The average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill, but by making just a few simple changes to use water more efficiently, you could save approximately $170 per year and help the environment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

From replacing inefficient appliances to taking small steps at home to eliminate water waste, you can make a huge dent in your water usage and save some cash. Here are some easy tips to follow:

Bathroom blunders

Did you know toilets are the single largest water-user in a home? A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day, and it is estimated that nearly 20 percent of all toilets leak, reports the EPA. Slow leaks can go undetected for years, but there is an easy way to check yours at home.


Start by adding a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If you have a leak, you’ll start to see that color come through in the bowl within 15 minutes. Flush immediately after you’re done so you don’t stain the porcelain. If you can’t fix the leak, consider purchasing a high-efficient toilet like the Kohler Persuade two-piece toilet.

What makes this toilet so efficient is Dual Flush technology, which includes a 1.6-gallon flush and an eco-friendly .8-gallon flush option. The Persuade toilet can save as much as 6,000 gallons of water annually over a traditional 1.6-gallon toilet.

Kitchen conundrums

Have a leaky faucet in your kitchen? According to the EPA, a drip rate of just one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year. So even if it seems like a small leak, it could be costing you big time. Many faucets can be easily tightened and fixed to eliminate leaks — otherwise, consider installing a new WaterSense-labeled faucet.

Dishwashers can be another huge water drain. Remember to only run loads when the dishwasher is full, or invest in a dishwasher with a half-load cycle option, like most of the new Bosch dishwashers.