Water Conservation Indoors

Save Water While Staying HomeSave Water While Staying Home Image

If your family is staying inside, you might use a lot more water than usual. But your water and sewer bill doesn’t have to rise too high when you’re at home!

Try these Tips to Save Water While Staying Home (PDF).

Install a WaterSense Labeled ProductWaterSense

  • Install a WaterSense labeled toilet and use Charlottesville’s $100 Toilet Rebate.
  • Install WaterSense labeled faucet aerators on all sinks. Pick up a free WaterSense labeled aerator at the Office of Utility Billing at City Hall and are part of our Water Conservation Kits.
  • Install a WaterSense Labeled showerhead: Pick up one up for free at the Office of Utility Billing at City Hall and are part of our Water Conservation Kits.

Instructional Videos from EPA WaterSenseReplacing a toilet flapper

Detailed Instruction Sheets

Fix Leaks

Water leaks can waste thousands of gallons of water each day!Practical Plumbing Handbook CoverFix them immediately once you identify them. If you see a water leak in the road or street, please report it to the Water Utility Department by calling 434-970-3800.

Request our Practical Plumbing Handbook which has great general plumbing information and information on how to fix leaks. Please use our Contact Form to request your own Practical Plumbing Handbook. 

Note: You must be a Charlottesville resident to request a handbook. 

Detect leaks using our checklist (PDF)

How to Find a Leak Using Your Water Meter

Fixing a Leaky Toilet

Use leak detection dye tablets (or food coloring) to check if you toilet it running:

  1. Remove the toilet tank lid
  2. Put one dye tablet in the top tank of the toilet
  3. Replace the lid and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes (don’t flush!)
  4. If you see blue dye/or color in the bowl of the toilet you have a leak, most likely you have a worn flapper
  5. If you need a new toilet flapper, go to the Office of Utility Billing and pick up a free universal toilet flapper! If you have an old toilet (especially if it uses 3 or more gallons per flush) consider upgrading it to a WaterSense labeled toilet (and don’t forget about our $100 Toilet Rebate).

Watch a video on fixing leaky toilets by WaterSense.

Fixing a Leaky Faucet

Disclaimer: These videos are for educational purposes only, Charlottesville always encourages using professionals when doing any updates or work on your home.  

10 ways to save water at home

9 Easy Ways to be Water Smart Inside your Home


  1. Scrape Plates: Scraping your dirty plates instead of pre-rinsing before placing dishes in the dishwasher can save up to 20 gallons.
  2. Full Loads: Running only full loads of dishes rather than handwashing can save 5-10 gallons.
  3. Aerators: Install a WaterSense labeled aerator on your faucet. 
  4. Water Pitcher: Always have cold drinking water by storing a pitcher of water in the fridge instead of letting the sink run until the water is cold.
  5. Compost Pile: Dispose of your food waste into a compost pile instead of the garbage disposal, which takes a lot of water to function.
  6. Thaw in Fridge: Thaw your frozen foods in the fridge overnight or a bowl of water. Running the sink over frozen food wastes a lot of precious water!


  1. Turn off the Tap:  You don’t need the sink to be running while brushing your teeth, shaving, or even scrubbing your hands!
  2. WaterSense Products Install a WaterSense labeled toilet, showerhead, and aerator to save big! Make sure to take advantage of the rebates and freebies the City of Charlottesville offers!
  3. Shorter Showers:  Using a water efficient showerhead and shortening your showers to under 5 minutes can save 10-25 gallons every time you shower! This practice is even more important when you consider that a bath uses a whopping 60 extra gallons!