We have seen an increase in the incidence of water scarcity in many parts of our nation. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this problem isn’t going away, and in the next decade, as many as 40 states could be affected by water shortages. Every one of us can make a difference by conserving our water, and this is surprisingly simple to do with very effort. In this article, we will look at eight simple ways to conserve water and save money by reducing your monthly water bill.
- Use WaterSense Products
There are now products available that have the EPA’s very own WaterSense label prominently displayed. In order to receive this water saving label a product has to meet several water conservation standards:
- The product must be 20% more effective at conserving water than an average product of a similar type.
- The product must be at least as effective as a less water efficient alternative.
- The product must provide a measurable water saving for the consumer.
- The product should achieve an improvement in water savings by using several key technology options.
- The product must meet the national EPA standards for water conservation.
The EPA can award the WaterSense label for virtually any type of water using product. This can include most water using appliances and fixtures, so it’s worth investing in WaterSense products if you’re interested in saving water in your home.
- If You’re Not Using the Tap Turn it Off
Many people leave the tap running when they are washing their hands or brushing their teeth. This isn’t necessary; when you’re actively brushing or lathering your hands simple turn the tap off. Then when you need the water again, turn it back on for a couple of seconds. This may seem like a trivial point, but you may be surprised at how much water this can save over time. If everyone in your home adopted this change, the results will be even more impressive, and it’s a simple way to conserve water.
- Take Shorter and More Efficient Showers
Everyone enjoys a long hot shower, but this is an easy way to use far more water than you may imagine. Even cutting your showering time by a couple of minutes will save gallons of water that you won’t miss. A typical showerhead uses approximately 5 gallons of water per minute, so two minutes will use 10 gallons per shower. If you install a WaterSense showerhead, this will help you to save water, but you can get even more efficient in your water use. Many people turn on their showers, get wet and then turn the water off as they lather and then turn the water back on to rinse off. When you shower with a purpose, it may surprise you how quickly and efficiently you can get clean and use less water at the same time.
- Fix Water Leaks Quickly
A more obvious water leak from a faucet or shower head is usually easy to identify and fix. But, there may be other hidden water leaks in your pipes and water using appliances that need attention. If you notice any damp patches on ceilings, walls, and floors, it’s a great idea to take a closer look. A water leak can waste a lot of water in a short period of time, and it can cause a great deal of damage that’s expensive to fix. If you find any hairline cracks or pinhole leaks in a pipe, get them fixed quickly before they get worse. Larger cracks and leaks waste even more water, and they cost more to repair.
- Install a Rain Barrel
If you can harvest rainwater in your area, you can save a significant amount of water. Investing in a rain barrel installation will provide you with free water that you can use on your plants. A rain barrel is cheap to buy, and there is virtually no maintenance apart from some occasional cleaning. Reusing natural water is a great way to reduce your water demands and still keep your plants happy and healthy.
- Only Run Water Using Appliance if They are Full
Some people run their water using appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines when they are not full. This is a very inefficient way to use these types of appliances, not only are you wasting water, but you’re also wasting detergent. A water using appliance can use a large volume of water, and if you want the best return on that investment, it makes sense to wash the maximum amount of items. When you only run full appliances, you will run them less often, this will reduce the amount of wear and tear on your equipment, and it will reduce your energy bills at the same time.
- Reduce the Amount of Electricity That You Use
This may seem like an odd thing to say, after all, how can you use less water by using less power. Many of our power plants are actually cooled down with hydro-powered technology that uses a significant volume of water every day. So, if you reduce your power needs for the day, the power plant will also use less water at the same time. Try to cut down on any non essential power consumption, turn off lights when you’re out and switch off the fan when you leave the room. The less power you use, the lower your energy bills and more water is conserved at the power plant.
- Get Your Car Professionally Washed
If you wash your car on your driveway, you may use as much as 100 gallons of water each time! But, most car commercial car washes don’t use nearly as much water, and you get a better result. A car wash facility uses a recirculating system that recycles the water to get the most use out of the water that they use. This helps them to keep their costs down, and it uses less water at the same time.
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.