Think Outside the Water-Saving Box

When it comes to conserving water, the changes you make inside your home are just a drop in the bucket. To score some serious savings, you’ll need to walk out that door.

San Antonio has a strong conservation and public health ethos and we value that, especially in these trying times. So many times customers have told me how conscientious they are of their water use because they always turn off the water when brushing their teeth.

But that’s only half the battle in winning the war on water conservation. The real challenge starts outdoors via in-ground irrigation systems.

On average San Antonian’s use about 1,500 to 2,000 gallons of water per person per month for indoor use. Compare that to a typical irrigation system, which uses about 2,000 gallons of water every time it runs. That’s about 15 gallons per minute.

Here’s a look at some typical indoor uses. This is what you can do with 2000 gallons of water inside your home.

  • Wash your hands 4000 times for 20 seconds with the faucet running. The average bathroom sink uses 1.5 gallons a minute. Twenty seconds to wash your hands with the faucet running uses one half gallon of water (less if you turn off the faucet while you soap up).
  • Brush your teeth with the water running for more than 22 hours straight. Again, the average bathroom sink uses about 1.5 gallons per minute.
  • Wash 64 loads of laundry. Washing machines use about 31 gallons to wash one load of clothes.
  • Flush your toilet five times a day for 154 days. Toilets uses an average 2.6 gallons of water per flush. So you could flush your toilet 769 times on the water used during one irrigation cycle!
  • Take a 13-hour shower. Showers use about 2.5 gallons per minute.
  • Run your dishwasher 333 times. Dishwashers use about 6 gallons of water each load.

These comparisons are averages; new water-efficient appliances and fixtures can reduce your use when well maintained.

If you have an irrigation system, altering or eliminating it altogether would save you water and money. Just give us a call at 210-704-SAVE from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to schedule a free phone consultation — due to the current Stay Home, Work Safe orders, we’ve suspended in-person visits — with one of our knowledgeable conservation consultants. We love helping you save water!

And never fear, there is a wide variety of attractive drought-tolerant plants that thrive on rain water alone! Just browse our plant database to find your perfect plants.

Picture of Cleveland Powell
Cleveland Powell
Cleveland Powell is a conservation planner for SAWS. He is enthusiastic about grass taxonomy and milkweed propagation. In his free time, Powell enjoys hiking around area parks in search of intriguing bugs, birds and plants.
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