There's lots of ways to do your part to help conserve and protect water from the home. Forming clean-water habits are easy and fun. In many cases, they're also money-saving, common sense, and support a healthy lifestyle!

Water Conservation in the Home

1. Keep drinking water in the refrigerator for efficient water use.

2. Fix all leaks - leaky sinks and toilets can waste up to 90 gallons of water a day. 

3. Don't run water when brushing teeth. 

4. Only run a full load of dishes. Skipping the extra rinse is often unnecessary and saves water.

5. Keep showers to a 5-minute maximum. Try using a bucket to visualize how much water is needed. 

Learn more about green living

Water Conservation in the Yard

1. Cut grass at a 3" minimum height and only cut 1/3 of the blade at a time. This reduces erosion and evaporation on the lawn by allowing grass to protect the soil and grow deeper roots. Deeper roots hold more water on the property before becoming saturated. Once saturated, lawns contribute to runoff that carries sediment and nutrients into streets, wetlands, and lakes. 

2.  Wash cars on the lawn or use rolled-up towels to divert runoff away from the street and into grass or gravel. Visit the car wash - as this water goes to treatment plants, sparing salt and debris from being washed off in the rain.

3. Water plants and grass early in the morning to reduce evaporation.

4. Set sprinklers and irrigation systems to never spray onto pavement.

5. Plant native perennials, install a rainbarrel, or plan a raingarden or a similar green infrastructure practice. See VLAWMO's grant programs to get started!

Between the yard and the water lies the street. VLAWMO is seeking volunteers to help label and adopt stormdrains for the health of our water resources. Visit our service opportunities page for more!

Learn more about water-friendly yard care


Green Up Your Lawn - PDF

Clean Water Landscaping - PDF

Clean Water Winter Practices - PDF

Visit these local resources for tips, stories, and tools.

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Blue Thumb: Native plant selection tools

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Clean Water MN: News, articles, and resources

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Freshwater Society: Programs, news, and resources 


MPCA: State reports, programs, and publications

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University of Minnesota Soil Testing Lab

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East Metro Water: Tips and Tales about Keeping Water Clean

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State of the Mississippi River: 2016