Water is one of those things we tend to take for granted. We turn on a tap and it’s just there but, if like most of us, you’re tired of rising utility costs, try these four small steps that can add up to big savings on your water bill.

You probably already know the basics of water conservation, but let’s review:

Take a shower instead of filling the bathtub. It takes 35 gallons of water to fill a bathtub. A five minute shower using a low-flow showerhead saves 22.5 gallons. It may not be possible for many of us to shower in five minutes, given that we also wash our hair and/or shave in the shower, but this gives you an idea of the amount of water that can be saved.

Replace the nozzles on kitchen and bathroom taps with aerators. Don’t worry; an aerator won’t reduce the water pressure.

Repair or replace leaky faucets. One leaky faucet, dripping one drop per second, wastes 10,000 litres of water a year.

Make sure you have a full load before running the dishwasher and don’t rinse the dishes first. Simply scrape them and let the dishwasher do the rest.

Likewise, wait until you have a full load of clothes before running the washing machine. Rather than running water until it is hot or cold, heat water on the stove or in the microwave and keep a pitcher of water in the fridge to drink or add a couple of ice cubes to your glass of water.

Don’t leave the bathroom tap running while you brush your teeth.

Use a covered rain barrel under a downspout to collect rainwater that you can then use to water the garden.

Now for some tips that maybe aren’t so common:

Put a plastic bucket in the shower to collect warm up and shower water rather than letting it all go down the drain. You can then use this “grey water” to flush the toilet a couple of times.

Forget about hosing down your driveway. A stiff push broom is all you need. If you prefer, you can wait until there has been a good rain and then go out with your broom. Consider it part of your exercise program.

I like to keep a glass of water on the bedside table at night. Any water that’s left over in the morning goes into the pets’ water dish or waters a houseplant.

When the pets’ water bowl needs freshening, I pour any leftover water onto a houseplant before cleaning the bowl. Your plants won’t mind a bit of kibble or some pet hair.

In the summertime, after cooking vegetables like corn on the cob, which generally takes a big pot of water, I let the water cool right down and then use it to help water the front garden, a hanging basket or even the lawn.

The Government of Canada has more tips and ideas to help you save money on your water bill. Large or small, anything you can do to conserve water will also conserve money when it comes time to pay the bills.

Marlene Alexander

Marlene Alexander

Marlene is a freelance writer and blogger. She maintains a free budget decorating site called Dollar Store Style and writes content for client websites.