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Water Conservation

It is important that we protect our environment by using resources available to us wisely. Careful use of water not only saves money, but ensures water is available in the future, at the same time limiting discharges to our waterways. Water Drops On Leaf

People need approximately 2 litres of water a day to survive. On average, each person in York Region consumes between 270 to 300 litres per day. By upgrading fixtures and appliances, checking for leaks regularly and changing some habits consumption can be reduced by up to 20%. This will reduce water bills and will help to ensure an adequate supply of water in the future.

Water for TomorrowWater for Tomorrow
The goal of York Region's Water for Tomorrow initiative is to promote water efficiency and educate residents about how they can do their part to help conserve water at home and at work.

For more information about Water for Tomorrow, visit



In the Bathroom
  • Turn off water while brushing teeth, shaving and washing hands - this can save up to 60%- 80%
  • Take shorter showers - reducing shower time from 20 minutes to 8 minutes can save up to 360 litres
  • Use low flow shower heads - this can save up to 20 litres per minute
  • Do not use toilets as wastepaper baskets to avoid unnecessary flushing
  • Use low flow toilets - this can save up to 14 litres per flush
  • To prevent deterioration of mechanical parts in toilet tanks, avoid using disinfectants or cleaners that are placed in the toilet tank
  • Regularly check faucets in sink, bath/shower for leaks and drips - often replacing the O-ring will stop the leak
In the Kitchen
  • Use low flow aerators on kitchen sink
  • When washing dishes by hand don't leave the water running to rinse - use one sink for washing and one sink for rinsing
  • If you only have one sink, place washed dishes in rack and rinse them all at once
  • When cleaning fruits and vegetables, use a partially filled sink rather than letting the water run freely and then do a quick rinse at the end
  • Steam vegetables on the stove or in the microwave to reduce the amount of cooking water required
  • When boiling or simmering water, keep the lid on the pot to reduce the water loss through evaporation
  • When running water freely is necessary, capture excess water in a container for outdoor use or plant watering
  • Keep a jug of water in the fridge for cold drinking water instead of letting the water run to get cold
  • Only run full dishwasher loads - this can often use less water than washing dishes by hand
  • Don't rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher
  • Use the lowest setting on the dishwasher
  • Limit use of garb orator
  • Check for faucet leaks regularly - often replacing the O-ring will stop the leak
In the Laundry Room
  • Consider purchasing a front loaded washing machine - they use 54 litres less per load and can save up to 70% in energy consumption
  • Always run with a full load but do not overload
  • If you do not run a full load be sure to set the water level to the size of the load
  • Use the shortest washing cycle whenever possible
  • Always choose a cold water rinse cycle and only use hot or warm water for very dirty loads or whites

Water Heater

  • Ensure hot water pipes are well insulated to shorten time for water to get warm
  • Ensure cold water pipes are well insulated to prevent cooling down of hot water pipes
  • Consider installing heat traps to stabilize temperature and reduce time for water to get warm


When to Water the Lawn
Only water lawn when necessary - some easy tests are:
  • It is difficult to push a screwdriver into the soil
  • The grass does not spring back when you step on it
  • Use a rain gauge to determine when the lawn needs watering - if less than 1 inch per week then top up with watering

When Lawn Watering is Necessary
  • Position sprinklers so that the water lands where it is required - a good rule of thumb is if it doesn't grow don't water it
  • Use timer to control watering - approximate - inch of water flows per 30 minutes
  • If you don't have a sprinkler timer consider using the kitchen timer to prevent excessive water loss if you forget to turn the water off
  • Water between 6am and 10am to prevent loss through evaporation
  • Avoid watering on windy days as the water will blow to areas that don't require watering
  • Spot water if one isolated areas of the lawn require water
  • Using soaker hoses can save up to 70% water consumption when compared to sprinkers as run off and evaporation is reduced
  • Leave grass clippings on lawn after mowing as they contain at least 50% of water which will be reabsorbed
  • Grass clippings will also fertilize lawn
  • Keep mower blades sharp
  • Mow only when lawn is dry
  • Never remove more than 1/3 of the length of grass
  • Keep grass length to 5-8cm to reduce the amount of water required

Landscaping Tips
  • Landscape with plants that require less water
  • Consider using rocks, gravel and deck areas to creatively decorate the yard
  • Consider drip irrigation systems around trees and shrubs to permit water to flow slowly to the roots which encourages strong root growth and reduces evaporation
  • Remove weeds as they appear as they rob moisture from surrounding grass
  • Accept a less than lush lawn, grass will go dormant in drought and will regenerate when water becomes available
  • Fertilizer applications require additional water so be sure to match the amount of fertilizer to plant requirements


  • Use a pool cover when pool is not in use to prevent water loss through evaporation - this can prevent up to 90% of water loss through evaporation
  • Consider switching to a filter that does not requiring regular backflushing
  • If backflushing is required, save water to irrigate lawn, plants, trees and shrubs
  • Check for leaks regularly by placing a bucket of water beside the pool for 24 hours. The water level in the bucket and in the pool should drop equally due to evaporation. If the pool has dropped more you may have a leak.





13 - 20 Litres per flush

Toilets - low flow

6 Litres per flush

Top Loading Washing Machine*

175 Litres per load

Front Loading Washing Machine*

124 Litres per load

Older Shower heads

Up to 30 Litres per minute

Shower - low flow shower head

9.5 Litres per minute

Dishwasher - older models*

36 - 63 Litres per load

Dishwasher - newer models*

31 - 45 Litres per load

Watering Lawn

35 Litres per minute per sprinkler head

Brushing Teeth

18 Litres per brushing

Outdoor faucets

22 Litres per minute

*Check appliance manuals for more accurate information for your model


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