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Being Frugal with Water

Updated on December 6, 2012
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Let's Be Frugal with Water, Too!

We are all accustomed to being in the habit of wasting that precious water. If you’re a skeptic, just take apart the trap in the bathroom sink, and replace it with a bucket. Then you can empty the water that flows through the sink into the toilet when it is time to flush it. That way, the water is being used for a useful purpose, instead of simply heading down the drain. But you saw what I meant, didn’t you? If that didn’t convince you, try the same thing at the kitchen sink.

Research was done and here is the simple fact. If water has to be CARRIED from the well, each person will use 7-8 gallons on average per day. If there is a pump connected to the kitchen sink, that number rises to about 10 gallons per person. If there is running hot water in the kitchen, use hops up to 20 gallons per day. Then, if you have a completely pressurized plumbing system, people will use a whopping 30 gallons a day.

How Much Water?

For every bath you take, that’s 8-20 gallons of water. Add 1.5 to 5 gallons for every time the toilet is flushed, and 1 or 2 gallons each time the bathroom sink is used. Surprisingly, the drier the part of the country that you live in, the more water goes down the drain.

I like to use the water from the kitchen sink to water plants, flowers, and trees. I will also wash the birdbath with this water. Water that I cook vegetables or pasta with, is wonderful for a vegetable broth for soup. Just refrigerate it and use it for that purpose within a couple of days.

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Composting Toilets

There have been biological or compost toilets around for years. It’s a self-contained system that requires no water, chemicals, or septic tank. It is easy to install, and available from a number of manufacturers: Biolet USA, Envirolet, and Sun-Mar.

Graywater

Graywater recycling is another wonderful option. Washing machine and sink water can also be used to water the garden and the landscape. Consult The Builder’s Greywater Guide, which will enlighten you on how to handle codes and inspectors when installing the system.

Rainwater Capturing

One may even go so far as to capture rainwater for watering the garden or washing your clothes. Some people manage to collect it in cisterns or barrels from the eaves, or a guttering system and distill it.

alder tree
alder tree | Source

Who's Your Dowser?

I learned how to dowse or divine water from a neighbor as a child with an alder rod. He used a piece of alder about a half inch thick in the shape of a “Y”. It is held between the thumb and first finger, inverted with the bottom of the “Y” pointing upward. Go over water and you can’t hold that stick so that it won’t point down. I have heard that dowsing runs in families, so my parents must have had the gift, too, but neither one tried it, to my knowledge.

I’ll leave you with this information as food for thought right now. Some of you will enjoy the concept of being more frugal with water. Just in case you don’t know it, TX tried to buy water from the Oklahoman Native Americans, due to their shortage. It can happen. Just have a few aces up your sleeve in case it isn’t in your back yard one day.

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      LongTimeMother, isn't that the truth? Without water, the essence of life is no longer in our corner.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Being frugal with water is very important. Voted up.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You're right, suzette. Texas tried to buy water from the Oklahoma Indians, who would not sell it to them. The way that things are going now here, we're in pretty dire straits.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great hub! I agree with you wholeheartedly. When I grew up in New Jersey many years ago we had water shortages and had to learn to conserved water, so I grew up doing this. I still do it to this day. As time goes on I think good water will become more scarce throughout the world. It will become an expensive commodity some day. Voted up!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, being well. I work at a restaurant, so I have a great ability to save water there. I have also gotten the GM in a CFL kick, too. We already recycle cardboard, and now I am working on glass.

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

      Great hub!! True, we should save water; or at least make an effort to keep it abundantly clean for the next generations. Sharing this one.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Connie, it's funny how non-receptive lenders were 30 years ago. It has been a hard road to convince them otherwise, too. There will always be challenges when it comes to big business and government, which is not surprising. People are afraid of new things, but will stick with the old ways, even though they are passe, as it is what they know.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Exactly, Mycee. There's so much to conserve, as well, and our earth deserves it.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      When we built our house in the 80's we wanted to install a composting toilet and use a grey water system, but the bank would not ok the mortgage loan. It seems those bankers were very short-sighted. As it was we were pushing things with our partially-underground solar home. I use my dish water to water the plants, and we flush the toilet with a bucket that collects the excess water when we take showers. I learned these tricks from my Mom and my grandmother, who always had pest-free plants because of the dish water trick. Voted Up, Useful and Interesting. I hope lots of people follow your good advice!

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      that is one very helpful hub Deb! let's all be frugal with water and help conserve our resources.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, geoff! As the old saying goes, you don't mis something unless you don't have it, and I sure hope that it NEVER comes to that!

    • geoffclarke profile image

      geoffclarke 5 years ago from Canada

      Very interesting article - makes you realize how much water we waste every day! We're lucky enough to have plenty of water here, but that doesn't mean we should be wasteful. Thanks for sharing.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That's a great idea, Johan. It rains so little here, the saved water would dry up.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      What happens, Mhatter? Is the faucet removed?

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Joyce. Lots of places need to conserve water more than they are now.

    • Johan Smulders profile image

      Johan Smulders 5 years ago from East London, South Africa

      Our country has huge water supply problems. A useful article. We have two rainwater tanks next to our house to water our garden.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this information. My new wife and her kids, conserve on water! Guess what happens to a facet if is left running...

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Water must be safe here in the desert because as Nevada out grows the water from Lake Mead , this is why we are frugal with water.

      Voted up useful and interesting, Joyce.