Tips, Tricks and Water Facts

Water conservation is not only good for the environment; it is good for the household budget as well. Here are some tips and tricks to reduce water usage as well as some fun facts about water.

The first, and easiest thing to do is to check for leaking faucets and running toilets. A faucet dripping at a rate of one drip per second can waste 2,700 gallons of water per year. To check for a running toilet that isn’t audible, place dye in the tank and if it reaches the bowl within 30 minutes, without flushing the toilet has a slow leak.

On average, toilet flushing, bathing, and showering use 73% of all water consumed in the home. Bathing and laundry account for 48% of the hot water a household uses. In order to reduce usage in these areas old fixtures and appliances can be replaced with water saving toilets, low flow shower heads, front loading washers and flow regulating aerators for faucets. A water saving toilet can save the typical household 7,900 to 21,700 gallons of water per year. Installing a low flow shower head can save up to 10,000 per year.

Wash full loads of laundry and run the dishwasher only when full. One study showed that it takes as much as 27 gallons of water to hand wash 12 place settings of dishes, compared to 4 gallons used by a dishwasher to wash the same amount of dishes. Avoid extra rinse cycles unless absolutely necessary.

Do not run water continuously while brushing teeth or shaving as this can use as much as 4 gallons of water in a single two minute brushing. Turn off shower when shampooing or lathering up. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge instead of running the tap until water is cold.

Keep an empty container by the kitchen sink or a bucket in the shower to catch water that is typically wasted while waiting for the water to warm up. Pour leftover cooking or drinking water into a container as well; once full, use for watering the garden or house plants. Reuse dirty water from birdbaths, flower vases or pet dishes to water plants. Catch rain water in buckets, but be sure to use quickly to avoid creating a breeding place for mosquitoes. To supplement lawn watering, position downspouts, with an extension if needed, to flow out onto yard areas rather than onto the driveway or paved surfaces.