Water is essential for human survival. You can survive without food for one month, but more than a week of not drinking a single drop of water can end your life.
Water is used for practically everything that you do. You need water for cooking, taking a bath, washing the dishes, laundry, cleaning the house, and many other basic activities.
These are the reasons why when the faucet or shower suddenly stops working or your water suddenly turns muddy; you wonder what’s wrong - because you just had a long leisurely shower the other day. You haven’t had plumbing maintenance for a while, but things were working well the last time you checked. What you do not know, though, is that all these are related to your water supply and how efficiently you use it.
Practicing water efficiency is the best way to avoid situations like the one mentioned above. How do you use your water resources? Do you save or waste water? How much water do you consume (or waste) every day? Learning how to lessen or eliminate water wastage should be a goal for you from now on – and the first thing you need to do is understand what it means to be water efficient.
01. At home, Americans consume approximately 82 gallons of water every day. This is according to data collected by the United States Geological Survey (or USGS) in 2015.
If households switch to using water-efficient products, such as EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) WaterSense criteria-certified models, they can save you thousands of gallons of water and over $100 in expenses every year.
Bathroom faucets, showers, toilets, and other appliances relying on the water should immediately be replaced once they become inefficient.
02. Household leaks waste a lot of water. Consider these facts:
If you have a leaking faucet, you are wasting 60 drips of water every minute. This totals to an annual wastage of 2,000 gallons.
If all household numbers are totaled, annual wastage due to leaks can add up to approximately 900 billion gallons. This is equal to the annual water consumption of at least 11 million homes.
Apartment building water bills routinely run in the thousands, leaving landlords to overpay month after month because of water leaks without realizing it.
Household water leaks should not be taken for granted. Saving those drips of water can save you gallons and several hundreds of hard-earned dollars. Change your leaky faucets (and toilets) to water-efficient ones.
03. Over 20% of indoor household water consumption is from washing laundry.
How many times do you load clothes into your washing machine? Do you use hot or cold water?How big (or small) is your washing machine? These are all factors that can affect water efficiency.
You have to have the right washing machine for your typical laundry load size. A family of six needs a bigger load washing machine than a family of three needs because they have more clothes to wash. Getting a washing machine with the proper load size will minimize your use of it, as well as your water consumption. You have to learn how to adjust your machine settings accordingly.
Also, to save on energy use, use cold water when doing laundry.
Lastly, front-loading washing machines are more water and energy-efficient than top-loading ones.
Water flow regulators are a great tool that can be used to maintain the pace of flowing water, no matter how much water pressure there might otherwise be. Water flow control devices are widely used in the plumbing industry, controlling the flow of water in a system. These devices are designed to control water flow by allowing water to flow to the toilet only when a user is present. By controlling how much water is being used, you can reduce toilet leaks.
04. Washing the dishes by hand consumes more gallons of water than using a dishwasher.
Each time you hand wash your dishes, you consume approximately 20 gallons of water. If you have one, use a dishwasher instead. If you do not have one, save for one.
Choose dishwashers that are Energy Star-certified as these are more efficient than standard ones. They use only more or less four gallons of water for every load. The standard ones consume an average of six gallons, still significantly lower than hand washing.
05. A 10-minute shower can cost you gallons of water.
If you like taking showers and are not yet using a low-flow showerhead, you should switch to one right away. Compared to a standard one, a low-flow showerhead can save you around 10 to 15 gallons of water on a 10-minute shower.
It's also a good idea to choose water-efficient-labeled showerhead models.
06. Watering your lawn every day for 20 minutes consumes a large amount of water.
If you have an average-sized lawn and water it every day for 20 minutes, your total water consumption can equal to around 800 showers or four straight days of running a shower.
Almost 60% of your household’s water footprint can be attributed to lawn care, so you have to find efficient ways. Schedule your lawn maintenance weekly or semi-weekly; do not do it every day.
Remember all the facts mentioned above and try to follow the suggestions. Work with an experienced professional plumber for regular maintenance to ensure that your water systems are in good condition.
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About the author
Rachel Watson is the Senior Content Editor of Precision Air & Plumbing, a full-service HVAC, plumbing, and home performance contractor operating in Chandler, Arizona. Rachel enjoys yoga and writing articles about how to make home living more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.
The Water Scrooge™ offers water conservation ways and products to multi-family landlords and homeowners, including: shower flow controllers, Leak Detection Systems, Toilet Leak Prevention Devices (The Toilet Scrooge™), water flow management devices (SMART Valve™), toilet calibration and DIY products.
Also featuring The Water Scrooge™ App. Our app empowers your team to carry out the installation of our kits. With it, you can also record and track data points about the units (other than water usage).