It is no secret, water is used in the home every single day. From running the dishwasher to filling up a glass of water, and from taking a shower to washing a load of laundry, water is an absolute necessity. Water, in all of its forms, is easily used and needed. It is also easily wasted. Here are five simple ways to save water in the home.
Only run your dishwasher when it is full. According to Water Use It Wisely, running the dishwasher with a full load can save up to 1,000 gallons of water per month.
Furthermore, upgrading an old model dishwasher for a high efficiency model can save gallons of water every year. According to Home Water Works, the average old model dishwasher uses approximately 10 to 15 gallons of water per load. Conversely, ENERGY STAR® dishwashers (and other high efficiency models) use as little as 5.5 gallons of water per load reducing water usage by approximately 1,000 gallons per year.
Ultimately, running a dishwasher is more efficient than washing dishes by hand. According to Scientific American, hand washing dishes can use 20 gallons of water or more, if the water is left running to scrape away bits and pieces of leftover food. This is twice the amount it takes to run an old model dishwasher, so put down the dish soap and load the dishwasher instead!
Take shorter showers. The average person showers for 8.2 minutes per shower. However, shower times can last much longer than the recommended average. According to Water Use It Wisely, shortening shower time by two minutes can save 150 gallons of water per month.
Instead of letting the cold water run down the drain before it gets warm, catch the water in a tub and use it to water plants or the lawn. According to Home Water Works, the average flow rate of a showerhead is 2.1 gallons per minute.
For example, say one person lets the shower run for three minutes before each shower, which adds up to 6.3 gallons of water. Now say that person lets the water run for three minutes before every day for a year. That totals to 2,299.5 gallons of water. Now multiply that by the average U.S. household size of four people and 9,198 gallons of water can be wasted in a year.
Turn off the water. According to Water Use It Wisely, turning off the faucet while brushing teeth or lathering hands with soap saves up to 4 gallons of water per minute.
Since brushing teeth for up to 2 minutes every morning and night and washing hands frequently throughout the day are both recommended, turning the water off while performing these tasks will significantly cut down water used. The same principle is true for showering.
Check for leaks. A leak from a faucet is usually easy to notice, but a leak from a toilet is harder to find. To check for toilet leaks, simply remove the tank lid and place several drops of food coloring in the tank. If the color appears in the bowl, the toilet has a leak to repair.
The fool-proof way to detect a leak is to track the water meter and/or water bill of the home to see if water consumption is unusual. If the bill is abnormally high, there might be a leak inside the home.
According to Water Use It Wisely, one drip from leaking faucets, showerheads, or toilets can add up to 5 gallons of water per day. If a leaking faucet wastes 5 gallons a day for a year, 1,825 gallons of water are wasted.
Change your appliances. Old appliances waste more water on average than new, high efficiency appliances. Retrofitting appliances will add up in a big way. Appliances that are not working properly should especially be replaced with an updated version.
Water Sense® labeled products are one component of the water-saving partnership endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA also promotes energy-saving products, with Energy Star® labels.
Clearly, water is used throughout the entire household every day. However, it is also easily wasted. Since water is such a necessity for daily living it is important that everyone does their part in conserving it, or at least not wasting it.