You are reading the words of a person who thinks the main reason for civilization is hot running water, so please don’t take me for a water tee-totaler. It’s just really easy to lower your water consumption, and in the case of hot water fixtures, to lower your energy costs as well.
- Replace your older toilets with low-flow models. Toilet flushing accounts for a huge portion of your water use. Well designed low flow toilets work, as we in this area allegedly say, pissah. Please see our information on products we like for our toilet recommendations. New low flow models can use as little as 1 gallon per flush, and all low flows use 1.6 gallons or less. If you have a toilet of the 1970’s in your house, you are using 3.5 gallons for every flush, a toilet of the 1940’s will use up to 5 gallons for each flush. A 1920’s model (with the tank attached to the wall and a chrome elbow between the tank and the bowl) will use 6 gallons or more per flush, even with that half gallon milk jug full of pebbles you put in there… Switch your 5 gallon model for a 1.6 and you’ll save 34 gallons in a ten flush day. Multiply by 365 and you save 12,410 gallons per year. For one toilet. Just saying.
- Replace aerators on your kitchen and bathroom sink spouts with new lower flow models. An aerator forces the water stream to pass through a series of restrictors and screens which breaks up the stream, increases the velocity and adds air to it. The result is a bit like whipped butter- more volume from the same amount of material; you use less without noticing. Replacement aerators come in half gallon per minute increments, so you can experiment with what works best for which faucet. New faucets may not accept a standard aerator but most new faucets already have low flow aerators on them.
- Upgrade your showerhead. Energy saving and water saving come together in your shower. There are a million kinds of showerheads, and a good plumbing showroom will have displays where you can see and feel what comes out of different models. A new showerhead is rated for 2.5 gallons per minute. Reputable companies, like Grohe, make excellent shower fixtures, even “rain shower” heads that use only 2.5 gallons per minute.
- Choose water saving appliances. Dishwashers and clothes washing machines use way less water than they used to. You do know that a typical top loader uses 40 some gallons for one large load? A new front loader can use as little as 15 gallons per load. This is another place where you get double savings for using less hot water as well.
- Check yourself. Don’t let the water run when you are not using it. Just do the math. If your bathroom sink faucet lets out 2.5 gallons a minute and you brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day that’s 10 gallons of water a day to brush your teeth. Think you need that much? How about if we multiply by 365? You can do that in your head: 3,650 gallons of water just for the teeth of one American. What if you had to carry that to your bathroom in a 5 gallon bucket at 42 lb. per trip (for a 30,441 lb. total)? Who needs a gym? Same thing but worse washing dishes- worse because people take longer to do the dishes. At 2.5 gallons a minute for twenty minutes, let’s see…50 gallons-that’s more than a load of laundry. If you can’t feel good about using a dishpan, use the dishwasher- that will really save you water. (But see the Swedish study about child immunity and automatic dishwashers for another side to this debate).
- Don’t water your lawn when it’s raining. They have moisture sensors to keep your lawn sprinklers from coming on when they don’t have to. Better yet, landscape to save water, be more pollinator friendly and cut back on having to mow grass. These folks can help.
- Harvest water. I know where you can get water for free. Tons of it. Ask us, and we’ll help you take advantage of this free offer. Operators are standing by at Pipelines.