Excessive water use is a waste of a natural resource that also raises your utility bill. Although much of our planet is covered in water, only a fraction of it is freshwater that’s suitable for human use. Taking steps toward saving water at home keeps more money in your pocket and conserves this vital resource.
Repair Plumbing Leaks Promptly
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a faucet that leaks only one drip per second wastes more than 3,000 gallons of water a year. Saving water at home requires you to repair leaks in a timely fashion. Take a moment to inspect your plumbing for problems. Check faucets, shower heads, toilets, and hose bibs for dampness.
A toilet that makes noise when it’s not in use has a leak. However, not all toilet leaks are obvious. An easy way to check a toilet is to put a few drops of food coloring in the tank. Wait 20 minutes, then look in the bowl. If you see colored water, your toilet is leaking. Fortunately, you probably don’t need to replace the toilet. You likely only need to replace a worn flapper, which is an inexpensive and easy do-it-yourself project.
Turn the Water Off
Many people leave the water running while they complete daily activities like brushing their teeth, shaving, cleaning their face, or washing dishes. Turning your faucet off during these activities can save hundreds of gallons of water each month. Showers account for a large portion of home water use. Your shower uses much less water if you turn the water off to lather and turn the water on to rinse.
Saving Water at Home by Making Plumbing Upgrades
Depending on the age of your toilet, installing a new one is a significant way of saving water at home. Toilets manufactured before 1994 use up to five gallons every time you flush. Today’s toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush.
Replacing an older shower head will also yield water savings. Shower heads made before 1992 use approximately five gallons of water per minute. Now it’s easy to find shower heads that have a flow rate between 1.5 to 2.5 gallons per minute.
A faucet aerator looks like a screen on the end of your faucet. The aerator’s purpose is to reduce how many gallons of water flow through per minute. If your faucet doesn’t have an aerator, it’s easy and inexpensive to add one.
Saving Water in the Yard
Watering the garden with a watering can uses less water than doing the job with a hose. Another way of saving water at home is to install a rain barrel. It catches stormwater, which you can use to water your garden for free. If you’re planting a new garden, choose drought-resistant plants. They’ll thrive without a lot of care (i.e. watering) from you.