Tips To Conserve Water
Today’s society needs to be paying more attention to conserving water. As homeowners and builders we too can make a difference by choosing to take advantage of cost-effective, high efficiency appliances and water management systems. Here are some tips to conserve water.
A Few Examples of Water Conservation:
Ultra-low flush or dual-flush toilets:
More than 4.8 billion gallons of water is flushed down toilets each day in the United States. The average American uses about 9,000 gallons of water to flush 230 gallons of waste down the toilet per year (Jensen, 1991).
In new construction and building rehabilitation or remodeling there is a great potential to reduce water consumption by installing low-flush toilets.
Conventional toilets use 3.5 to 5 gallons or more of water per flush, but low-flush toilets (see figure above) use only 1.6 gallons of water or less. Since low-flush toilets use less water, they also reduce the volume of waste water produced (Pearson, 1993).
Install fixtures with below standard flow rates
Showers account for about 20 percent of total indoor water use. By replacing standard 4.5-gallon-per-minute showerheads with 2.5-gallon-per-minute heads, which cost less than $5 each, a family of four can save approximately 20,000 gallons of water per year (Jensen, 1991).
Gray water systems
Install a rainwater harvesting system, use low-water landscaping, plant native landscaping, install high efficiency irrigation system, utilize smart irrigation control, or no irrigation all make a difference.
Domestic waste water composed of wash water from kitchen sinks and tubs, clothes washers, and laundry tubs is called gray water (USEPA, 1989). Gray water can be used by homeowners for home gardening, lawn maintenance, landscaping, and other innovative uses
One method of water conservation in landscaping uses plants that need little water, thereby saving not only water but labor and fertilizer as well (Grisham and Fleming, 1989). A similar method is grouping plants with similar water needs. Scheduling lawn irrigation for specific early morning or evening hours can reduce water wasted due to evaporation during daylight hours.
~ concord carpenter