes rusting and reduces the life of your vehicle.Instead, washing with buckets saves water and improves the life of your vehicle. Car washing with hose pipe usually takes about 100 L of water per car. Washing with buckets may take about 20 L. Use at least two buckets, one to hold clean/soap water to soak the cloth/sponge and another to rinse the dirty cloth/sponge. If your car is too dirty, use three buckets. One clean soap water bucket for soaking of wash cloth/sponge, second soap water bucket to wash off dirt picked up by wash cloth and third rinse bucket to rinse the dirt off before reusing the cloth. If you must rinse your car directly, use a pressure (power) washer, or at least a hose pipe with water spray gun.

2.Avoid using water hose to clean, front-yard, driveway and side-walks. Instead, sweep and sprinkle water.

3.Do not pour old water down the drain, to catch freshwater supply. Instead transfer old water to a drum storing water for other uses, such as washing of clothes, vehicle washing, floor mopping, watering a plant etc. If for any reason you have to discard some water, consider another use such as for cleaning, or watering a plant.

4.Fill a mug for brushing and shut the tap. Otherwise turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush. Reopen tap when you are ready for mouth rinsing.

5.Fill a mug for shaving. Otherwise turn the tap to a trickle, after you wet your saving brush and reopen tap to wash off. Shaving under a running tap consumes about 5 L of water. Turing the tap to a trickle as you lather, may reduce water consumption down to about 1.5 L. Only about ½ L would be enough if you use a mug.

6.While washing your hands, turn the tap to a trickle after wetting. Lather and scrub your hands, using drops from the trickle. Re-open tap to rinse.

7.Bath with buckets of water instead of running the shower for the full duration. Shower bath may consumer about 100 L or more. With bucket & mug about 18 L would be enough for a bath.

8.Soak, clean or peel vegetables & fruits in a large bowl of clean water instead of running water. Save vegetable wash water, and re-use the same for house plants.

9.Soak pots and pans for easy cleaning. Don't leave the water running at the time of dish washing. Instead, fill and refill a bucket as needed to wash dishes.

10.Hand washing of clothes under a running tap consumes about 116 L. With buckets the same clothes can be washed using about 36 L of water. Saving up to 70%. Run only full loads of clothes in your washing machine. It saves water and electricity.

11.Save cloth-rinse water and use it to flush toilets.

12.Catch the initial cold water flow from solar heater system in a bucket and use it to water plants.

13.If you have an aquarium, re-use water from the tank to nourish houseplants, instead of throwing it away down the drain.

14.Turn the earth around plants to increase water infiltration into the soil, allowing more water to reach the root zone. Turning the earth also aerates the soil, which aids plant growth.

15.Put at least a 3-4 layer of mulch around trees and plants to retain moisture and keep the soil cool.

16.Water your garden early morning or later afternoon to minimise evaporation losses.

17.Do not overwater your lawn. In Hyderabad, watering of lawns twice a week in summer and once a week in winter is usually adequate.

18.Construct a rain water infiltration pit in your compound to reduce storm water runoff and recharge groundwater in your neighbourhood.

Domestic Plumbing & Maintenance:

1.Repair leaks. Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Dripping taps can waste up to 100L of water per day. Leaky pipes and dripping taps are a health hazard, as they promote molds. Molds can gradually damage things they grow on. Hence, promptly repair all leaks, howsoever small. Many repairs are inexpensive. Sometimes, just replacing a washer, or re-fixing a tap with thread seal tape (Teflon tape) is all that is required.

2.Check for running toilets. Small leaks from flushing cisterns often go unnoticed, because silent trickles of water on white porcelain may not be noticed. If the flush knob or handle frequently sticks, suspect cistern leak. Rust stains on the inside of the toilet bowl is an indicator of leaks. To test for flushing cisterns leaks, put a few drops of ink or dye inside the flush tank, and do not operate the flush for some time. If, after about 30 minutes to an hour, the colour shows up in the bowl without flushing, then there is a leak. The sooner the colour appears, larger is the leak. Small toilet leaks can waste up to 100L and medium leaks can waste up to 1000 L of water in a day!

3.Keep all tap aerators in place. An aerator breaks up a single stream of water into multiple, more efficient streams. This reduces water usage without changing water pressure. Tap aerators save water by increasing the volume of water experienced by users. Tap aerators also prevent splashing. Clean or replace clogged aerators. In case of high water pressure consider low-flow pressure balancing aerators.

4.Install low-flow (water efficiency) showerheads, which offer a satisfying shower, using a comparatively lower volume of water. A quality low flow shower head will feel good at both high and low water pressures. Some have

5.Install low-flow or dual-flush toilet cisterns. This helps using low volume for most flushes and more volume when needed.

6.Install single lever taps for easy open/close operation

Household Appliances and Water Consumption:

1.Washing machines consume less water compared with handwashing of clothes.

2.Front loading washing machines require about 50% of water consumed by top loading machines. When buying a new washing machine, prefer a water saving model that can be adjusted to the load size.

3.Dishwashers save water compared with hand washing of utensils. While buying dishwashers prefer water efficient model with an energy star rating, and "light-wash" option. An energy efficient dishwasher can wash a load with as little as 11 L of water compared with about 99 L for manual dish washing.

4.Consider to buy water & energy efficient appliances. Some water efficient washing machines use less than 7 L of water per kilogram of clothes. Some water efficient dishwashers can complete a cycle with as little as 15 L of water. Marginally higher initial investment in water and energy efficient will be more than repaid by way of savings in water and electricity bill.

5.Think twice before installing bathtubs in your new house. Bathing in a tub takes a lot more time and consumes a lot of water. Most bathtubs end up unused or used to shower rather than soak.



        | AP State Profile   |   Health System Fact Sheets   |   Alumni   |   Careers  |  Contact us    |