Water Conservation Begins At Home

waterfall

In lieu of Earth Day and other Spring environmental programs, we thought this article would be appropriate for quick and easy tips on how to conserve water at home.  Ironically, people don’t realize just how much water goes wasted.  In 1990, 30 states in the US reported ‘water-stress’ conditions. In 2000, the number of states reporting water-stress rose to 40. In 2009, the number rose to 45! However, with that being said, people are taking action.

A few reasons to conserve:
– Water is limited and is an absolute necessity for life.
– Water usage impacts us our global ecosystem.
– Conserving water helps prevent pollution in nearby rivers, lakes and watersheds.
– Water conservation also helps save money on your utilities!
– Extend the life of your septic system by reducing soil saturation.

Inside your home:
1. Check faucets and pipes for leaks.
A small drip from a faucet can waste upwards of 20 gallons per day! If it is a worn-out washer, they are quite inexpensive to replace.

2. Check for hidden water leaks using your water meter.
Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak somewhere.

3. Insulate your water pipes.
Use pre-slit foam pipe insulation. Water will heat up faster and you’ll avoid wasting water while it heats up.

In the bathroom:
1. Check your toilets for leaks.
Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If the color appears in the bowl within 30 minutes (without flushing), you have a leak that should be repaired.

2. Put a float booster in your toilet tank.
This may save 10+ gallons of water per day.

3. Do not use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket!
Each time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, 5 to 7 gallons of water is wasted!

4. Limit your shower time and don’t let the water run while soaping up.
Hot showers can between 5 to 10 gallons a minute!

5. Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators.

6. Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush.
Fill a glass for mouth rinsing.

7. When shaving, fill the sink with a few inches of warm water to rinse your razor.

In the kitchen or laundry room:
1. Run only full loads when using your dishwasher or washing machine.

2. Minimize the use of garbage disposal units in the kitchen sink.
Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste.

3. Don’t leave the water running while washing dishes.
Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of water.

4. Don’t let the faucet run while cleaning your vegetables.
Rinse them in a bowl of clean water.

In the yard and garden:
1. Plant drought-resistant plants and shrubs. Group plants according to their watering needs.

2. Put a layer of mulch around plantings to slow evaporation of moisture and discourage weed growth.

3. Water your lawn only when it needs it. When you do, deep-soak your lawn.
A light sprinkling can evaporate quickly and tends to encourage shallow root systems.

5. Water during the early parts of the day or early evening. This will also help reduce water loss due to evaporation.

6. Add organic matter and use efficient watering systems for shrubs, flower beds and lawns to increase absorption and water retention.

7. Don’t run the hose while washing your car. Clean the car using a pail of soapy water. Use the hose solely for rinsing.

Even in regions where water seems to be abundant, conserving water is an essential practice for much of the world.  Taking measures at home to conserve water not only saves you money, but will also benefit your community.