Water Efficiency in the Home
Did you know that in 2009, nearly all states in the U.S. reported some level of water stress? Even if you live in a water-rich area, you may be interested in conserving the contents of your wallet. Here are eleven tips to help you save water and lower your monthly bill.
Whether from a leaky pipe, faucet, or toilet, leaks can waste a lot of water AND money! Fix the leaks you find, and check your water bill for unusual increases that could point to a hidden leak.
High Efficiency Toilets
If the toilet in your home is an older model, you could save over 4000 gallons of water per year by replacing it with a High Efficiency or Ultra Low Volume Toilet.
Install water-saving shower heads and faucet aerators. These restrict water flow while delivering the same spray force from the faucet or shower-head. Aerators are an inexpensive way to save tens of thousands of gallons of water per year.
Turn Off the Faucet
Don't let water run while washing hands, shaving, brushing teeth, washing your face, washing dishes, or cleaning vegetables. Instead, fill a sink or pan with clean water water and use it as needed to rinse.
Instead of using running water to thaw meat, defrost it overnight in the refrigerator or in the microwave for same-day defrosting.
Dishwashers use less water than hand-washing dishes, and newer model dishwashers are more efficient than older models. Consider replacing a dishwasher that is over ten years old. Only run your dishwasher when it is full.
Only run your clothes washer when it is fully loaded. If this is not possible, adjust the water volume to reflect the amount of clothing being washed.
Newer clothes washers are more energy efficient than older models – if your washer is over ten years old, look for the most efficient model you can find.
Plant native grasses, trees, and shrubs that are drought resistant to reduce the need for frequent watering. Group plants that will require frequent watering in one area of the yard. Mulch trees and plants to help prevent moisture loss. Avoid over-watering.
Install water-efficient sprinklers and check them regularly to ensure timing devices are working properly and that the sprinkler heads are not malfunctioning. Be sure they are not wasting water on paved surfaces such as the sidewalk or driveway.
To avoid wasting water on evaporation, water your lawn deeply once a week, in the morning. Avoid watering on windy days. Don't over-water the lawn - a heavy rain can eliminate the need to water for up to two weeks.
Brooms vs Hoses
Use a broom instead of a hose to clean off driveways and sidewalks.
A commercial car wash that recycles its water is the most efficient way to wash your car. If washing your car at home, use a hose with a shutoff valve – don't run it continually while washing.