Conservation Tips

Utility Asks for Wise Use of Outdoor Water

Please note that all water use is metered. Customers are charged for all use of water, including outdoor use of water.  

Tips for Outdoor Water Use 

  • Established lawns need only one inch of water per week. Applying the water all at once, rather than frequent light waterings, promotes deeper roots and a healthier, more resilient lawn.
  • Avoid watering during the mid-day heat. This will reduce losses due to evaporation.
  • Raise your lawnmower height to promote deeper rooting. Taller grass also shades the soil surface thereby reducing evaporation.
  • Use a sprinkling can or hand-held hose to specifically target smaller areas where a sprinkler is wasteful.
  • Retain soil moisture by adding compost or bark around trees and shrubs, leaving grass clippings on the lawn.
  • Consider a timed sprinkler, which automatically shuts off after a desired rate of application.
  • Use a rain barrel. Capturing water from downspouts conserves the municipal supply while providing the best water for lawn and garden.
Outdoor conservation graphic

Customers can also see exactly how much water they are using every day or even every hour with the utility’s online conservation tool

On average, people in Madison use 53 gallons of water per person every day (this number includes people living in single-family homes, duplexes and apartments). Below is a look at how water use breaks down for a typical American family. 

Where Your Water Goes

In the summer months, overall water use in Madison spikes by 25%, largely because of outdoor watering. Almost one-fourth of all water used goes to flushing toilets.

Household water use

Ways to Conserve

Look for leaks 
In the U.S., a trillion gallons of drinking water are lost every year because of plumbing leaks. Use Madison Water Utility's online conservation tool to view your hourly usage and spot plumbing problems before they get out of hand. Click here for some tips on how to check for common household issues that could be costing you water.

Set up a water usage threshold alert  
Want to get your water use down to 60 gallons a day? How about 50? Use our online conservation tool to set up a threshold alert and you'll get an email when your usage surpasses whatever number of gallons you choose.

Replace that old toilet and get a $100 bill credit
Madison Water Utility's Toilet Rebate Program has not only saved more than a half billion gallons of water since its launch in 2009, it's also saved our customers more than $2.5 million in water & sewer charges. Replacing one old toilet with an EPA-rated high efficiency model can conserve 4,000 - 10,000 gallons of water every year. And it's not just about saving water, it's about saving the energy it takes to pump and distribute water. The Toilet Rebate Program alone has saved enough energy to power 130 Madison homes for a year.

Install water-saving devices 
Faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads can save thousands of gallons of water a year and cut down on your hot water bill.

Invest in water-efficient appliances 
A family of four can conserve 6,000 gallons of water a year and save energy by investing in a high-efficiency washing machine. Making the switch to a water-efficient dish washer could save 1,000 gallons a year.

Conservation measues

Change Your Habits

  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Only run the washing machine or dishwasher when the load is full.
  • Shorten your showers by one or two minutes.
  • Sweep sidewalks and driveways instead of spraying them off with a hose.
  • Track your water use with our online conservation tool to see which tasks are using the most water in your household.
Picture of dripping faucet

In Wisconsin, frozen, burst pipes can be common in the winter. Consider having your indoor plumbing and outdoor irrigation system professionally winterized before temps start to drop.

Heading out of town during the winter months? Check your hourly usage with our online conservation tool from any computer or smartphone. If you see water being used when no one is home, you likely have a leak inside or outside your home.

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