5 Tips to Use Less Water
From Experience Life
The American Water Works Association estimates that the average American household uses 69 gallons of water per capita daily. The largest portion, about 18 gallons, goes to toilet flushing. Then comes clothes washing (about 15 gallons), showering (nearly 12 gallons), water faucets (11 gallons) and various leaks (9 gallons).
Here are some ways to use less:
Toilet Training: A high-efficiency toilet (HET) uses an average of 20 percent less water than a standard model. But even the most efficient toilet won’t conserve water if it’s leaking. Note the water level in the tank with a pencil mark after flushing. After a few minutes, check the level again. If it’s dropped, your toilet’s leaky. And a “running” toilet can waste 200 gallons per day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); fixing it can save you a pretty penny on your water bill as you conserve. There’s good leak-plugging information at www.thisoldhouse.com.
Wash Smart: Make every wash count by avoiding half-loads. And consider buying a front-loading washer if you don’t have one already; it uses one-third less water than a top-loader. Washers certified by the EPA’s Energy Star program conserve both water and energy.
Shorten Showers: A 10-minute shower uses 50 gallons of water, while a five-minute shower uses about 25. A full bathtub may contain up to 70 gallons of water.
Tighten Up: Fix dripping faucets by replacing the washers. A one-drop-per-second drip can waste 2,500 gallons in a year.
Don’t Overwater: According to the EPA, the typical single-family suburban household uses at least 30 percent of their water outdoors for lawns and gardens. Some experts estimate that more than 50 percent of landscaping water goes to waste from evaporation (watering before 9 a.m. keeps water in the ground) or runoff caused by overwatering.