If you own a water purification system or are considering purchasing one, odds are you care deeply about the health and quality of your home’s water supply. One way to help protect the quality and availability of freshwater in the future is to adopt new strategies for water conservation. You can take a few simple, small steps today to help cut down on excess water consumption in your home. These strategies will not only save you money but also have a positive impact on the planet by avoiding the waste of our precious freshwater resources and cutting down on the energy associated with pumping and heating that water in your home. Let’s dive in.
Check for Leaks
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), household leaks account for nearly 1 trillion gallons of wasted water annually nationwide. One small faucet leak may seem harmless, but the EPA has estimated that even a leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers.
If you have leaky toilets, faucets, or other fixtures, water is being pumped into your home (and included in your water bill if you have a municipal water supply). That money is literally going down the drain since this water isn’t being used.
It’s worth the time to go through your home and search for leaks you may not notice from day to day. The most common culprits are worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. Every so often, walk around to each faucet and valve in your home to check for surface leaks or loosened pipe fittings. Check for unseen toilet leaks by dropping some food coloring into your toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. (Just don’t forget to flush the food coloring away at the end of the experiment so you don’t stain your tank.)
For more information on finding water leaks, check out the EPA’s Fix a Leak website.
Upgrade Fixtures & Appliances
Another simple way to conserve water at home is to upgrade your home’s appliances to energy and water-efficient models. Product seals like ENERGY STAR and WaterSense can help steer you in the direction of appliances that have met strict EPA and Department of Energy (DOE) standards for energy and water efficiency.
For example, according to a resource published by the DOE, residential washing machines that meet ENERGY STAR criteria use 30% less water and consume half as much energy as conventional washing machines. And if you’re in the market for a new toilet, consider a dual-flush, water-efficient model. If a large appliance upgrade is out of the question, start small by replacing your standard showerhead with a Watersense-labeled showerhead model. They can save the average family 2,700 gallons per year.
Optimize Your Outdoor Landscaping
Landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water usage. If you water your lawn during the warmer months, consider cutting back on the amount of water used. Save on additional water usage outdoors by planting flowers and shrubs that are native to your area. In general, they tend to be more resilient to local rainfall trends and therefore require less water. Place mulch around the landscaping of your home to help conserve water, avoid erosion, and protect plants. Lastly, install a shut-off valve at the end of your garden hose to save gallons of wasted water while you walk back and forth from the spigot.
Make the Most of Your Dishwasher
Contrary to popular belief, using a dishwasher in the kitchen is more water efficient than hand-washing dishes. You can use up to 27 gallons of water per dish load if you wash your dishes by hand, compared to as little as 3 gallons with an ENERGY STAR-rated dishwasher. Always make sure to run a full load to optimize water usage. And while you’re loading, simply scrape food off of each dish rather than rinsing each dish. Excess rinsing can waste up to 6,000 gallons of water per household every year and most modern dishwashers can handle the extra challenge of some remaining gunk on your plates.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, consider creating a rinse station with a large basin or one-half of a sectioned sink to avoid having the faucet run for the duration of the washing process.
We Are Committed to Your Home’s Water Quality
At Wolverine Water, our Midwestern-based team is fortunate enough to live next to the Great Lakes, which make up some of the largest freshwater resources in the world. We know that this water quality is essential for healthy families and healthy communities, now and into the future. To find out more about bringing fresh, pure water into your home, contact our team today for a free in-home water test.