Around Your Home

girl drinking from a water fountain

More than 120,000 people who live in the Neponset Watershed get some or all of their drinking water from local sources.


Fixing leaks, landscaping with native drought-tolerant plants, maintaining your septic system, and reducing the use of harsh chemicals in and around your home are all important steps in conserving water and protecting the environment.

To learn more about this and about other actions you can take, see below.


In Your Home:

Thousands of gallons of water a year are wasted due to leaky faucets, showerheads, and toilets. Learn how to fix leaks and start saving water – and money!

Advances in plumbing technology and design mean that faucets, showers, and toilets can use significantly less water than standard models while still delivering the rinse, spray, and flush you expect.

When replacing water appliances, make sure to look for the WaterSense label, which is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program designed to encourage water efficiency in the United States through the use of a special label on consumer products.

IMPORTANT: Many water departments in the Neponset Watershed offer rebates for water efficient toilets and clothes washers. Check with your Water Department prior to making a purchase to see what they offer. Learn more…

Just like a car, a septic system needs to be maintained. Leaking and poorly maintained septic systems release nutrients and pathogens (bacteria and viruses) that can cause public health problems and environmental concerns, and can cost a lot to repair or replace. Learn more…

  • Use Fewer Chemicals

Whether it’s a septic system or a sewer system, everything that goes down the drains in our house eventually makes its way into our environment and directly affects the cleanliness and quality of groundwater and surface water in local waterways, impacting drinking water sources and environmental habitats. You can make a difference in water quality by replacing harsh chemical cleaners with non-toxic, more environmentally-friendly products.

Research the the toxicity of household chemical cleaners, as well as personal care products, on the Environmental Working Group website.

Never flush or pour any medications down a drain! Remember, drains eventually lead to waterways. Learn more…

Small changes can make a big difference in conserving both water and energy. (After all, it takes energy to make hot water.) To start, make sure you turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth and make sure that clothes washers are full before you run them. Learn more…


In Your Lawn & Garden:

Plan your garden for varying climate conditions to help to conserve and protect water – and save you time and money

–Learn about drought-tolerant gardening.

–Learn about “smart lawn irrigation” techniques.

Rain gardens catch the water running off of driveways, sidewalks, streets, and lawns, and filter out pollutants. Learn more…

Fallen leaves and grass clippings are loaded with phosphorus, and if they are dumped or stored near waterways or paved areas, they add to water pollution. Learn more…

When rain falls on hard surfaces, it washes pollutants such as bacteria and parasites from pet waste, and chemicals from fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, ice melt, motor oil, antifreeze, and windshield washer fluid directly into catch basins or storm drains. This polluted stormwater causes problems for local drinking water sources; recreational activities like swimming, boating and fishing; and aquatic life. Learn more…

Plant trees, shrubs, and flowers that support native plants, birds, insects, and waterways – and enjoy nature, close-up, year-round. Learn more…

Exotic, invasive species bring turmoil to a natural system; they can out compete native species and reproduce vastly, taking over a significant swathe of the ecosystem in a short time, changing the structure and composition of wildlife habitat, reducing diversity of species, and even changing the availability and make-up of water resources. Learn more…

Every year, the lives of many young wild creatures are disturbed by people who take young animals from the wild in a well-intentioned attempt to “save” them. Learn what to do, and what not to do, to help wildlife in your area.