Americans are one of the most fortunate and blessed countries in the world to be able to wake up every day and have an abundance of fresh, running water. We don’t think twice about having enough water and taking it for granted¸ but water is a precious commodity.
The earth has a lot of water, but 97% of all water is salt water, so you can’t drink it; 2% of freshwater is ice caps and glaciers and only 1% of freshwater is for drinking. That is not a whole lot of usable water, which is quite eye-opening.
We also need to take notice that some areas of our country are prone to droughts. We never know when a drought could occur, so we shouldn’t be careless and waste water. We should always be looking for ways to save water.
Here are the best tips you can use to save water.
Showers vs. Baths
A five-minute shower uses 10-25 gallons vs. 36 gallons when you bathe, so showering saves water and is the better choice. If your shower has a low-flow shower head, it saves even more water. If every household installed one, billions of water a year could be saved.
If you’re one that absolutely loves your bath, need to soak your sore muscles or are sick, try to fill your tub half or three quarters full instead of all the way up.
Brushing Your Teeth
Many people leave the water on while brushing their teeth, which can use up to 12 gallons of water. If you brush your teeth twice a day, that’s 24 gallons; if you brush three times a day, 36 gallons. This can add up to 13,129 gallons a year! Always turn your water off while brushing.
Another thing to remember is to use cold water. It will waste more water waiting for the water to get hot. The same rules should apply for other grooming needs, such as shaving, cleansing your face, etc., although you may want warm water for these.
Toilets and Sinks
Many older homes have the type of faucets that use a lot of water, so consider installing aerators on your faucets and you’ll use 50% less water.
If you have an older toilet, there are several ways to save water. You can install a partial flush valve, replace a leaking flapper or put a water-saving device in the toilet to reduce the use of water when flushing. If you’re in the market for a new toilet, purchase an energy-efficient, low-flow toilet. Toilets use 26% of the water in U.S. homes. Low-flow toilets will reduce it to 10%.
Doing laundry uses 22% of the water usage in your household. Some ways to save are:
- Do full loads of laundry. If you use smaller loads, make sure you set the correct cycle for the amount in the load.
- Make sure your clothes really need washed.
- Pre-treat stains to prevent having to re-wash clothes.
- Invest in an energy efficient washer that uses 28 gallons of water per load instead of 41 gallons. If possible, purchase a front load washer, which saves more water.
If you have a new model dishwasher, and have it fully loaded, you will save more water than if you hand wash your dishes. When cleaned in the sink¸ 27 gallons of water are used vs. three gallons per dishwasher load, which will save 5,000 gallons of water per year.
Scrape your dishes into the garbage, and avoid pre-rinsing before putting them in the dishwasher to save more water.
Catch Your Water
Do you notice how much water is wasted while waiting for it to get hot? While you’re waiting, fill some water bottles and use the extra water to water your household plants.
Outside, use a rain barrel for rain water and/or a bucket to catch water that drains down your gutters, then use to water your outside plants or wash your car.
Leaking Toilets and Faucets
Check your toilets, faucets and appliances for any leaks. If you notice your water bill going up suddenly, it might be a sign of leakage somewhere. A leaking toilet is especially a water-waster, wasting ten gallons an hour. A slow drip on a leaky faucet wastes seven to ten gallons a day. Not only will these fixes save water, but will also save money on your water bill.
Grow plants that require less watering and plants that are native to your particular region. You can check your local nursery or on-line to find out the plants best suited to the growing conditions in your area.
Use more water in one session for a good soaking instead of using less water, more times per week, when watering your plants.
Instead of using a garbage disposal, that wastes water, try composting. This not only saves water, but has an additional benefit of adding nutrients to the soil. It helps hold water in the soil longer, which means less watering.
Teaching Water Conservation
The more you study and learn about conserving the water, the more it will help our world. Teach your children and grandchildren about the importance of saving water so they can develop good habits when they’re young, which will carry through to adulthood. They can then pass their water saving tips on to their children and grandchildren, continuing the cycle.
Here at Isley’s, we love saving water, and we’re uncompromising in that fact. We’re sure you wouldn’t want your favorite plumbing repair specialist any other way.
Water is a necessity to live. We need to do our best to think about these tips and other ways to save water in our homes, so we can continue to have an abundance of fresh, running water for years to come.