Water Conservation

LESS is more when WATERING your lawn...

July is Smart Irrigation Month!

Lawns and landscapes are typically overwatered by up to 30%, contributing to shallow roots, weed growth and disease.  Help us reduce irrigation water waste in Olympia!  By watering wisely, maintaining and upgrading automated irrigation systems, or switching to drip irrigation, consumers can save money and help protect our drinking water resources.  See below for our FREE water-saving devices and irrigation related rebates.  Visit our All About Irrgation page for additional tips to keep you WATERWISE this summer! 


Residential Rebates & Incentives

The indoor water saving kit is available free to Olympia water customers.

Indoor Water Saving Kit
Indoor water saving kitThis kit includes a low-flow showerhead, kitchen and bathroom faucet aerators, toilet leak-detection tablets, and installation instructions. Water savings from installed water saving kits amounts to about 18 gallons per day or 6,570 gallons annually!

Pick up your free kit in person at City Hall or request a kit via mail by calling 360.570.3793 or emailing waterwise@ci.olympia.wa.us.

The outdoor water saving kit is available free to Olympia water customers.

Outdoor Water Saving Kit
Outdoor water saving kitThis kit includes a rain gauge (your lawn only needs about one inch of water per week), a hose repair kit to fix leaks, and an adjustable spray nozzle for your hose.

Pick up your free kit in person at City Hall or request a kit via mail by calling 360.570.3793 or emailing waterwise@ci.olympia.wa.us.

Hose watering timerIf you use a hose-end sprinkler to water your lawn and garden, a timer is a great way to prevent over watering. Turn it on and forget it, watering only as long as you need to.

Pick up your free hose watering timer in person at City Hall or request a timer via mail by calling 360.570.3793 or emailing waterwise@ci.olympia.wa.us.

soil moisture meterUse a soil moisture meter to determine when to water your lawn and garden. The easy to read meter indicates whether your soil is dry, moist or wet to ensure proper watering.

Pick up your free moisture meter in person at City Hall or request one via mail by calling 360.570.3793 or emailing waterwise@ci.olympia.wa.us.

Rain barrelA rain barrel collects rain water from your roof and stores it for later uses like watering your garden. Rain barrels also help to conserve the water we all use for drinking and reduce stormwater flows. You can collect about 55 gallons of rain water with each barrel.

City water customers can receive a $20 rebate on the purchase of each rain barrel, up to 4, for a total rebate of $80. Getting a rebate is easy. Purchase a rain barrel at the store of your choice, install the barrel, and submit your rebate form with a copy of your dated sales receipt. Call 360.570.3793 for more information.

High efficiency toiletBy replacing standard high-flow toilets with high-efficiency toilets (HETs), you can save an average of 37 gallons of water per day - that's over 13,500 gallons per year!

Purchase an eligible HET and receive up to a $100 rebate from the City of Olympia or LOTT Clean Water Alliance (depending on sewer or septic). Download the forms below for a list of eligible fixtures and rebate application. Note that dual-flush fixtures DO NOT qualify for rebate.

**Where to dispose of old toilets?  Thurston County Waste Recovery Center**

High efficiency washerHigh-efficiency washing machines use up to 50% less water and energy than a traditional washer, use 2/3 less detergent, and are gentler on your clothing. The average consumer will save $50-$90 per year in water and electricity charges.

Purchase an ENERGY STAR certified High-Efficiency Washer and receive either a $50 (sewer customers) or $100 (septic) rebate from LOTT Clean Water Alliance or the City of Olympia. 

**Puget Sound Energy also offers a rebate on ENERGY STAR washers - visit their website for details!**

Wireless SensorSmart irrigation controllers automatically adjust watering times based on weather conditions to provide optimal moisture for healthy plants and conserve water. If you have an in-ground irrigation system with a standard controller, you could see water savings of up to 30% by upgrading to an approved smart controller!

City of Olympia Water customers can receive a 50% rebate, up to $200, of the installed cost of a qualifying irrigation smart controller. Read this Fact Sheet for complete details.

Pressure reducing valveWe offer a limited number of rebates to City water customers who live in a high pressure zone (see map below). If you are experiencing high water pressure in your home, you can receive rebates for up to 50% of the installed cost of a Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) at your residence (maximum $125).

Your PRV must be installed by a licensed professional. Check the yellow pages for a licensed plumber in your area. Installation of the valve, including parts and labor, typically cost less than $500.

WARNING: If your home has a fire suppression system, check with the manufacturer on the minimum pressure required for the system to operate properly before installing a PRV!


Commercial customers can save too!

Find a variety of rebates available to businesses on our Commercial Conservation page.


Tips & Tricks

  1. Fix Running Toilets
    Running toilets can waste up to 1,000 gallons of water per month! Leak detection dye tablets are available at no charge to Olympia water customers in our FREE water saving kits (see Incentives & Rebates above). Running toilets are usually caused by minor problems that are easy to fix yourself. Learn how to Detect and Repair a variety of common household leaks, including running toilets, at H20House.org
  2. Take Shorter Showers
    Shortening your showers by 2 minutes can save up to 150 gallons per month!
  3. Install a Low-Flow Showerhead
    Low flow showerheads are easy to install and can save a family of four up to 3,000 gallons per month! Olympia water customers can get one for no charge in our FREE water saving kits (see Incentives & Rebates above).
  4. Don't Let the Water Run - Part 1
    Turn off the water while shaving or brushing your teeth to save several gallons of water every minute.
  5. Install Faucet Aerators
    By mixing air into the water flow, faucet aerators create a steadier more stable stream and give the feeling of high water pressure with less actual water consumption. Our FREE Water Saving Kits (see Incentives & Rebates above) for Olympia water customers includes a kitchen faucet aerator.
  6. Fix leaky faucets
    A faucet dripping at the rate of one drop per second will waste 2,700 gallons of water per year! Learn how to Detect and Repair a variety of common household leaks at H20House.org
  7. Only Run Your Dishwasher When it is Full
    Running a dishwasher uses significantly less water than hand washing, but that savings is quickly negated when running less than full loads.
  8. Don't Let the Water Run - Part 2
    Getting cold water from the fridge instead of waiting for the faucet to run cold can save several gallons of water every minute.
  9. Consider Instant Hot Water Heaters
    When installed at each water source, like a kitchen sink, instant hot waters heaters provide hot water, well instantly. This reduces the need to let water run while heating up, saving several gallons per minute. Learn more at energy.gov.

  1. Water Early or Late
    Watering the lawn and garden between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. or just before dark, when temperatures are cooler, allows the water to infiltrate the soil without evaporating. Avoid watering when it is windy or during the heat of the day.
  2. Be A Leak Detector
    Check your outdoor faucets, hoses, and irrigation system for leaks. These leaks can be tough to find, but the water savings are well worth the effort. Replace or repair broken sprinkler heads promptly. Olympia water customers can get a free hose repair kit as part of the Outdoor Water Saving kit (see Incentives & Rebates above). Learn how to Detect and Repair a variety of common household leaks at H20House.org
  3. Don't Over Water
    Your lawn needs only about one inch of water each week, including rain, to stay green. Use a rain gauge to know exactly how much water your lawn has already received. Olympia water customers can get one for free (see Incentives & Rebates above).
  4. Install a Rain Barrel
    Get a rain barrel and use the water collected for your garden or planting beds. Olympia water customers can get a $20 rebate on each, up to 4 (see Incentives & Rebates above).
  5. Utilize a Rain Sensor
    Rain sensors turn off automatic irrigation systems when it rains. They are relatively easy to install and adjust, and will fit all irrigation controllers.
  6. Adjust Your Sprinklers Heads 
    Avoid watering streets, sidewalks, and driveways.
  7. Use Hose Timers
    If you use a hose-end sprinkler to water your lawn and garden, a timer is a great way to prevent overwatering. Set it and forget it! Olympia water customers can get a hose timer free (see Incentives & Rebates above). 
  8. Don't Be A Hoser 
    Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways, walkways, and sidewalks. When you do need to use a hose, like when washing your car, use a spray nozzle with a shut off valve. You can save up to 100 gallons of water each washing! Olympia water customers can get a spray nozzle at no charge in our free outdoor water saving kit (see Incentives & Rebates above).
  9. Pick the Right Plants
    Consider the water requirements of any new plants you purchase. Native or drought tolerant plants require less water in general than other varieties. Using native perennials, shrubs, and trees when landscaping your yard means you will have to water less, or not at all. Check out King County's Native Plant Guide for great information and an interactive, searchable native plant list.
  10. Install a Drip Irrigation System
    Or use a soaker hose to give your plants' roots a slow, steady supply of water.
  11. BONUS! - Monitor Your Water Bill
    Your bill and your water meter can give you an early warning of unusually high water use and help you find and eliminate leaks. Our new Online Billing Utility Service has great tools built in for staying aware of your usage.


All About Irrigation

Learn how to conserve AND have a healthier lawn/garden on our WATERWISE Irrigation page.



Contact Erin Conine at 360.570.3793 or waterwise@ci.olympia.wa.us

Water Sense Logo