Water is necessary for us to live. Although it may seem that there is an abundance (it comes out of our tap every time we turn it on), water is not unlimited. In addition, as the amount of water available decreases the cost for it goes up in water bills.
The EPA estimates that an average family of 4 in the U.S. consumes around 400 gallons of water a day, 280 of which are used indoors. At least 20-30% of that water usage can be reduced with a few simple acts and upgrades. Here are ideas and tips for ways to reduce water use.
Conserving and using water wisely helps our community, heath and economy thrive along with the environment.
- Be aware of how high the water is on when you use it. We are in the habit of turning the water on all the way but rarely need it that high. We can save a lot of water and money by simply opening the faucet only half way.
- Save water for another use. Keep a pitcher on hand near the sink or shower to catch extra water for another use. While waiting for the water to get hot or cold, put the pitcher under the faucet or a bucket under the showerhead. Use that water for your plants, to wash fruit and vegetables, for your pet, or for cleaning. It may seem excessive, but in reality, every drop counts.
- Stop and fix leaks. Whether it is a faucet, your shower or your toilet, take action today to stop the leak. Sometimes it is as simple as tightening a knob with a wrench, other times you may need to bring in a professional. A toilet that is running constantly could be leaking up to 200 gallons a day. Not only will you save water by fixing your leaks, but you’ll also be saving money on your water bill.
- Install low-flow fixtures. Low-flow faucet aerators and showerheads are reasonably priced and can affect huge water savings. Look for WaterSense® labeled products that use 20% less water than other fixtures.
– Water: Low Flow Water Fixtures, Park City Green.org
- Trade out your toilet. Since toilets are responsible for 27% of indoor household water use, it’s worth looking into replacing yours. Newer and more water efficient toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush or less.
- Replace your appliances. The most water efficient dishwashers and clothes washers are also ENERGY STAR® labeled, which also means reduced energy use. Use your appliances efficiently by washing only full loads of dishes or clothes. Wait the extra meal to have enough dishes or another day until you have enough clothes to make running that appliance worth it. While some appliances have settings for smaller loads, most do not, and use just as much water to wash a few things as it does to wash a full load. Be sure to read your appliance manuals thoroughly to understand the various settings and energy saving cycles to efficiently wash your dishes or clothes.
- Insulate hot and cold water pipes if they are in an unheated garage or exposed beneath your house.
- Turn off water faucets immediately after use. You can save thousands of gallons of water a year by simply not letting water run when we are washing dishes or brushing
- Monitor your water bill to check for excess usage. This could indicate a break in your water line that can cost you thousands of dollars in water bills.