Homeowners can significantly reduce the volume of wastewater discharged to home septic systems and sewage treatment plants by conserving water. If you have a septic system, by decreasing your water usage, you can help prevent your system from overloading and contaminating ground water and surface water. (Seventy-five percent of drain field failures are due to hydraulic overloading.)
- Use low-flow faucets, shower heads, reduced-flow toilet flushing equipment, and water saving appliances such as dish and clothes washers. (See table on water savings possible with conservation devices.)
- Repair leaking faucets, toilets, and pumps.
- Use dishwashers and clothes washers only when fully loaded.
- Take short showers instead of baths and avoid letting faucets run unnecessarily.
- Wash your car only when necessary; use a bucket to save water. Alternatively, go to a commercial carwash that uses water efficiently and disposes of runoff properly.
- Do not over-water your lawn or garden. Over-watering may increase leaching of fertilizers to ground water.
- When your lawn or garden needs watering, use slow-watering techniques such as trickle irrigation or soaker hoses. (Such devices reduce runoff and are 20-percent more effective than sprinklers.)
(From an EPA Journal article, EPA-22K-1005)