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# Simple Tips: Save On Water

Water (H20) is something every living creature on earth needs, but we humans waste more than we need. The earth's surface is 70% water, but of that water only 1% is drinkable. Most of this water, over 96%, is in our oceans, which is salt water.

Have you ever wondered just how much water it takes to flush a toilet? Or exactly how much water you use when you take a shower?

We all realize we must flush the toilet and it would get extremely smelly if people didn't shower. However, there are some easy tips that will help avoid using too much water.

## The Toilet:

Every time you lower the handle on the toilet to flush it, it uses up to 2 gallons of water. Flushing the toilet uses almost half the pure water you use in your home. Therefore, nearly half of your fresh water is being flushed down the toilet daily.

The average person can save up to 2 gallons of water on each flush by simply putting something in the tank that will reduce space, causing less water to enter the mechanism. This is called "displacement device." Some people use bricks but this is not the ideal choice. Bricks can break apart and the small pieces can harm your plumbing system. Instead use small dish-washing bottles or juice bottles.

First soak the bottle so that the label come soff easily. Then fill the bottle with water, put the cap on and place it in the tank.

The tank we are discussing is the area that holds water on the back of your toilet. Take special care that the bottle doesn't interfere with the flushing mechanism of the toilet.

Place several tiny stones in the bottle for weight. It's best if the bottle is submerged at the bottom of the tank.

It may take some experimenting with what size bottle works best. There are many different types of toilets with many sizes of tanks.

This tiny thing can save quite a bit of water over time. Do the math. If the average toilet is flushed about 8 times a day, that is up to 16 gallons a day, 112 a week, 5800 a year of water saved. If only 10,000 people placed a bottle in their tanks, that would save up to 58 million gallons of water a year.

## The Sink:

Have you ever left the faucet running while you brush your teeth? If so, you allowed up to 5 gallons of water per minute to run down the drain. If it takes you 5 minutes to brush your teeth, you could literally run 25 gallons of water down the drain.

Men, if you shave with the water on, you will use at least 20 gallons of water each time.

An easy way to save water is wet your toothbrush before brushing your teeth. Leave the water off until you are done brushing your teeth, then rinse the brush. This will only use about 1/2 a gallon of water. That's a huge difference than 25 gallons.

When shaving, fill the basin with water instead of leaving the faucet running. This will use only about a gallon of water verses wasting 20 gallons.

Have a Low-Flow Aerator installed. It's very simple to install, you can do it yourself. It simply screws onto the end of your faucet. It saves water by cutting the flow in half. Since the water is mixed with air you will not even notice that there's less water being used in your faucet. The water comes out just as fast than it did before. These Aerators cost less than \$5 at any hardware store and will cut water usage in half on that particular sink. Place these on all your faucets throughout your home and you have cut your water usage in half- and you will not even notice the difference.

## The Shower and Bath:

Up to 32% of water usage goes down the drain in the shower. A standard shower head uses 7 to 10 gallons of water per minute. A six minute shower will use up to 60 gallons of water. That's a lot of water. And most people take longer than five minutes to shower.

Believe it or not, filling a tub uses even more water. So never take a bath thinking you will save water. Filling a tub with water uses 60 to 70 gallons of water. So always take showers instead of baths.

Install low-flow shower heads. A family can save tens of thousands of gallons of water a year by doing this. Also, limit your time in the shower to five minutes or less. Installing a low-flow shower head not only saves water, but will cut your power bill as well. The less hot water you use the less power it takes to heat that water. A family can save a few hundred dollars a year just in their power bill. The cost of a low-flow shower head is less than \$15. You will save that amount in less than a month.

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