I was talking about saving water with Mrs. Theresa Rapolla, Keep Liberty Beautiful, Program Assistant, and she mentions that this morning while she was brushing her teeth, and noticed that she left the water running. As soon as Theresa realized it, she immediately turned the water off and wanted to break this bad habit.
She thought to herself that we are so lucky to have a reliable supply of fresh, drinkable water that it’s easy for us to take that for granted. Every day we all go about our lives, not realizing that we are wasting water by doing our daily routines in our own home.
According to a 2014 study from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, people tend to underestimate water use and lack knowledge about the most effective ways to conserve.
A survey of over a thousand people believed that taking shorter showers was better than making efficiency upgrades as the best way to conserve water. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average American uses 100 gallons of water daily.
Here are some tips Mrs. Rapolla found on www. Eartheasy.com for making a few simple efficiency upgrades in your home for those most common water wasters in your own home.
Water Waster #1: Your Toilets Your toilet is responsible for up to 25% of household use. An older toilet wastes gallons of water with every flush. Upgrading to a low-flow toilet can save up to 75%! If you’re not ready to replace an older toilet, an adjustable flapper can significantly reduce your usage. You can also put filled plastic bottles or a tank bank in the toilet tank to make it use less water per flush.
Whether you have a low-flow toilet or not, consider a flapper and valve kit designed to detect and prevent leaks and reduce the water needed for each flush. You can also install a dual flush converter, so you’re using as little water as possible for flushes that don’t need more. They’re quick and easy to install and let you cut water waste further, up to 15,000 gallons for an average family.
Water Waster #2: Your Washing Machine Did you know washing your clothes may take up to 54 gallons per load with a conventional top-load washer? The most efficient front loader washers require only seven gallons, substantial water savings. If you’re an average family doing eight loads a week, cutting the water footprint of your laundry with an efficient washer may save you thousands of gallons of water each year, in addition to the energy saved on heating water.
Water Waster #3: Your Shower While far more waterefficient than baths, showers still account for 17% of indoor water use. Using a low-flow showerhead will cut water use by about 40% over standard showerheads. The EPA reports that if every showerhead in the United States were WaterSense models, we’d collectively save 260 billion gallons of water and over $5 billion annually!
Keeping your showers shorter and turning off the water while you lather will cut waste as well. Additionally, since you’re using hot water, conserving in the shower will also save energy.
Water Waster #4: Your Faucets
Faucets account for about 17% of household water use, so adding watersaving aerators to your taps can mean significant savings. Some aerators cut water flow by 77%!
Aerators are simple to install, inexpensive, and can cut water use significantly. Keep an eye out for leaks and fix them immediately. All those little drips can really add up. And of course, remember to turn off the tap when you’re soaping up your hands, or dishes, or brushing your teeth.
Water Waster #5: Leaks
In addition to fixing leaky faucets and toilets, it’s a good practice to check the rest of your house for drips and puddles that could indicate ongoing leaks. According to California’s Save Our Water program, repairing leaks around the home can save up to 110 gallons of water per year. That includes inspecting the pipes under your sinks and in and around your hot water tank.
If you don’t see any evidence of leaks, it’s still worth checking your water meter when you know no one is using water in your house.
Is it moving? Record meter readings over one hour and note the difference. If your meter advances when no water is in use, you have a leak somewhere.
By making these few adjustments in your home, it will have so many positive effects on our environment and save money on your water bill. In addition to saving money on your water bill, conserving water helps prevent water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers, and local watersheds. Conserving water also prevents greenhouse gas emissions from treating and distributing water because it takes energy to process and transport all that liquid.
Lastly, conserving water can also extend the life of your septic system by reducing soil saturation and reducing pollution due to leaks. Overloading municipal sewer systems can also cause untreated sewage to flow to lakes and rivers.
Reducing the amount of water flowing through the systems lowers the possibility of pollution. Your small actions in your own home can make significant changes in our environment. So really, it’s a WIN-WIN situation for you and the earth!
To learn other ways to make a difference, contact Keep Liberty Beautiful through our website: www.keeplibertybeautiful. org, phone (912) 880-4888, or email [email protected]