Conserving water at home

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Toilet-llqq-001You don’t have to live in a drought area like California to know that saving water in the home makes sense. Many municipalities are forcing you to have a spy-in-the-home in the form of a smart meter which allows you measure your water use BUT also allows the authorities to know as well. It’s only a matter of time before they start fining users for water use they consider excessive.

Toilet

  • Flush only when necessary. Don’t use your toilet for a garbage disposal and/or trash can. Consider installing a low-flow toilet (required for replacements and new installations)
  • Install a water-saving displacement device for older toilets, or make a device that won’t harm your plumbing such as a toilet dam or weighted plastic jug full of water. Be sure that installation does not interfere with operating parts. DO NOT use a brick — it may disintegrate and cause problems.
  • Check overflow pipes to be sure that water isn’t draining. Request a leak detector kit from your local water provider or simply add dark food coloring to TANK water. DON’T FLUSH! Check water in TOILET BOWL 15-20 minutes later. Color in the toilet bowl means you have a leak.
  • If you have a big tank, consider displacing the water with a small heavy object like a brick or stone. BUT you must place it in the tank carefully as it would easily bust the tank if you dropped it.

Sinks

  • Fill bowl with water instead of letting water run when you wash, brush teeth or shave.
  • Repair leaks and attend to drips promptly.   Install water saving devices. Try a faucet aerator to reduce amount of water used.

Tub or Shower

  • Take shallow baths and plug the drain before you run water. Keep showers short with pressure at low force. Re-use bathwater to water your lawn or shrubs or for heavy cleaning jobs like floors or cars.
  • Install water-saving devices. Use a low-flow shower head, flow restrictor or cut off valve (lets you shut off water at shower head while soaping up and shampooing without changing the faucet setting)

 

How to Save Water in the Kitchen

Dishwasher

  • Economize. Do only full loads. Avoid using extra cycles. Choose a water-saving model. Repair leaks. Inspect all connections to make sure they are tight and dry.

Hand washing Dishes

  • Scrape dishes, but don’t pre-rinse. Soak pots and pans before washing. Instead of running water continuously, fill wash and rinse basins with water. Use minimum amount of detergent.

Garbage Disposal

  • Use sink disposal unit sparingly, (but never use without running water) or use a garbage can or compost heap instead.

Food Preparation

  • Use a brush and bowl full of water to wash vegetables. Thaw frozen food in your refrigerator, not under running water.

Drinking Water

  • Instead of cooling water by letting the faucet, keep a container of cold water in the refrigerator. Make only the amount of coffee, tea, etc. you expect to consume.

 

How to Save Water in the Laundry

More than 10% of all water used at home is used in the washing machine, so even small investments of time and money can pay off in the long run.

  • Use the load selector to match water level to size of load. Presoak heavily soiled items. Always use minimum amount of detergent.
  • Check faucets and hose connections for leaks. Repair or replace when necessary. Inspect pipes for pinhole leaks or leaking joints.
  • If buying a new washer, purchase one with conservation features. Choose a washer with load size selector or variable water level control.

Saving Water Outside the Home

Hoses 

  • Check hose and connectors. Repair or replace leaky parts or sections.
  • Use a nozzle which can be shut off or adjusted to fine spray. When finished, shut off at the house instead of at nozzle to avoid leaks. Consider a water-saving drip irrigation system which provides a slow steady supply of water to garden and shrubbery.

Lawn & Garden

  • Water slowly and thoroughly during cool, windless hours, as infrequently as possible. Let grass grow taller in hot weather. Use mulch in the garden and around shrubs to save moisture. Plant native and other shrubs that don’t need a lot of watering. Consider alternatives to big thirsty lawns.
  • Re-using water is a good idea. Some cleaning water and pool water is fine for watering lawn and garden.

Car

  • Rinse car once, wash from bucket of soapy water, rinse quickly again. Used water is fine for chrome, hub caps, and wheels.

Driveways & Walkways

  • Use a broom or rake instead of water to remove leaves, clippings, debris.

Pool

  • Keep level low to minimize splashing. Use a cover to slow evaporation (keeps water cleaner, too).
  • Check walls, filtration systems, inlets; repair where needed.