Did you know that less than 1% of all the water on earth can be used by humans? The rest of the water is either salt (ocean) water or frozen and unable to be used for drinking. This makes fresh water a limited resource that is continuously being used up by people. With this being said, it is vital that we do what we can to conserve water, wasting as little as possible. Below are several ways we can all contribute to water conservation.
- Shower vs. Bath: Taking showers instead of baths can save a lot of water. Taking short showers (preferably under 5 minutes) can conserve even more. On average, a shower uses 10-25 gallons of water, while baths usually use up to 70. If you prefer bathing to showering, be sure and plug the drain as soon as you turn on the water and use the minimum amount of water you need. A great option to save water and money while showering is to install high-efficiency shower fixtures, such as a low-flow showerhead that has a flow rate of fewer than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm). If your showerhead was installed before 1992, it may have a flow rate of 5.5 gpm, so having that replaced will save you a lot of money.
- Fixing Leaks: If your toilet, faucet, or showerhead is leaking, have them repaired. Drips of wasted water can add up quickly. Leaky toilets can waste up to 200 gallons per day, which is equivalent to flushing your toilet over 50 times for absolutely no reason. Leaks are usually easy and cheap to repair. Test your toilet by placing a drop of food coloring in the tank. If the color makes its way into the bowl before you flush, you know you have a leak that needs fixing.
- Turn It Off: If you’re washing your hands, lather them up with soap and then turn on the water to rinse them off. When you’re brushing your teeth, turn off the water until you’re ready to rinse. Running water while brushing can waste approximately four gallons per minute! According to the EPA, turning off the tap when we brush our teeth, can save up to 3,000 gallons of water per year. Don’t turn of on the shower minutes before you hop in merely to “warm up” the water. It doesn’t take five minutes for the shower to warm up. In most cases, it only takes seconds.
- In the Kitchen & Laundry Room: Don’t run the dishwasher when it’s only half full. Fill it all the way (but be sure not to overfill) and then run. Instead of rinsing dishes before loading them into the dishwasher, scrape them instead. Also, instead of using water to thaw frozen food, stick the food into the refrigerator and allow it to thaw overnight or throughout the day while you’re at work. Make sure your loads of laundry are sized accordingly to the correct amount of water. Running washing machines and dishwashers only when they are full has the potential to save you hundreds of gallons of water every month.
- Drinking Water: Instead of running the tap to fill your glass with water to drink every time you’re thirsty, keep a jug of water in the refrigerator. This way, you won’t have to run water through your pipes every time you need a drink, and water won’t be wasted as it runs down the sink before you fill your glass.
- Upgrading: toilets w/water efficient ones, plumbing fixtures that can save you money Toilets are the primary source of water consumption in the house, accounting for about 30 percent in residential homes. If your toilet was installed before 1992, it most likely uses up to 3.5 gallons per flush. On average, replacing your old toilet with a new, energy efficient one can save families of four $2000 in water bills over the toilet’s lifetime. Check into different money and water saving technologies for the home such as dual flush toilets, and high efficiency washing machines, dishwashers, and faucets.
The list of water-saving practices and fixtures that are on the market today is very long. Cyclone Contracting in Ames, Iowa offers a full range of services for customers, including installation, maintenance, and system design. Our highly trained and experienced staff will service or repair any age or brand of fixtures and mechanicals.