While most homeowners look for ways to cut expenses and lower the monthly bills, since we haven’t had any significant rain for over a month and many MUDs are asking us to limit our water usage. Here are some simple tips to help you save water at home.
Turn Off the Tap to Save Water at Home
When brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your hands, turn off the tap until it’s needed. Use the water to dampen your skin or toothbrush, but then turn it off to brush your teeth or lather your hands. When it’s time to rinse, turn the water on again. If each person in your family practices turning off the tap, you can save over 20 gallons of water every day. Additionally, dishwashers actually are very water conscious and use less water than if you washed the dishes by hand, so don’t be afraid to use it.
Ensure the Sprinkler System is not Wasting Water
Sprinkler systems are excellent tools to keep your lawn looking green and ensuring it get enough water but only when it’s operating correctly. That’s one reason we include a free visual inspection of the system when we do our home inspections. If it’s not working correctly, it can waste a large amount of water. While you may get a littler wet, testing the system if extremely easy to do. Most control panels have a “test system” option that allows you to run the zone for a few minutes while you inspect each sprinkler head or rotator. Don’t forget to watch the ground where the pipes most likely run, to see if you can pick up any underground leaks. A good indicator is a lack of pressure in some or all of the heads. If you think you have an issue, don’t worry about diagnosing the cause, just call a sprinkler repair person. They have the tools and the knowledge to make it an easy fix.
Use a Rain Barrel
A rain barrel is a great way to repurpose the water that travels through your home’s guttering system. Install the rain barrel at the end of the downspout and use what’s collected to water your lawn and gardens. Rain barrels are inexpensive, easy to install, and will provide plenty of water for your landscape. The hard part is distributing that water to your lawn. The easy fix I have found is that you can use it on your flowerbeds and not to worry about the lawn. Let the sprinkler system do that but now it will use less water as it can skip the flowerbeds.
Repurpose Water in Your Home
To reduce your monthly bill, reuse water around the house. If you make pasta for dinner, save the water and use it for your indoor plants. You can also reserve water used for washing vegetables for the same purpose. While you’re waiting for your bath water to warm up, collect the cool water in a bucket. This water is useful for cleaning and for watering plants.
Take Shorter Showers
The average American showers for eight minutes every day. Use a stopwatch and pay attention to how much time you spend showering, then work to reduce this by a minute or two. For each minute you shower, you use approximately two gallons of water. Reducing your shower time by just two minutes can save over 20 gallons of water every week.
Save Water at Home: Repair Leaks
A dripping faucet wastes five gallons of water every day. In a month, this is 150 gallons of water that you’re paying for but not really using. A leaking toilet can use 200 gallons every day. This adds over $70 to your water bill each month.
If you’re uncertain whether the toilet is leaking, test it by dropping food coloring into the tank and waiting about 20 minutes. If the color appears in the toilet bowl, you have a leak. Repair plumbing problems to save water and lower utility bills.