How to Easily Conserve Water at Home

Is any resource more precious than water? Around the world, and right in our own backyards (literally), water resources are stressed, scarce and threatened. But still, water waste happens all the time—and in places where it could be easily fixed.

If big picture water conservation is too much for you to wrap your head around, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to be water wise in our homes. In fact, according to the EPA, the average household can leak more than 10,000 gallons of water per year! That could wash almost one load of laundry per day per household in that same period of time. Talk about waste! Nationally, that amounts to more than one trillion gallons.

The most common household leaks include old, worn out toilet flappers, faucet leaks and other pipes and valves, which can, in most cases, be easily fixed. And there’s more reason to fix those leaks besides conserving water: it can also save you money, decreasing water bills. One leaky faucet, dripping water at one drip per second, wastes 3,000 gallons of water every year!

Have a leaky shower? Just ten drips per minute wastes more than 500 gallons of water a year. You could run your dishwasher 60 times with the same amount of water.

Not sure if you have a leak? A good way to tell is check your water meter at the start and end of a several hour window where you’re not using any water. If the meter is not the same at the start and end of that window, there’s likely a leak.

If you suspect a leaky toilet but aren’t sure, drop a single drop of food coloring into the toilet tank. Check the toilet bowl over the next 10-15 minutes; if the toilet water has changed color (without being flushed), there’s a leak.

You don’t have to call a plumber to fix most household leaks, either. There are how-to videos and guides on the web (many for free) that you can use. For bigger projects, don’t take any chances of making it worse—call in the experts.

It may not seem like much, but taking steps to conserve every drop of water is an important choice for your family, the planet and future generations.

Image: eelke dekker


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