Water Conservation In and Around The Home - November 21st 2006
Do your part and conserve our precious water!
With another hot and dry summer approaching, many cities and municipalities are introducing new water conservation measures in an attempt to reduce water consumption during the dry summer months. To this end, many are beginning to install water meters for billing purposes and are moving from a flat rate system to a user pay system. This tactic seems to make sense because why should one home with just two people living in it pay the same for their water as the house next door that may have a family of six that use a heck of a lot more water.
As more and more pressure is put on our water supply systems, we will have to get much smarter about using things like water that we have taken for granted for so long.
How can you make a difference?
Here are a few tips that may help make it easier to use less water
Check for leaks
While you are carefully watching your water usage, it is important to make sure that water is not slipping away due to undetected leaks in your system. Many undetected leaks allow water and your money to go down the drain. To help detect unseen leaks, examine your water meter (if you have one). Studies have shown that some homes can waste more than 10% due to unknown water leaks and this wasted water costs both you and the environment.
There are several reasons why you'd want to examine your water meter. First, you might be interested in just how much water you use in a day. By reading your meter at the beginning and the end of the day you can compare the two totals to determine how much water you and your family used. As you and your family start to incorporate water saving measures, you can easily see just how much water you're saving.
The second reason is to check for water leaks. You can tell if you have a leak by turning off all the taps in your house. Then, take a look at your water meter and if you see that it is still turning, chances are you have a leak somewhere.
Toilets are a common source of unnoticed leaks. Undetected, hundreds of litres of water can be wasted each day. Leaks often occur when component parts are worn and need replacing or adjusting. Here are a few simple tips to tell if your toilet is leaking:
- Listen for leaks. If you hear the sound of running water, your toilet is leaking.
- Add food colouring or dye to the toilet tank and wait 20 minutes. If coloured water appears in the toilet bowl, a leak is present.
Replace your old Toilet, the largest water user inside your home.
If your home was built before 1992 and the toilet has never been replaced, then it is very likely that you do not have a water efficient 1.6 gallon per flush toilet. You can check the date stamp inside the toilet by lifting the lid and looking at the back of the toilet at the manufacturer's imprint of the make, model and date of manufacture.
Remember to check all faucets and pipes periodically. Watch for drips, and quickly replace faulty parts. A leaking faucet can waste as much drinking water in a single day as the amount required to sustain one person for an entire week.
Replace your Clothes Washer, the second largest water user in your home.
Energy Star rated washers that also have a Water Factor at or lower than 9.5, use 35-50% less water and 50% less energy per load. This saves you money on both your water and energy bills.
Irrigation System Leaks
Another large water waster can be leaks in your irrigation system. Fix irrigation system leaks quickly and check for water in the gutters or mud puddles. Inspect your sprinklers and drip sprayers regularly for leaks during the daytime since the optimal time to water is in the nighttime hours when you cannot observe leaks. If you have an older irrigation system, over 50% and even more than 75% of the water can be lost to leaks.
Plant the Right Plants with Proper Landscape Design & Irrigation
Whether you are putting in a new landscape or slowing changing the current landscaping at your home, select plants that are appropriate for your local climate conditions. Having a yard with 100% lawn turf area in a dry climate uses significant amounts of water to keep the grass green.
Water Only What Your Plants Need
Most water is wasted in your garden by watering when you plants do not need the water or by not maintaining the irrigation system. Be attentive if you are manual watering by setting your oven timer or some other reminder to move the sprinkler promptly. If you have an irrigation system, make sure your irrigation controller has a rain shutoff device and that it's appropriately scheduled. Most water is wasted in the months prior to or just after the rainy season when intermittent rains occur.
Water Saving Products
Many of us resist adopting some water saving measures such as low flow showerheads because they don't provide the performance we are used to. Finally, there is a solution to the shower problem that you can adopt without having to sacrifice convenience or comfort. You might want to replace your existing showerheads with the Oxygenics Skin Care Showerhead in all your bathrooms. The Oxygenics Skin Care Showerhead can reduce your water usage up to 70% and leave you with a shower that meets or exceeds your expectations. Many five-star luxury hotels equip the showers in every guest room with the Oxygenics Showerheads so they can provide their hotel guests with a great, spa-like shower and at the same time, they can save thousands of gallons of water every day for the hotel because of the low-flow feature. Oxygenics has developed a patented method of introducing air/oxygen into the water stream to create a spa like experience. The Oxygenics Showerheads are available at Canadian Tire and at Home Depot as well as on-line for those of you that like to shop on the Internet at the Shopping Channel.
Another win/win situation that can provide you with convenience and conserve water can be achieved by installing something called an Autocirc Pump. Do you ever have to run your hot water tap water for a few minutes while you wait for hot water to get to the faucet? If so, you may want to consider an Autocirc. The Autocirc is designed to circulate hot water throughout the hot water pipes in your home so that there is an instant supply of hot water when you turn on the tap and therefore eliminates the need to waste all the water that's going down the drain while you wait for the hot water to get there. To learn more about the Autocirc, visit www.autocirc.com for more information.
In our research about water conservation, we came across a great website that has a lot of great information about conserving water. We received permission to provide you with a link to the Virtual Water Saver Home website that you'll find at www.h2ouse.org. This website is well worth the visit and is full of great tips to make your home as water efficient as possible.
Remember, with so many ways to save water, do your part. Every drop counts!