Water Conservation

Drought Status Page

In the Kitchen

  • When cooking, peel and clean vegetables in a large bowl of water instead of under running water.
  • Fill your sink or basin when washing and rinsing dishes.
  • Only run the dishwasher when it's full.
  • When buying a dishwasher, make sure it is Energy Star/Water Sense qualified and select one with a "light-wash" option.
  • Only use the garbage disposal when necessary (composting is a great alternative).
  • Install faucet aerators.
  • Scrape instead of pre-rinsing. Save yourself up to 20 gallons of water by scraping food off your dishes instead of pre-rinsing them. Energy Star qualified dishwashers and today’s detergents are designed to do the cleaning, so you don’t have to. If your dirty dishes sit overnight, use your dishwasher’s rinse feature. It uses a fraction of the water needed to hand rinse.
  • Select one glass to use for drinking each day. It will take your dishwasher longer to fill up, and it will not need to be used as frequently.
  • Don’t defrost frozen foods with running water; plan ahead by placing frozen items in the refrigerator the night before or use a microwave to defrost them.


    In the Bathroom

  • Try turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving.You can also try turning off the tap while lathering your hands with soap during the hand washing processes. The CDC suggests hand washing for 20 seconds can prevent the spread of Covid-19. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html. Turning off the tap while doing all of these activities can save 1-2 gallons of water per minute!
  • Watch your time in the shower, five minutes will get you clean.Typical shower heads use 2-4 gallons per minute.
  • Try filling your bathtub only halfway, this saves 5 gallons or more. You will save hot water costs, too!
  • Repair leaky toilets. Add 12 drops of food coloring into the tank, and if color appears in the bowl one hour later, your toilet is leaking.
  • Install a toilet dam, faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads.



  • Run full loads of laundry.
  • When purchasing a new washing machine, make sure it is Energy Star/Water Sense qualified and buy a water saving model that can be adjusted to the load size.



  • Maximize the use of natural vegetation and establish smaller lawns. For portions of your lot where a lawn and landscaping are desired, ask your local nursery for tips about plants and grasses with low water demand (such as creeping fescue). Consider planting more trees, shrubs, ground covers, and less grass. Shrubs and ground covers provide greenery for much of the year and usually demand less water. Use native plants in flower beds. Native plants have adapted to rainfall conditions in New England and often provide good wildlife habitat. Cluster plants that require extra care together to minimize time and save water.
  • When mowing your lawn, set the mower blades to 2-3 inches high. Longer grass shades the soil improving moisture retention, has more leaf surface to take in sunlight, allowing it to grow thicker and develop a deeper root system. This helps grass survive drought, tolerate insect damage and fend off disease.
  • Only water the lawn when necessary. If you water your lawn and garden, only do it once a week, if rainfall isn't sufficient. Avoid watering on windy and hot days. Water the lawn and garden in the morning or late in the evening to maximize the amount of water which reaches the plant roots (otherwise most of the water will evaporate). Use soaker hoses to water gardens and flower beds.
  • Apply mulch around shrubs and flower beds to reduce evaporation, promote plant growth and control weeds.
  • Add compost or an organic matter to soil as necessary, to improve soil conditions and water retention.
  • Collect rainfall for irrigation in a screened container (to prevent mosquito larvae growth).
  • When washing a car, wet it quickly, then use a bucket of water to wash the car. Turn on the hose to final rinse (or let mother nature wash your car when it rains).
  • Always use a broom to clean walkways, driveways, decks and porches, rather than hosing off these areas.
  • How  Do I check for leaks?

    Did you know that a running toilet is the leading cause of wasted water? 

    Call 617-349-4737 or email us to request a Leak Detection Kit. 

    The test is simple to use and easy to find out if your toilet has a water-wasting leak:

    Step 1: Add dye tablet(s) to the toilet tank (not the bowl) and allow to dissolve. 

    Step 2: Wait ten to fifteen minutes. 

    Step 3: If you see colored water in the toilet bowl, you have a leak. This could mean that your toilet has a damaged flapper valve. Your local hardware store, home center or a licensed plumber can give you advice on proper replacement.

    Be sure check all faucets and piping for leaks by monitoring for drips of water under sinks and from exposed pipes. Perform an inspection with the water on and off, as some leaks only occur when the water is on.

    The diagram below shows a continuous leak from a hole, over a three month period, will waste water in differing amounts as shown below:

    Diameter of Stream  Cubic Feet  Estimated Cost
     1/4 inch  158,000  $ 29,159
     3/16 inch  89,031  $ 16,083
     1/8 inch  39,400  $   6,823
     1/16 inch  9,850  $   1,604

    based on 60PSi water pressure

    Outdoor leaks can also waste significant amounts of water.  Be sure to check for leaking hoses, irrigation systems and dripping spigots.

    Low Flow Toilets

    The toilet is the single biggest water user in your home. Flushing accounts for about one-third of the water used in your home each day.

    Replacing an old model toilet with a new low-consumption toilet could potentially cut your home water consumption by 25% or more.

    The Massachusetts State Plumbing Code requires all new or replacement installations of two-piece tank-type and floor-mounted flushometer toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush. These toilets are called low-flow, low-consumption or low-flush. Since all low-consumption toilets do not perform equally, consumers should make informed purchase decisions.

    Additionally 1.28 gallon per flush toilets are available. 

    Additionally resources: