City of Philadelphia

Conservation Tips


Why Conserve Water?
While water is everywhere around you, it isn't always safe for use. River water is collected, cleaned, and piped to your house.


All the water that goes down your drain is then cleaned again before it's put back into the river. It takes a lot of energy to deliver clean, fresh water to your faucet.


Saving water saves a precious resource, energy and your hard earned money.


Each Philadelphian uses an average of 94 gallons of water every day of the week. Good conservation can reduce your usage by half. So remember to "Slow the Flow."


Water Leaks are your #1 thief.
Water leaks, even the smallest ones, can steal thousands of gallons from you every year. This wastes water and can cost you lots of money. ? Repair the leaks you can and call a plumber for any others. The savings usually pay for the repair bill within one year.


Toilet Leaks

  • You're wasting thousands of gallons of water if you hear your toilet running, but you may still be wasting water even though your toilet doesn't make a sound.
  • If you suspect your toilet is leaking, place several drops of food coloring in the tank, but don't flush. If the dyed water seeps into the bowl, you have a hidden leak. In either case the problem may be a poorly adjusted float and valve or a worn stopper.
  • Replacement parts can be found at almost any hardware store or home center.


Save With Every Flush
Place one or two half-gallon plastic juice bottles filled with water in the toilet tank. Toilet dams can also hold back several gallons with each flush. Make sure the dam or the bottles don't block the toilet float ball.

Bath Savings

  • Take short showers instead of baths. A bath uses more water. If you must take baths, fill the tub only half way before you get in.
  • Low-flow showerheads save thousands of gallons of water every year.
  • To get even better savings, turn the shower off while you lather up. Many low-flow shower heads come with shut-off valves just for this purpose.


Shut Off Faucets

  • Shutting off the water will save you 2 to 4 gallons while shaving and 1 to 2 gallons while brushing your teeth.


Simple Habits

  • Scrape, don't rinse, your dishes before loading your dishwasher and only run the dishwasher when fully loaded.
  • If you wash dishes by hand, use two basins; one for washing and one for rinsing, rather than running water.
  • Keep a gallon bottle of water in the refrigerator, rather than running the tap to get cold water.
  • Wash vegetables and fruits in a basin rather than under running water

Washing Machine

Only run your washing machine with full loads. The savings add up to hundreds of gallons of water each month.


  • Don't use water to "sweep" sidewalks and drives. A broom works as well and saves hundreds of gallons of water.
  • Use an automatic shut-off nozzle whenever you use a garden hose.
  • Use mulch around your plants to hold the moisture in the soil and keep down weeds.

Your Meter

  • Use your water meter to detect hidden leaks in the house. Simply turn off all the taps and appliances that use water, then read your meter.
  • Come back 30 minutes later and check the dial for movement. If the reading has changed, you have a leak somewhere. Walk through your whole house and don't forget outside spigots. Once the leak has been fixed, repeat the test again.