Water Conservation Resources & Tips

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The biggest challenge to achieving sustained water conservation throughout our community is getting folks to change their habits and routines. There are so many ways to save water, and they all start with you! Below are links to help you save water, money, and energy today.

City Resources

Additional Resources


General Water Conservation Tips:

  • Never pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it. For example, collect shower, bath and sink water and use it to water your indoor plants or garden.
  • Fix dripping faucets by replacing washers. One drop per second wastes 2,700 gallons of water a year.
  • Check all plumbing for leaks and have any leaks repaired.
  • Retrofit all household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors. For information on how to request free supplies click HERE
  • Use a commercial car wash that recycles water.
  • If you wash your own car, use a shut-off nozzle that can be adjusted down to a fine spray on your hose. For information on how to request free supplies click HERE
  • Operate clothes washers only when they are fully loaded or set the water level for the size of the load.


  • Avoid overwatering, only water when needed.
  • Adjust irrigation times seasonally.
  • Water between the hours of 8pm and 6am when temperatures are cooler.
  • Check irrigation system frequently and adjust to avoid runoff.
  • Water in several short sessions rather than one long one, in order for soil to better absorb moisture and avoid runoff.
  • Avoid leaving sprinklers or hoses running unattended. A garden hose can pour out 600 gallons or more in only a few hours.
  • Pool and spa covers are required by the Petaluma Municipal Code, and covering swimming pools and spas when not in use is the most effective method of reducing water loss through evaporation. Visit our rebates page for more information on our pool and spa cover rebate.
  • Install a laundry to landscape system to reduce your potable irrigation use. Visit our rebates to learn more.


  • Replace older model toilets with a high-efficiency toilet that uses less water. Check out our rebates page for information on how to qualify for up to $150 to replace your older toilet.
  • Replace your showerhead with a high-efficiency version. For information on how to request free supplies click HERE
  • Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet.
  • Take short showers instead of baths. Turn on the water only to get wet and lather and then again to rinse off.
  • Avoid letting the water run while brushing your teeth, washing your face or shaving.
  • Place a bucket in the shower to catch excess water for watering plants.


  • Instead of using the garbage disposal, throw food in the garbage or start a compost pile to dispose it.
  • Operate dishwashers only when they are fully loaded.
  • Hand wash dishes by filling two containers—one with soapy water and the other with rinse water containing a small amount of chlorine bleach.
  • Clean vegetables in a pan filled with water rather than running water from the tap.
  • Store drinking water in the refrigerator. Do not let the tap run while you are waiting for water to cool.
  • Avoid wasting water waiting for it to get hot. Capture it for other uses such as plant watering or heat it on the stove or in a microwave.
  • Don't rinse dishes before placing them in the dishwasher, just remove large particles of food.
photo of person watering garden
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