It should come as no surprise that we feel pretty passionate about water conservation here at In-House Plumbing.
Of course, taking measures to save water saves you money by lowering your water bills. But when you also consider water is a finite resource—meaning we can run out of it—it only makes sense to conserve water in as many ways as we can.
The earth is 70% water. But 97% of that is salt water—undrinkable and mostly unusable. And 2% of the remaining 3% is locked in ice caps and glaciers leaving us with only 1% of water for all our needs: farming, livestock, manufacturing, community, and personal daily consumption.
Fun water fact: The earth has the same amount of water now as it did when it was first formed.
The average American uses up to 100 gallons of water a day. Multiply that by the number of people living in your home and that’s a lot of water.
But don’t worry. We’re not suggesting you stop showering and letting your lawn turn to dust.
7 Water Saving Tips
Here are 7 simple tips to help you save water.
Check Pipes and Faucets for Leaks
Fixing a leaky faucet is one of the easiest ways to conserve water.
A single drip from a dripping faucet may seem inconsequential. But add those drips up and we are wasting gallons of water and dollars every day.
Check out this drip calculator on the United State Geological Survey site to determine how much water you are losing thanks to a leaky faucet.
And if you have a leak in your fresh water pipes, it’s like leaving the water on all day long making it incredibly important you get those leaks fixed as soon as possible.
Is Your Toilet Running?
If so, you could be wasting thousands of gallons of water a year.
A few possible culprits in this situation is the flapper is warped or stuck and won’t close, a bad flush valve, or the chain is too long, too short, or tangled.
Don’t Flush Trash
Ever throw a tissue or some other small bit of trash in the toilet and flushed? Older toilets use up to 7 gallons per flush, and low flow toilets use about 1.6 gallons per flush (GPF).
That’s like using one and a half milk jugs to get rid of one small piece of trash. Throw your trash in the trash instead.
Instead of running a garbage disposal, look into composting your food waste.
Even if you don’t have a backyard, there are small composting bins you can keep on a balcony or patio. There are even countertop composting containers.
Choose the Dishwasher
Dishwashers today are much more efficient than hand washing. It might seem counterintuitive but it’s true.
The average kitchen faucet uses about 2 to 3 gallons of water a minute. So if you leave the water running for 10 minutes to hand wash your dishes, you’ve used about 8 to 10 gallons of water. A dishwasher uses 6 gallons of water per load and Energy-star rated dishwashers use 4 per load.
You’d have to be pretty fast at hand washing to beat that, and that includes the time it takes for your water to heat up.
Of course, we’re talking about a full load and no pre-rinsing which can actually decrease the effectiveness of your dishwasher. If you don’t have enough for a full load, you can always use the rinse and hold cycle. This still uses less water than pre-rinsing or hand washing.
However, if you insist on hand washing, consider filling one side of the sink with hot soapy water and turning off the faucet while you wash the dishes instead of leaving it running.
Bonus tip: Use a bucket to collect the cold water that runs while you wait for it to heat up. Then use this to water your plants.
Bonus tip #2: You can do this with shower water, too.
Turn Off Faucet When Brushing Your Teeth
Do you keep the water running when you brush your teeth? With the faucet using 2 to 3 gallons a minute, you’re letting good water (and money) run down the drain if you aren’t turning off the tap when you brush.
Wet your toothbrush and then don’t run the water again until you need it. It might seem strange at first but after some practice, it’ll be second nature.
This is a good practice to build when you wash your hands, too.
We love our lawns. But keeping the grass green and the flowers blooming costs a lot of water. Some estimates claim automatic water sprinklers waste 40% to 50% of the water used.
A water-saving alternative to a sprinkler system is drip irrigation, the delivery of slow-moving water from drip lines/pipes directly in the soil. You don’t lose water to overflow runoff or evaporation with this method.
An added plus, drip irrigation is exempt from Dallas water restrictions.
Turn Off the Hose
Don’t use a water hose to clean off driveways and sidewalks. Use a broom or a leaf blower instead.
And if you wash your car in the driveway, turn off the hose when you’re not using it. Fill a bucket with soap and water, wet your car quickly, and then leave the hose off until it’s time to rinse.
Why Water Conservation Matters
With safe, clean water at our fingertips, it might not seem like we need to worry about saving water.
But with a fast-growing population and no change in water consumption rates, it is important to take steps to conserve water now before it’s too late—especially when you consider we can’t live without it.
2014 Government Accountability Report found “40 of 50 state water managers expected shortages in some portion of their states under average conditions in the next 10 years.”
Let us know what you think in the comments below! And as always, feel free to give us a call.