Water consumption naturally increases the more we spend time at home – especially when more people now not only live in their homes, but they are also consuming most meals and working full-time from their residence. Increased water usage can have a detrimental effect on the environment and your budget. Follow these tips to help conserve your indoor water use at your home.
High Water Usage Problems
Let’s explore the ways in which high household water usage negatively impacts the environment, your plumbing system and your water bill. Community sewer systems and water treatment plants are designed with specific capacity limits. When these systems are overloaded due to high water and the associated sewer usage, the results can cause bacterial contamination to leak into local lakes, streams and even drinking water. This poses a public health risk to community residents, and harms the affected ecosystems.
Using more water also puts extra wear and tear on your plumbing system. Components like valves, rubber gaskets and seals fail more often with higher usage, causing water leaks and potentially costly repairs.
Lastly, high household water usage increases your expense for water usage and sewer charges, which impacts more than just you in the long run. The cost of water has doubled in most communities over the last decade, leading to an immediate financial impact on families and businesses.
Benefits of Water Conservation
Water conservation efforts benefit the environment and your home in numerous ways. By conserving water, we reduce the energy required to run the facilities that treat and distribute water to our homes and businesses. This reduced energy usage also lowers the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
During times of high precipitation, municipal water treatment plants are sometimes required to operate at full capacity. This puts extra strain on the machinery and equipment. Water conservation can help reduce the wear on the equipment in these facilities. More importantly, when water treatment plants get more wastewater than they can handle, the excess overflows into nearby streams or rivers. This untreated water is a major source of water pollution. Conserving water helps ensure that all wastewater goes through the treatment process.
Water conservation can help in your home as well, starting with reduced water expense. You will extend the life of your appliances by running them less frequently, meaning your plumbing fixtures will last longer before requiring repair or replacement. This is also true for your septic system, since reducing water usage lowers the chance of leaks, soil saturation and pollution.
Tips to Reduce Indoor Water Use
To help you achieve the goal of reducing your everyday indoor water usage, we’ve compiled some helpful tips categorized into overall suggestions and ones most relevant to a specific room in your home.
General Water Conservation Tips:
- Upgrade to water-efficient fixtures that save water by reducing the volume used without sacrificing their effectiveness. This overall tip is by far the most efficient way to significantly reduce your daily indoor water usage.
- Install aerators on your sink faucets to save water as well. An aerator is an inexpensive way to reduce the water flow from the faucet while using air to maintain good water pressure.
- Inspect your home’s plumbing fixtures periodically for leaks, and have them repaired promptly in order to save gallons of water.
Know where your master shut-off valve is located in the case of a major leak or emergency – this allows you to turn off all water coming into your home.
Room-Specific Water Conservation Tips:
- Make sure the dishwasher is full before using it and select shorter cycle times.
- Turn off the water instead of leaving it running when washing and rinsing items in the sink, such as dishes or produce. Rinsing or soaking items in a large bowl before scrubbing can also help reduce water waste.
- Minimize the use of your garbage disposal. These units require a lot of water to operate. A good option is to scrape food waste into the trash or compost instead.
2.) Laundry Room:
- Wash full loads of laundry as much as possible and run shorter cycle times.
- Buy a water-efficient washing machine model that adjusts for different size loads and uses less water.
- Install high-efficiency shower heads that can save one gallon of water per minute.
- Turn off the water when brushing your teeth or using a washcloth on your face instead of letting it run.
- Detect slow toilet seal leaks by placing a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank and checking back in 15 minutes. You know you have a leak if you see the water in the toilet bowl turning colors, which means water is flowing out of your tank while your toilet is not in use.
- Install water-efficient low-flush toilets in order to reduce water usage by up to 50%.
Both you and your community benefit from water conservation efforts, from lowered water expense, extended plumbing fixture and septic system lifespan to reduced community sewer system load and waterway pollution. Implementing these tips can help reduce your home’s indoor water usage. If you discover that you have leaking fixtures that require repair, or wish to upgrade to water-efficient equipment, contact Atlas Home Services today. Our plumbing team serves all of Northern Virginia, and we’re just a phone call away from helping you with your water conservation goals.