Erie County
Water Authority
Providing Water You Can Trust

      Emergencies (After 5pm): 716-684-0900 Customer Service/Emergencies (M-F 8 am - 5 pm): 716-849-8444

Water Conservation

In Western New York, we are fortunate to be near two fresh bodies of water. Both Lake Erie and the Niagara River provide us with an abundant water supply. Most of us take water for granted. But in many parts of the country water is rationed and considered a luxury.

Although there is an ample supply of water for all of its customers, the ECWA encourages everyone to be environmentally conscious and to practice water conservation. By using some of these tips, you can help preserve one of our most valuable natural resources.

  • Check faucets and toilets for leaks.
  • Take shorter showers and shallow baths.
  • Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush.
  • Stop using the toilet as a waste basket.
  • Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors.
  • Water your lawn only when it needs it and only during cool parts of the day.
    To help prevent the growth of fungus, water in the morning rather than at dusk.
  • Plant drought-resistant trees and plants.
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.
  • Wash your car with a bucket of water. Use the hose only to rinse.
  • Check for leaks in hoses.
  • Use your automatic dishwasher for full loads only.
  • Use your washing machine for full loads only.
  • Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator.
  • If you wash dishes by hand, don't leave the water running.
  • Check pipes for leaks.

Storing Tap Water

A disaster can happen at anytime, anywhere. The ECWA works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to protect the quality of your drinking water. Although you cannot prevent a disaster or emergency from happening, you can limit its impact on the lives of you and your family. Safe, clean drinking water is one of the most important supplies to have on hand if a disaster occurs.

A good standard is to store one gallon of water per person per day. The American Red Cross recommends you store at least a one-week supply. Therefore, a family of four should store 28 gallons of water, one for each person and enough for one week. You'll need more water during the summer months and for vigorous activities. People with special needs such as nursing mothers, infants and individuals with illnesses also require more water.

Storage Guidlines

Purchase proper drinking water storage containers or use plastic containers that may be sterilized. Do not use old milk containers or soft drink containers. They are nearly impossible to disinfect. Paper containers should not be used, since they will deteriorate over time.

Thoroughly sterilize proper containers by washing them with a non-toxic soap and rinsing well before filling. Another way to properly sterilize containers is by soaking them in a solution of one part liquid chlorine bleach to three parts water for several minutes.

Fill containers completely with cold tap water. Seal the container, leave no air.

Clearly label, date and store in a cool dark area.

When properly stored, Erie County Water Authority water will remain safe to drink indefinitely. Change your emergency water supply at least once every six months to ensure safety and freshness.

If you have advance warning of a disaster or other possible disruption of your water service, fill bathtubs, sinks and all available containers with water to supplement the water you have stored. If an emergency strikes and you are not prepared, the drain on your hot water heater can provide a good amount of water.

Learning Center Treatment Process Water Cycle
Story of Drinking Water Conservation and Storage Water Use