With reduced snowmelt and runoff this year as well as decreased seasonal rains, the water we do have needs to be used wisely.
It is estimated that 90% of all water used in a single-family home during a three-month winter averaging period goes into the sewer system, and that the remaining 10% is used for drinking, cooking, landscaping, and other outside uses.
Let’s take a look at some easy changes in our indoor lifestyles to help cut down on water use and waste.
– When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
– Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost instead and save gallons every time.
– Wash your produce in the sink or a pan that is partially filled with water instead of running water from the tap. Reuse it to water houseplants.
– If your shower fills a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, then replace it with a water-efficient showerhead.
– YOUR CHALLENGE/ASSIGNMENT: Take a jug or bucket into your next shower and measure how much water you let run (normally down the drain) until you have the water temperature you desire. You will be surprised! Reuse that water to flush a toilet, water plants, fill the dog bowl – get creative! Think of all that water you are saving!
– Time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes. You’ll save up to 1000 gallons a month.
– Install low-volume toilets.
– Put food coloring in your toilet tank. If it seeps into the toilet bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Fixing it can save up to 1000 gallons a month.
– Grab a wrench and fix that leaky faucet. It’s simple, inexpensive, and can save 140 gallons a week. A continuous leak with a diameter of 1/8 inch, over three months, would waste 296,000 gallons or 23,125 standard cups of coffee.
– Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save 4 gallons a minute. That’s 200 gallons a week for a family of four.
– Turn off the water while you shave and you can save more than 100 gallons a week.
– When you are washing your hands, don’t let the water run while you lather.
Next month, we will look at ways to reduce, conserve, and use water wisely in our yards and gardens.
Check out these sites for more water usage facts and suggestions on how you can help conserve water in your everyday life: