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If a World War III were to take place, some say it would be over water.
Water is one commodity that we just can’t do without. Even though it is a renewable resource, water fit for human consumption is reducing at an alarming rate due to pollution, an increase in population and industrial use.
Several states experiencing severe water stress are looking at possible ways to reduce water expenditure. It’s high time we took a sincere effort to cut down on the use of water within our own households.
But why should you reduce water usage if you are living in an area with no water scarcity? Simple: It takes a lot of power to supply water into our homes. So when we conserve the water that reaches our homes, we are indirectly saving power, too.
Using less water naturally results in the generation of less sewage, which is one of the major agents of water pollution. It also translates to reduction in the cost of sewage treatment.
Here are a few simple measures that will go a long way in reducing your water footprint – and save you money.
1. Check for leaks and repair them promptly.
Leaks in the water network are one of the most common culprits of water wastage. A dripping faucet can result in the loss of 20 gallons per day. While you’ll always see leaks from the tips of taps, those in the plumbing line are not so easy to spot.
As washers deteriorate with age, small amounts of water may start leaking into the toilet bowls from the flush tanks. Until this continuous flow precipitates stains in the toilet bowl, it may go unnoticed. Adding some food coloring into the flush tank is a simple way to check it. If the color appears in the bowl, change the washer.
In places where water freezes in winter, the plumbing should be checked for damage when the weather warms up. Replacing broken pipes and joints will not only protect your house from mold but also from water waste – and potentially from bigger, more costly problems. Insulating the water line will go a long way in preventing such seasonal damages.
One way to check for leaks in concealed areas is to shut down all the taps for two hours and then check the water meter readings at the start and end of that period.
2. Use aerators in faucets.
Faucet aerators are nothing but a piece of mesh fitted to the tip of the water spout. When air gets mixed with the water, it gives the impression of higher pressure. People usually have them in places where water pressure is low. Preventing splashing while washing hands and vessels and reduction in sound level are additional benefits.
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This simple device can save quite a bit of water as you get better cleaning with lower flow rate, and consequently, with less amount of water. They are inexpensive and easy to install. Whether you have a local regulation that stipulates the use of aerators or not, it’s a great idea to get them fitted to the end of all faucets you use for washing and cleaning.
3. Use the flush only when necessary.
A lot of water is flushed down the toilet in every household, some of it quite unnecessarily. It may be a quick way to get rid of trash like used face tissues and other items, but it results in water wastage. Toilet bowls should not be treated as bottomless waste bins. Only soiled tissue should be flushed down, and it should be done along with the waste at one go.
Keep a waste paper bin near the toilet. After you use tissue papers to wipe your face or hands, instead of flushing them down the toilet, put them in the waste paper bin and add it to your paper waste.
4. Reduce flush-water volume.
Flush tank capacity of many units is as high as 5 gallons per use. Toilets can be effectively flushed with less than half that quantity of water. There are several new models that use 2 gallons or less. However, the toilet design should be suited to the low-flush feature, so if you are not ready to spend that extra to install new systems, there are ways to reduce flush water volume in your existing ones.
The simplest and cheapest way is to keep a plastic bottle filled with pebbles and water inside the flush tank. Find the amount of water required for effective flushing by trying out different-sized bottles. You shouldn’t be required to flush a second time, as it will result in more wastage. Tank banks that can be dropped into the flush tanks cost as little as $5 or even less.
All toilet uses do not require the same amount of flushing. There comes the benefit of having a dual flush system. If you don’t have it in your present tanks, drop-in kits can be used to convert them into dual system. They may cost around $30 per unit, a good investment when you consider water savings of up to 70 percent every time you use the toilet for functions that qualify for low water usage.
5. Take showers instead of tub baths.
A shower, though not as luxurious an experience as a bath in the tub, will serve the purpose just as well. A typical tub takes 60-70 gallons of water while a 5-minute shower uses up just 1/3 of that.
To further reduce the amount, you can go in for water-saving showerheads. A finer spray makes more effective cleaning with less amount of water. There are temperature-controlled ones, too, that save power by saving hot water.
6. Start a compost pile.
How does a compost pile relate to saving water? Well, most households have garbage disposal units fitted in their kitchen sinks. It’s a quick and convenient way to get rid of kitchen waste. You are even convinced that taking all that wet stuff away from the municipal dumps is a service to the community. But you actually are just diverting all that biomass from the garbage by putting them right into the septic system, along with a lot of extra water!
There are many different composting options available out there besides the traditional compost pile in the yard. Worm bins for vermicomposting , cockroach composting, black soldier composting and bokashi are a few of the options for smaller spaces. Besides saving a lot of water, you will get rich compost for your garden and pots.
Start saving water today, because tomorrow might be too late.
What are your water-saving ideas? Leave your reply in the section below: