It’s always important to take steps to conserve water—especially during this record-breaking drought. Before considering rainwater storage or greywater filtration systems, you should first consider cutting back on water usage.
HERE ARE SOME WAYS YOU MAY BE WASTING WATER:
1. LEAKS: According to the EPA “Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide. That’s equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.” To make matters worse, it’s difficult to determine whether or not you have a leak in the first place. Help conserve water by checking your plumbing system for leaks with these simple tactics:
•THE FOOD COLORING METHOD: Put food coloring in your toilet tank and don’t flush. Check the bowl in 15 minutes. If the bowl has changed color, your toilet may need repairs.
• CHECK THE TRIANGLE: Shut off the main valve at the house and then check the little red triangle on the water meter. If it’s moving, even slightly, you may have an underground leak.
• THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY: Crawl under you house (if there’s space) and investigate the pipes. Look for telltale dark patches in the dirt to find leaks.
• WATER HEATER DRAIN: Check the drain from your water heater. It’s easy to miss the T&P valve dripping, so be sure to look carefully.
2. TOILET: Almost 28% of the water we use in the home is used to flush the toilet. According to some studies, the average person flushes the toilet five times per day. Install an Ultra Low Flow Toilet to use only 1.25 gallons per flush as opposed to 3 or 4 gallons per flush for standard toilets and over 5 gallons per flush for older toilets. This simple change can save over 14,000 gallons per year for a family of four.
3. PREPARING HOT WATER: Running water before a shower or bath to heat it up is a big waste of water. Insulate your hot water lines to considerably reduce the wait time for hot water and, thus, save plenty of water. Insulation is even easy to install for most homeowners. Consider installing a recirculation pump with a timer or on-demand button to reduce lead time and associated water waste to zero.
PRO TIP: LOW FLOW FIXTURES SAVE LOTS OF WATER
Replace your showerhead with a modern shower-head that consumes only 1.65 GPM compared with 2.5 GPM from low-flow showerheads of just a few years ago. With only a slight change in shower experience, you’ll save up to 20 gallons of water per day per person.