Water conservation is important for a number of reasons, as water is increasingly precious. Conserving our water means preserving natural resources, reducing environmental impact and saving money on water bills.
There are many ways to conserve water in our homes, and plumbing can play a big role. If you have a plumbing job that’s too advanced for DIY, contact At Home Pros. Our experts can connect you to pre-screened, top-rated plumbing professionals in your area.
If you’re interested in saving water, it’s important to take a look at your plumbing. The pipes, faucets and other inner workings of your home’s infrastructure can help you save water. Here’s how.
Install low-flow fixtures
One of the easiest ways to help conserve water in your home is to install low-flow fixtures in your kitchen and toilets in your bathrooms. Low-flow toilets, faucets and showerheads use significantly less water than traditional fixtures. They can save you money on your water bill and help to conserve water resources.
For example, a low-flow toilet uses about 1.28 gallons of water per flush, while a standard toilet uses about 1.6 gallons per flush. This means that a family of four could save about 10,000 gallons of water per year by switching to low-flow toilets.
There are two types of low-flow toilets: gravity-flow and pressure assist.
- Gravity-flow toilets: The mechanics of this toilet are pretty simple. A low-gravity version fills the bowl with so much water that the pressure then pushes its contents through the curved trap beneath it. The original versions of these types of toilets, unfortunately, used a lot of water, but there are newer versions that use a siphon effect to lessen water usage.
- Pressure-assist toilets: If you’ve used a public restroom in a mall lately, you’ve most likely used a pressure-assisted toilet. A pressurized water tank flushes the bowl with a lot of water when the handle or button is depressed. These models are often called jet-flush toilets and, although they were only used commercially at first, there are now residential modes available as well.
Shower heads use a great deal of your household’s water supply, up to 17%. Just by switching out the shower heads in your bathrooms to low-flow versions can significantly save water, reducing your bills as well as the toll on the environment.
Even a small leak can waste a lot of water over time. Check your faucets, toilets and pipes for leaks and fix them as soon as possible. A slow leak somewhere deep in your pipes can cost thousands of gallons of water a year. A dripping faucet can waste up to 2,000 gallons of water per year, but toilets are the worst. A leaking toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water daily.
You can easily check to see if your toilet has a leak by adding a few drops of food coloring to the tank. If your toilet is leaking, the color will show up in the bowl in about 30 minutes. You can fix the leak in your toilet by looking for bent, corroded, or damaged areas, and replacing the parts in question with a kit of replacement parts, easily to locate and use.
Take shorter showers
Showers account for a large portion of household water usage. Taking shorter showers can save a significant amount of water. A five-minute shower uses about 25 gallons of water, while a ten-minute shower uses about 50 gallons of water.
If you take a shower every day, you can save about 10,000 gallons of water per year by taking shorter showers. This averages to about 1,000 gallons of saved water a month, just by installing a timer for your showers.
Turn off the faucet when brushing
One of the simplest moves you can make is to twist the faucet to the ‘off’ position when you’re brushing your teeth every morning and night.
If you think about it, you don’t need to keep the water running while you brush your teeth. Turn it off and save water. Brushing your teeth for two minutes uses about two gallons of water if you keep the tap running. If you turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth, you can save about 1,000 gallons of water per year.
Rainwater can be used for watering plants, washing cars and other outdoor activities. Collecting rainwater is a great way to conserve water and reduce your reliance on municipal water supplies.
For everything that isn’t bathing or cooking, you can use the water you’ve collected to do everything else. It’s easy to collect rainwater in a rain barrel or cistern. A rain barrel is a simple way to collect rainwater, and they typically hold about 50 gallons of water.
Water your lawn less
Most lawns don’t need to be watered every day. In fact, watering your lawn less often can save water and help to prevent water pollution. It’s better to water your lawn deeply but less often. This will help the roots of your grass grow deeper and make them more drought-tolerant.
Also make sure to water your lawn only in the mornings and evenings, and never on a windy day. If you choose to water when it’s very hot out or when the sun is shining very brightly, you risk wasting water to evaporation. Additionally, watering during the heat of the day can actually damage your lawn. The droplets of water left on the blades of grass can magnify the sun’s rays and scorch the grass.
To prevent a shallow root system, water two to three times a week, in the morning or in the evening, and water for a longer time. This will benefit your water bill, the local water table and your lawn by training it to form deeper roots and be more resistant to days of dryness.
Aerate your lawn
Aerating your lawn helps to improve drainage and allows water to reach the roots of your grass more easily. This can help when you decide to water your lawn less often. You can aerate your lawn with a rented aerator or by hiring a lawn care professional.
There are also other versions that allow you to simply strap the aerators over your shoes and walk with purpose on your lawn. A rented aerator from your local gardening center can help with larger projects, or you can contact At Home Pros to find an experienced lawn care professional.
Another great gardening tip that will help you save water is to only plant in the fall and in the spring. This will lessen the amount of water you will need to use to establish the new plants’ root systems. Bulbs are always a wonderful choice to plant in the fall as they are some of the first flowers to come up after winter.
These are just a few of the many ways that plumbing can help you to conserve water. By following these tips, you can help to preserve our natural resources, reduce your environmental impact and save money on your water bill. If you have aspirations to swap out more than just a few shower heads and toilets, and want to overhaul your home for the most water conservation possible, contact At Home Pros to start with a local professional today.