Water conservation has become an essential practice in all regions, even in areas where water seems abundant.
In addition to saving money on your utility bill, water conservation helps prevent water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers and local watersheds.
Conserving water can also extend the life of your drainage system by reducing wear and tear, and reducing any pollution due to leaks. Overloading municipal sewer systems can also cause untreated sewage to flow to lakes and rivers like the beautiful river Ouse here on the Southdowns national park. The smaller the amount of water flowing through these systems, the lower the likelihood of pollution. In some communities, costly sewage system expansion has been avoided by communitywide household water conservation.
Water conservation in the home…
1. Check taps and pipes for leaks
A small drip from a worn tap washer can waste 100 litres of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.
2. Don’t use the toilet as a bin.
Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of rubbish, five to ten litres of water is wasted.
3. Check your toilets for leaks
Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install.
4. Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks
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.
5. Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow tap aerators
Inexpensive water-saving low-flow shower heads or restrictors are easy for the homeowner to install. Also, long, hot showers can use twenty five to fifty litres every unneeded minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rinse off. “Low-flow” means it uses less than twelve litres per minute.
Also, all household taps should be fit with aerators. This single best home water conservation method is also the cheapest!
6. Put plastic bottles or float booster in your toilet tank
To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. Or, employ a plumber to install a new eco toilet. This may save fifty or more litres of water per day.
For new installations, consider buying “low flush” toilets, which use five to ten litres per flush instead of the usual fifteen to twenty five litres.
Replacing an 18 liter per flush toilet with an ultra-low volume (ULV) 6 liter flush model represents a 70% savings in water flushed and will cut indoor water use by about 30%.
7. Insulate your water pipes.
It’s easy and inexpensive to insulate your water pipes with pre-slit foam pipe insulation. You’ll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.
8. Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush
There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.
9. Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads
Automatic dishwashers and clothes washers should be fully loaded for optimum water conservation. Most makers of dishwashing soap recomend not pre-rinsing dishes which is a big water savings.
With clothes washers, avoid the permanent press cycle, which uses an added 20 liters (5 gallons) for the extra rinse. For partial loads, adjust water levels to match the size of the load. Replace old clothes washers. New Energy Star rated washers use 35 – 50% less water and 50% less energy per load.
10. Minimize use of kitchen sink rubbish disposal units
In-sink ‘macerators’ require lots of water to operate properly, and also add considerably to the volume of solids in a septic tank which can lead to maintenance problems. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste.
11. When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing
If you have a double-sink, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have a single sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a panful of hot water. If using a dishwasher, there is usually no need to pre-rinse the dishes.
12. Don’t let the tap run while you clean vegetables
Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water.
13. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge.
Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful. Store drinking water in the fridge in a water filter. If you are filling water bottles to bring along on outdoor hikes, consider buying a LifeStraw personal water filter which enables users to drink water safely from rivers or lakes or any available body of water.
Here at Total Electrical and Plumbing Solutions we have a great team of plumbers that are keen to carry-out any of those small yet extremely important jobs to help you and the environment around you. Why not go to our plumbing section on our website to see a list of prices?