Water Saving Tips for Residents

Indoor Water Conservation

1. Perform periodic leak checks.
Click here to learn how to read your water meter and check for leaks. View the online step-by-step leak check guide for additional leak check instructions.

2. View your home water usage with the WaterInsight Portal.
Learn about your home water usage online at WaterInsight. View your water use history including average gallons per day, seasonal variations, and annual usage trends. The Portal offers leak detection instructions, leak alert notifications, and water-saving tips that are custom to your water usage. Login today with your utility account number and zip code.

3. Make sure your plumbing fixtures are not broken or defective.
A running toilet can waste an average of 2 gallons per minute and potentially cause a very expensive water bill. 

• Learn how to check your toilets for leaks with the toilet leak test video.
• Have you identified a broken toilet flapper? Watch this quick video on how to replace a leaky toilet flapper.

Do you have inefficient water-using fixtures in your home? Click here to order water-saving devices, such as low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and more from Valley Water's online shopping cart. 

4. Install efficient showerheads and faucets aerators.
Choose aerators with 1.5 gallon per minute (gpm) flows for kitchen faucets and 1.0 gpm flows for bathroom faucets. Look for showerheads with flows of no more than 2.0 gallon per minute. Order free faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads here.

5. Replace old toilets and clothes washers with new water-saving models.
Did you know that a modern front-loading clothes washer uses almost 50% less water then an older top-loading model? Thinking about installing a new toilet? Dual-flush models save up to 10% from older 1990’s models and as much as 60% from the older 1980’s toilet models. Click here for more information on clothes washers and toilets. 

6. Turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth or doing the dishes.
A running tap uses anywhere from 1.0 to 2.5 gallons per minute.

7. Take shorter showers.
Learn how to shower with less water from EPA WaterSense shower better tips.

8. Wash full loads.
Wait to machine wash clothes and dishes until you can run a full load. Make sure to select the appropriate water level, or load size for washers, to verify the water level is correct.

Outdoor Water Conservation

1. Turn your hose off when it is not in use.
A typical garden hose can use up to 12 gallons per minute. Mountain View’s City Code requires that all hoses be equipped with an automatic shutoff nozzle to prevent water waste. Order a free 2.5 gpm automatic shutoff nozzle for your hose: Valley Water Shopping Cart.

2. Perform an irrigation tune-up seasonally.
Check irrigation systems between each season to ensure they are functioning properly. Before turning on the irrigation system, walk around the property and visually inspect for signs of possible issues such as dry patches of landscape, over-watering or moss, and prune or trim landscape areas which may inhibit the system to water adequately. Turn on the system and check the water distribution. Fix or reconfigure emitters or sprinkler parts for adequate watering. Perform sprinkler system maintenance: Clean the irrigation water filter screen, check for clogged nozzles, change out worn seals and replace any broken parts. Request a free Water Wise Outdoor Survey for help identifying irrigation issues.

3. Install plants that are native to California or low water-use plants.
For new ideas, check out the BAWSCA online plant database or attend a free landscape class during the fall or spring season. View photo inspiration of Santa Clara County water-wise demonstration gardens

• Check out the drought gardening webpage from the University of California Gardening Web.
• You may be eligible to receive a rebate for removing grass and installing a water-wise landscape.
• For additional water-wise gardening resources: Valley Water Landscape Guides & Resources.

4. Program irrigation systems appropriately for each season.
Consider upgrading your irrigation system with water-efficient technologies such as low-volume irrigation (e.g. drip and bubblers) and weather-based controllers. Qualifying irrigation system upgrades may be eligible for a rebate.

• Take your landscape to the next step with graywater. Receive a rebate to reuse laundry water to irrigate your landscape. Learn more about Valley Water's Graywater: Laundry-to-Landscape Program and see if it's right for you. 

5. Water early in the morning to limit water lost to evaporation.
View the South Bay Green Gardens Water Wise Factsheet to learn more about efficient landscape watering. Click here for additional information on how to keep your trees and plants healthy during times of drought or extended dry periods.

6. Cover exposed soil with at least 2 inches of mulch.
Learn all about Healthy Soils and find out which type of soil is in your garden to help you understand your landscape water needs.

7. Report water waste.
About 50 percent of all home water usage goes to landscapes. Often times homeowners and businesses are unaware of water waste incidents on their property. If you identify a water waste situation, please contact us and we will investigate the incident. Note the date, time, address or street intersection of the incident, and provide pictures if possible. Submit details to Ask Mountain View or email conservewater@mountainview.gov.

More Tips

South Bay Green Gardens
WaterInsight Program