In the Kitchen
Don’t leave the water running.
Turn off the tap while washing dishes. Fill the sink or a pail to wash and rinse dishes.
Check faucets and pipes for leaks.
Even a small leak from worn washers can waste more than 50 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons. Turn off all water using devices and check your meter. If the meter is still moving, you have a leak.
Install aerators on faucets.
Installing aerators on kitchen and bathroom sinks can reduce indoor water use by about 4%. Inquire about FREE aerators.
Use the dishwasher only when there is a full load.
In the Bathroom
Are your toilets, faucets or showerheads leaking?
Do you hear the toilet running or your faucet dripping? You could be wasting thousands of gallons per month. To check for leaks, turn off all water taps inside and outside your home. Locate your water meter. If the dial is moving you may have a plumbing leak.
Check your toilet flapper.
Over time the flapper in your toilet tank becomes worn and does not work effectively. Leaky flappers are the most common undetected leaks in the house. Flappers can be easily found at hardware stores and are simple to install. We provide FREE flappers to San Francisco residents.
Take shorter showers.
Limit showers to the time it takes to lather up, wash down and rinse. A running shower can waste 3-7 gallons per minute.
Install low-flow showerheads.
Replace older showerheads with new efficient models that use 2.0 gallons per minute or less. Older models can flow up to 7 gallons per minute and can waste thousands of gallons per month. Today’s efficient models still produce great water pressure and the we provide them for FREE.
Turn off the tap.
Running the water while brushing teeth and shaving can waste hundreds of gallons every month.
Replace your old toilet.
Toilets are the largest water user in the home. New high-efficiency toilet models flush at 1.28 gallons or less while older ones can use up to 7 gallons per flush. We provide for the purchase of new, efficient toilet models.
The toilet is not a wastebasket.
You could be wasting up to 7 gallons each time you flush trash down the toilet.
In the Laundry Room
Upgrade to an efficient clothes washing machine.
High-efficiency clothes washers can reduce water and energy use by 40%. We provide for residential customers who purchase qualifying efficient clothes washer models. Wash only full laundry loads.You don’t need to do laundry every day. Wait until you have a full load of laundry to run the washing machine and you’ll save on water, wastewater and energy costs.
Outside Your Home
Plant climate appropriate species.
Reduce outdoor watering needs by planting species appropriate for San Francisco's climate. Use the San Francisco Low Water Use and Climate Appropriate Plant List to guide your selection of beautiful and water-wise plants.
Water your lawn only when it needs it.
Over watering the lawn is a common wasteful practice. Step on your lawn. If the grass springs back up when you remove pressure, it doesn’t need watering. Water your lawn once every three days. Check sprinkler timers to reduce water time if necessary.
Adjust water schedule each season.
In the Fall, you can reduce watering time by half and still have a beautiful garden. By December, you should turn off your irrigation system completely.
Deep-soak your lawn.
Remember to water long enough to soak the grass roots - but watch for soil saturation and runoff. A light sprinkling or short irrigation cycle will cause water to sit on the surface of the turf and easily evaporate.
Water at night or early morning.
To reduce evaporation and irrigation water lost due to wind, water lawns and plants between 8 p.m. and 10 a.m.
Place mulch around trees and plants.
A 2-3" layer of mulch retains soil moisture, suppresses weed growth and can add nutrients back into the soil as it decomposes.
Install shut-off nozzles on all garden hoses.
Make sure your garden hose has an automatic shut-off. The we provide FREE shut-off nozzles for San Francisco residents.
Sweep sidewalks and driveways.
Hosing down pavement around your home can waste hundreds of gallons. A broom is the proper tool to clean these areas.
Don’t water the pavement.
Position sprinkler heads to water lawns and gardens to make sure the spray does not run over to the concrete. Check for broken sprinkler heads, drip emitters or irrigation tubing. Broken sprinkler heads waste water and can potentially damage your landscape. Inspect your sprinkler heads at least once a month.
Don’t let water run while washing the car.
Clean the car with a bucket of soapy water. Use the hose only to rinse it off.
Water Rebates and Incentives