5 Minutes

Beginner – I’ve got 5 minutes, what can I do?

Lots of things!

Turn off the water
Don’t let water run when you brush your teeth, wash your hands, shave, rinse foods or wash dishes.  One minute with the faucet off can save up to three gallons of water.

Calculate your daily water usage footprint

Stop the leaks
First know where they are.  A quick scan of visible pipes and faucets, and you’ll see where  you might need to install a new washer to prevent a faucet from dripping.  Be sure to check your outside faucets too which can leak even if you have a nozzle on the end of your garden hose.

Don’t Pollute
Don’t use harsh chemicals or detergents at home, don’t dump or thrown anything in the stormwater inlets along the streets – remember these pollutants can end up in the Conestoga River during heavy rain events without treatment at the wastewater treatment plant.

Do pick up your pet waste, do eliminate use of pesticides and fertilizers, do check and repair automotive leaks.

Change your habits
While changing or adding fixtures in your kitchen and bathroom to stop leaks is crucial to conserving water, changing habits is equally important.  Building a few quick water-saving habits into your routine will not only conserve resources, but also will reduce utility bills.  Here are a few things you can do:

  • Avoid using large amounts of water during peak energy demand times, typically between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Turn the water off when you are brushing your teeth
  • Take a five-minute shower
  •  Flush your toilet less
  • Use your appliances wisely.  Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full. If you do run smaller loads, make sure settings are adjusted to shorter cycles

Get to know your downspouts
Yes, your downspouts.  Check your house and/or garage and find out how many downspouts you have coming off of the roof and where they are going.  Likely, you’ll find that at least one of your downspouts goes directly into the combined sewer system.  Others may run out onto a paved area and eventually to a storm drain.  Downspout Disconnection Fact Sheet (PDF)

What’s Next?
Intermediate – I’ve got 5 Hours, what can I do ?