How to Conserve Water and Save Money
Water is our most precious resource. Without it, we would not survive. And it is not simply about drinking enough of it. We use water to wash ourselves, our dishes, our cars, our pets, our streets, and our homes, just to name a few. That is not just a lot of washing. It is a significant amount of water used. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average American household uses 260 gallons of water every day. This rate varies depending on the size of the family, or the needs of the individual, but by any standard we use a lot of this increasingly scarce and essential liquid. While some believe they are doing their part to be responsible water consumers, there are many ways we unknowingly waste it.
Leaks in the House
Whether it is leaking showers or dripping faucets, those small drops might not seem like a lot but they add up. See our article “Plumbing Leaks, What Is It Really Costing You?” to see the risks. Also, other plumbing leaks might not be visible. Leaks in the walls or slab of you home can be very wasteful and damaging if not taken care of. It is possible to use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks by shutting off all the water in your home and checking to see if the meter is still running. Not only making sure our plumbing is working properly, but monitoring the amount of water we use in the home can make a huge difference. Some ways to conserve water include installing water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators, regularly changing the flapper inside the toilet, and using the dishwasher and clothes washer only for full loads. Additionally, employing ENERGYSTAR and Water Sense fixtures and using only what we need can go a long way to ensuring we all will have enough water for years to come.
Leaks in the Yard
Conserving water inside the home is good, but this resource is also used in large quantities outside. Many people enjoy lush, green lawns, brightly blooming flowers, and other healthy plant life. Maintaining such luxurious greenery requires a lot of moisture, and relying on rainfall can be a recipe for brown grass and dead foliage. So how can we keep our plants alive while also conserving water? One answer is to collect rain in barrels. Our plants are highly efficient when it comes to water usage, using only what they need and tending to do poorly if they become saturated. What is left over gets evaporated, and is essentially unused. However, we can capture it and save it for our own needs. This water requires filtration in order to be consumed in the household because it carries dirt and other germs that can make us unhealthy. However, it has no such effect on what we grow outside. Other ways to conserve water in the yard is by planting shrubs and plants that need very little water, and drought-resistant lawns. Additionally, putting a layer of mulch around trees and plants can slow evaporation. Furthermore, Aiming your sprinklers so water does not land on paved areas, but only on your lawn or garden. Finally, check for leaks in pipes, hoses, spigots, faucets and couplings to ensure you are not wasting this valuable resource.
Another reason why conserving water in our yards is a good idea is because municipalities often put restrictions on when we can water our lawns and how much water we sprinkle over them. Overuse leads to higher water bills and stiff penalties. It is not just because of the large quantities pumped onto our greenery, though, that taxes and penalties have risen. Because of its rising scarcity, particularly in drier areas that do not receive regular rainfall, they have been forced to take measures to encourage people to cut down. In other words, it is a simple matter of supply and demand. When supplies are low and demand is high, the price goes up.
In closing there are many things we can do on our own, but occasionally it becomes necessary to call a professional plumber to provide plumbing services, to help us conserve water. Making these repairs or upgrades will ultimately save us money in the long run and help us to do our part to be good stewards of this life providing resource.