Water Conservation Ideas for the Home
by Tomio Mack, GoingGreenResources.com
Regardless of the region we live in, droughts and water shortages are a cyclical part of life. Think of water broadly as having to endure two processes in order for it to be useful to a human. First, water must be collected and purified to be safe for ingestion. Secondly, water must be heated in many circumstances in order to be useful to us. Cold showers, although energy saving, are not an openly accepted means to a practical way of life.
Until water purification and heating can be performed without any kind of environmental pollutants, wise water usage is a great way for individuals to conserve natural resources in a green, environmentally friendly fashion. With respect to water usage and the energy needed to heat the water, there are simple and inexpensive additions that can be made to the home that will conserve water and heat energy. Going green is usually seen as an expensive task that will drain one's financial resources. This is untrue in many cases.
Start with the bathroom where a high amount of water is flowing in and out of the house from the toilet, sink and shower.
The toilet is by far the highest water user in the house and it would be wise to change the toilets in your home to low water use toilets if they precede 1992. As well as low water use toilets, go green by making the toilet tank "smaller" and conserve a needed resource. By placing a "toilet bladder" or plastic bottles filled with sand, volume in the toilet tank is occupied by objects that would otherwise be gallons of water. Make sure to leave enough water in the toilet to fully flush, but this technique can save ten gallons per day.
In the shower, installing a low water usage shower head or an aerator increases the efficiency of the shower. When showering, an exorbitant amount of water is wasted. Turning on the shower and waiting for the water is a huge waste of water and heat energy. Installing a "ShowerStart" is an upgrade to green by conserving both heat and water resources when showering by shutting off the water when the shower water becomes hot. This reduces the water wasted when the water is being heated.
Installing an instant hot water heater eliminates the cold water wasted when the water is heating. This is a slightly more expensive idea, but a great way to go green and make good use of our resources. If still using a conventional water heater setup, insulating the pipes in the house will decrease the time for the water to become hot.
The waterline upgrades save water, but most of the water waste in the house is from small leaks in pipes and seals. Ever hear the toilet mysteriously run in the middle of the night? Chances are a small leak exists in the flap of the toilet. This is costing gallons a day as the toilet is slowly seeping water out of the top tank. Dripping sinks and faucets inside and outside of the house are also wasting gallons per day. Simply tightening up the pipes in the house can have a drastic effect on water usage. These are only a few suggestions to effective water usage.