We are facing the pressing question of how to ensure a clean, reliable water supply with strains from population growth, booming development, and global warming. Many communities are already enforcing water restrictions. There are a few simple things you can do at home to ease the burden on your local water supply and save money in the process.
1. Check all faucets, toilets and showerheads for leaks.
You’ll be surprised at the amount of water that can be wasted from even a small leak. Consult a plumber to repair leaks both large and small.
2. Insulate your water pipes.
It’s easy and inexpensive to insulate your water pipes with pre-slit foam pipe insulation. You’ll get hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
3. Install a low-flow showerhead.
Low-flow showerheads are a great way to save water and money. This type of showerhead, which is relatively inexpensive, works by delivering fewer gallons per minute (gpm) of water than conventional showerheads. Low-flow showerheads deliver about 1.6 gpm, compared to about 5 gpm of conventional heads.
4. Install a water-saving toilet.
Water-saving toilets use 1-2 gallons per flush instead of 3-5 gallons. Replacing an 5-gallon-per-flush toilet with an ultra-low-volume (ULV) 1.5-gallon-flush model represents a 70% water savings and will cut indoor water consumption by about 30%.
5. Wash your car the water-efficient way.
Save up to 150 gallons of water every time you wash your car simply by turning the hose off between rinses.
6. Install a low-flow faucet aerator.
Low-flow faucet aerators are very inexpensive, only about $10. They work by mixing air into the water stream and can reduce your home’s water consumption by 50%.
7. Use the dishwasher only when it’s full.
One dishwasher cycle uses a tremendous amount of water, so make extra effort to fill it up before you press start.
8. Turn off the faucet while washing dishes.
When you are washing dishes, simply scrub each item (with the faucet off) and set it aside. When all the dishes have been scrubbed, turn on the water to rinse off the dirt and soap. This uses a lot less water than soaping and scrubbing dishes while the faucet is running.
9. Turn the faucet off while you brush your teeth!
Can you imagine if one person per household throughout the US started keeping to this habit? The water savings would be tremendous. As mentioned above, this is one of the easiest ways to save water, and it is simple to make it into a habit.
10. Be water conscious!
Being water conscious in general while at home and away is an effective way to save water. Start noticing your trends and habits regarding water usage and change any patterns that are wasteful.
Water Usage Facts
- The average North American uses 50-70 gallons of water daily. That amount can double in summer, with lawn and garden care, swimming pools, etc.
- Three-quarters of all indoor water usage is in the bathroom.
- In a typical North American home, the toilet accounts for about one-quarter of total water use.
- Running a sprinkler for two hours can consume as much as 500 gallons of water.
- Washing your driveway or sidewalk with a hose gobbles about 10 gallons per minute.
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