Water Conservation

Child using interactive water savings calculator

Olympia is WaterWise

Our 2015-2020 Water System Plan water conservation goal is to reduce indoor water use by 100,000 gallons per day, and outdoor use by 5% - help us get there! We have a variety of tips, rebates and free devices to help you become WaterWise.

  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 10pm and 6am, 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. Use 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.  

Residential rebates & incentives

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

This 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.

This 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.

If 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.

Irrigation rain sensors are for in-ground irrigation systems.  These devices are hard-wired to the system controller to prevent it from running when raining since nature is doing it for you.  If you would like a free rain sensor for your  sprinkler system, you can request one via mail by calling 360.570.3793 or emailing waterwise@ci.olympia.wa.us.

Use 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.

A 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.

Ultra-high-efficiency toilets (UHETs) use an average of 30% less water than 1.6 gallon per flush (gpf) toilets. Purchase an eligible UHET and receive up to a $100 rebate from the City of Olympia or LOTT Clean Water Alliance (depending on sewer or septic). Residential customers are eligible for up to three toilet rebates per installation address.

NEW:  As of January 1, 2021, due to plumbing code updates, toilet rebate program rules adjusted to only provide rebates for UHETs that are rated MaP PREMIUM. These MaP PREMIUM rated toilets use 1.1 gallons or less per flush and have a MaP score of 600 or greater.

A six month transition period through June 30, 2021, will permit rebates for toilets purchased under the previous guidelines (1.28 gpf/MaP score of 750 or greater).

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

High-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 rebate from the 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!**

Changing to high-efficiency nozzles is the simplest reliable way to improve irrigation efficiency. City of Olympia water customers are eligible for a rebate of $5 for each sprinkler converted to a high-efficiency nozzle (not to exceed $200). Entire zones must be converted. Read this fact sheet for complete details.

Smart 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.

We 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 plumbing professional. Installation of the valve, including parts and labor, can cost between $500-$1000. We recommend getting a couple estimates.

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/multi-family incentives & rebates

Receive up to 75% funding for water-efficient upgrades! Through a partnership with the LOTT Clean Water Alliance, we can offer our sewer customers this rebate on projects including replacement of water-cooled ice machines, high-efficiency dishwashers, urinals, faucets - anything that results in a decrease of wastewater flow and savings of water!

In partnership with the LOTT Clean Water Alliance, we are offering a rebate of up to $100 (per fixture) for the purchase and installation of qualifying ultra-high-efficiency toilets, regardless of the flush volume of existing fixtures. Customers replacing toilets that use 3 gallons or more per flush may elect to apply for funding through our WaterSmart Technology Program (above) instead.

For more information or to apply, please send an email or call Erin Conine at 360.570.3793.

Rebates of up to $3500 are available for installing selected efficient irrigation equipment to improve existing in-ground sprinkler systems. To receive your rebate complete and return the form below, wait for a letter authorizing your rebates, purchase and install the equipment, then submit your receipts.

Man repairing sprinkler in front yard

WaterWise irrigation

Small changes to your sprinkler system can save a lot of water and improve your landscape's health and appearance. You can make many minor repairs and adjustments yourself, without help from a professional. Just a few simple steps will help your irrigation system be WaterWise!


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

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