Water Conservation at Home
Water conservation opportunities for the home, including cold-water washes in the clothes washer, Energy Star rated clothes washers, showerhead replacement, water faucet aerators, replacing the toilet or a toilet tank bank, stopping leaks, inspecting the irrigation system, and proper landscaping.
The Easy 9: Nine Ways to Become Water Conscious in your Home
1. Take a home water audit quiz.
Take an easy and quick quiz to uncover hidden water conservation opportunities in your home.
2. Flush with less water.
If your toilet was manufactured before 1992 and the toilet has never been replaced, then it is very likely that you do not have a water efficient toilet. You can check the date stamp inside the toilet by lifting the lid and looking at the back of the toilet at the imprint of the make, model and date of manufacture.
There are several ways to reduce your toilet's water usage:
- Flush less often, and only when necessary.
- Consider replacing toilets with models that achieve 1.3 gallons per flush or less, and are EPA Water Sense certified.
- If replacing your toilet is infeasible, you can easily install a toilet tank bank, available through Niagara Conservation. Like the common brick method, this simple gadget allows you to use less water per flush immediately through water displacement.
3. Be water conscious when washing your clothes.
Your clothes washer is the second largest water user in your home. Make sure you only run your washer when you have a full load, and save energy by washing clothes in cold water. If your washer is over 10 years old, replace it with an Energy Star™ rated front-loading washer and you'll use 50% less water and 30% less energy, saving upwards of $135 on utility costs each year.
4. Replace your showerhead.
You can save water and money immediately by installing a low-flow, Water Sense certified showerhead rated at 2 gallons per minute or less. These showerheads, which cut water usage by 20%, are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and can be purchased in many home improvement stores.
5. Install faucet flow restrictors.
Faucet flow restrictors (also called aerators) reduce the flow of water from a faucet by at least 20% while maintaining the same water pressure. Aim for restrictors that achieve 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm) or less, and are EPA Water Sense certified.
6. Stop those leaks!
Check your indoor water using appliances and devices for leaks. Silent leaks allow water and your money to go down the drain. Studies have shown homes can waste more than 10% due to leaking, which costs both you and the environment.
7. Inspect your irrigation system frequently.
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, instead of at night. If you have an older irrigation system, over 50% of the water can be lost to leaks.
8. Make your landscape water friendly.
Lawns and exotic ornamental plants are often the standard landscape, contributing significantly to a household's water footprint. Native plants, or those plants that thrive well in your climate and are historically native to your region, can keep your landscape beautiful without the need for additional water resources. In drier climates, xeriscaping is the native plant solution. See the grounds maintenance section of GreenFaith's website for additional resources on these topics.
9. Get kids involved.
Kids have a great way of noticing details, and of nudging parents to do the right thing. Have your kids do a scavenger hunt in the home to find water conservation opportunities, and have them make their own commitments to water conservation. See 20 ways kids can help to save water. Visit this website which houses many links to water conservation resources and activities for kids.
To learn more about opportunities for water conservation throughout the home, visit H2ouse.