When you look at a map or globe and see that vast amount of blue, it is easy to assume that we have an endless supply of water on the planet. But what most of us never consider is that only about 1% of all that blue is freshwater that is suitable for drinking or use around the house. So we need to be making better choices about how we use water. The EPA has found that the average household in the United States uses around 300 gallons of water a day. But there are many ways to reduce that number without altering your lifestyle in any significant manner.
Doing Your Part
After all, who doesn’t want to help out the planet and save a few bucks in the process? Here are ten simple ways to reduce water waste in your home.
- Your toilet is not a trash can. Not only does flushing trash significantly increase the potential for drain and sewer line clogs, but it wastes as much as seven gallons of water per flush. Put trash in the trash can.
- Long showers can waste a massive amount of water. The average American spends eight minutes showering. Drop that to six minutes, and you will save 25% of the water you use showering.
- To be even more environmentally friendly, think about getting a low-flow showerhead. These models use two gallons per minute, saving about half a gallon per minute.
- Locating and repairing leaks around your home can save a significant amount of water and money. Studies have found that the average household loses nearly 10,000 gallons of water each year to leaks in one form or another. Check your fixtures and pipes inside, especially your toilet. Toilet leaks are sneaky because there is no sign of a puddle. The water is just flowing down the drain. So it can add up quickly. Also, check outside your home at hose bibs, faucets, and in your sprinkler system.
- Running your washing machine when it is half full wastes a lot of water and power. Some modern washers automatically set the water level according to the load size. But you are still paying for the same amount of energy to complete the cycle. Only run a full load of laundry and save even more energy by using cold water.
- Running your dishwasher when it is only half full creates the same waste of water and energy. Commit to only washing full cycles. You can fill the dishwasher more often by eliminating hand washing of dishes that uses far more water than running the dishwasher.
- Hand washing dishes is very wasteful. It uses more water to wash six plates than to run an entire cycle on most dishwashers. If you are afraid the dishes need extra scrubbing, fill the sink with water and let them soak before loading them into the dishwasher. This will use less water than hand washing.
- Low-flow toilets save about two gallons of water or more per flush. Replacing two toilets in your household could save a lot of water and make no change at all in your lifestyle.
- Don’t over-water your lawn. Check with your local agricultural department for correct watering guidelines.
- Turning off the water when you brush your teeth can save several gallons of water each day. And there is no change to your daily routine.
To learn more about saving water around your home or to repair a leak that you located, call (956) 450-7774. The pros at Victoria Plumbing Project are here to help you 24/7.