New Homeowner? Here’s Your Water Conservation Checklist.

If you’re not careful, home ownership can be an unwelcome adventure of water-wasting proportions. Use these tips to test your abode’s water-using ways.

New homeownership is an exciting adventure with opportunities to create the indoor and outdoor living space of your dreams. But for those of us who have never lived in an apartment or house where we are responsible for paying the water bill, there’s also a lot to learn about having a water-efficient home.

Here’s a few tips to test your new home’s water-using ways — and make sure it stays on track.

First things first: the average person uses about 2,500-3,000 gallons of water per month indoors for bathing, washing clothes, making food, etc. To estimate the amount of water your bill should reflect, multiply the number of tenants by 3,000 gallons. This does not include water used outside for irrigation, which tends to be far more unpredictable.

Next, you’ll want to check the house for leaks within your first few days of living there. Your water meter can be very helpful in detecting leaks.

You’ll want to check:

  • The toilet. Put three drops of food coloring in the tank, if the color migrates into the bowl, there’s a leak.
  • Faucets (inside and out) and appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine. Simply shut off the water at the faucet or appliance, then check your water meter outside to make sure nothing on the meter is moving.
  • The in-ground sprinkler system. Turn off the water at the backflow preventer and check your meter to make sure nothing is moving.


toilet front view running kitchen sink

Also, I recommend taking advantage of our flow sensor rebate. Flow sensors use the power of your smartphone to let you know in real time when your water meter is running, so you know how much water you are using and when.

If you have an in-ground sprinkler system — or if you’ve never used or owned a house with one before — definitely schedule a free no-contact irrigation consultation. One of our experts will come to your home to do a complete system checkup and review your landscape while you remain safely inside. When they’re done, they’ll call you to review the results and answer any questions, as well as flag any problem areas and leave a summary report and rebate offer.

Finally, review our other WaterSaver programs to see if you can benefit from any of them. If you have questions, give us a call at 210-704-SAVE!

Picture of Sarah Gorton
Sarah Gorton
Sarah Gorton is a Planner with the SAWS Conservation department. She is passionate about bats and native plants, with a particular fondness for horseherb! Sarah has completed certifications through Texas Master Naturalist and Native Plant Society. When she isn't working on her research on the use of native grasses for uptaking pollutants at UTSA, she can be found making stained glass or hanging out with her two Chihuahuas.
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