Water is our most valuable shared resource and together we can keep it
that way for generations to come.
Best Use

Water bills are affected by the actual consumption on your meter. Simple conservation efforts can significantly reduce your monthly charges. And there are other reasons to conserve. At times of peak demand, as millions of gallons are being pumped out to water lawns, fill pools and run high-use appliances like washing machines and dishwashers, the current delivery system can be strained to near capacity, potentially causing a threat to emergency water pressure needed by the fire department. With more and more people moving to Missoula, prudent observance of watering schedules and reduction of unnecessary or wasteful water use will help keep our water flowing.

Here are some things you can do to help:

On the inside:

  • If your house doesn’t have a water meter, ask Mountain Water Company to install one. Conservation rises dramatically in metered homes and offers many people the opportunity to decrease their water bills. Contact customer service for details.
  • Fix all leaky faucets. – A single drop per second wastes 2,400 gallons per year.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Install water-saving showerheads or flow restrictors.
  • Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush.
  • Check your toilet for leaks.
  • Put a plastic bottle or a plastic bag weighted with pebbles and filled with water in your toilet tank. Displacing water in this manner allows you to use less water with each flush.
  • Do not use your toilet for an ashtray or wastebasket.

    On the outside:

  • Water your lawn only when it needs it.
  • Deep-soak your lawn.
  • Water during the cool parts of the day.
  • Adhere to sprinkling schedules.
  • Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings.
  • Landscape with plants adapted to our climate. – They use less water and they’re easier to grow.
  • Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants.
  • Don’t water the gutter.
  • Use a broom to clean driveways, sidewalks and steps.
  • Don’t run the hose while washing your car.
  • Teach your children that your hose and sprinklers are not toys.


showering running shower 5 minutes:
20 gallons
wet down, soap up, rinse:
8 gallons
brushing teeth running tap 5 minutes:
10 gallons
wet down brush, rinse:
1/2 gallon
taking a bath in tub full tub:
36 gallons

wet down, wash, rinse:
7 to 9 gallons, 1/3 full

shaving running tap 5 minutes:
10 gallons
fill basin:
1 gallon
cooking full day:
3 to 5 gallons
washing dishes running tap while washing:
35 gallons
washing dishes and rinse in sink:
5 gallons
automatic dishwasher

full cycle:
15 to 30 gallons

short cycle:
5 gallons
washing hands running tap:
2 gallons

fill basin:

1 gallon

flushing toilet 5 to 7 gallons each time

water displacement containers:
4 to 6 gallons

washing machine full cycle, top water level:
40 to 60 gallons per load
short cycle of medium water level:
27 gallons per load
landscape watering average hose and pressure:
10 gallons per minute
conservative watering practices can reduce usage significantly


- The Environment and Conservation
- Best Use
- Summer Sprinkling Schedule
- Protecting the Aquifer
- Hazardous Waste Disposal information
- Storm Drains