the toolbox

Did you know that a faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water in a year? And, even if the faucet doesn't leak, just leaving your faucet running while brushing your teeth or washing the dishes can also waste gallons of water each day. Simply shutting the water off while you brush could easily save up to 5 gallons of water.

OK, so sometimes getting the kids to turn the water off while brushing their teeth can be difficult. And sometimes breaking the habit yourself or getting your spouse to break the habit of leaving the water running can be difficult. Not to worry, though, as there is a worry-free solution to leaving the water running unconsciously.

A lavatory faucet with Touch20.xt technology is the answer. This faucet shuts off automatically when it is not needed so you don't have to worry about leaving the water on and wasting it. Find more information at

What about the water in your toilet? Can you hear it making noise even when no one has recently flushed it? A running toilet can waste 200 gallons of water a day or more. Replacing a toilet can be inexpensive, so don't be afraid to do it — plus you will be saving money on your water bill. Look for one with a "WaterSense" label on it. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that replacing a leaky toilet with a WaterSense-labeled one can save a family of four more than 16,000 gallons of water per year.

Another water-saving idea is to tighten your shower heads. A shower head leaking at 10 drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons per year. That's enough water to wash 60 loads of dishes in your dishwasher, according to

Most leaky showerheads can be fixed by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench, but if you have to replace your shower technology, consider going with a water-efficient system. H20kinetic technology is available through Delta. It uses up to 40 percent less water while delivering the feel of more water.

Scripps Howard News Service