Save the Environment AND Your Wallet by Conserving Water
Last years drought in California encompassed 98% of the state, and California governor Jerry Brown enacted an order that required cities and towns to cut back their water use by at least 25% in order to conserve what water they did have.
Whether that drought worried you, you’re concerned that the Sierra Mountains are barren, or that your water bill is getting increasingly expensive, understanding simple ways that your home, apartment building, or office can cut back on water usage can save the environment and your pocket book.
While plumbers and repiping technicians alike know that pinhole leaks can contribute extensively to water wastage, there are a number of everyday steps that you can take around the house to reduce excessive water waste.
In the kitchen:
- Cut down on running water for long periods of time. This means filling the sink to do dishes, thawing meat overnight in the refrigerator, and filling a jug with drinking water and putting it in the fridge instead of running the tap to get it cold.
- Garbage disposals require the constant flow of water while they grind up your waste. Instead, opt for an organic waste bin that the City of Toronto will collect, or use it as compost for your garden. Additionally, garbage disposals are responsible for 50% of the solids in your septic tank, which can easily lead to clogs and malfunctions.
- Consider purchasing an energy efficient dishwasher as they typically use less water than washing by hand. Models like the IKEA IUD8555D and the KitchenAid KDTE554C both use the least amount of water per load, at 1.95 gallons, as per the March 2016 Consortium for Energy Efficiency dishwasher audit.
Additionally, newer dishwashers are capable of cleaning that stuck-on food, so rinsing is no longer required pre-wash.
In the bathroom:
- If you’re brushing your teeth for a full two minutes, like your dentist suggests, and turn the tap off while you do it, you can save up to 3 gallons of water.
- Cutting your shower down to under 5 minutes can save up to 1,000 gallons of water per month.
- A dripping faucet could be caused by a pinhole leak, but it could also simply be due to an old washer. Fixing those faucets can save up to 2,700 gallons per year.
- Also, ensure that all your household faucets are retrofitted with aerators and flow restrictors, as well as installing faucets, toilets and showerheads that have approved WaterSense labels.
- Check your toilet once a year for leaks, or if you notice a sudden surge in your water bill. Add a drop of food colouring to the tank, if it’s leaking the colour will seep into your toilet bowl within 30 minutes.
Outside the home:
- Water your grass only when it actually needs it, such as when the blades don’t spring back up if stepped on, and only in the morning or evening. Intense sunshine can not only cause your lawn to burn, but the water you’ve just sprayed will evaporate.
- Taller grass shades the roots and holds moisture better, so adjust your mower to 1.5 – 2 inches, and leave those lawn clippings on the grass to cool the ground and retain moisture.
- A hose can use 264 gallons of water an hour, instead, consider low-flow sprinkler systems and wash your car with buckets of water. Alternatively, you can seek out a commercial car wash that recycles the water.
Some general tips:
- If you insulate your water pipes, you’ll avoid wasting water by running it until it’s warm as your water gets hotter faster. This also prevents pinhole leaks due to extreme temperatures weakening your system.
- In the case of a burst pipe, know where your master water shut-off is. This could end up saving you gallons of water, as well as the potential cost of damages to your home.
Finally, consider seeking out the help of repiping technicians to inspect your pipes on a regular basis. Pinhole leaks can waste incredible amounts of water, and you may not even know it’s happening until your utility bill soars. Instead of waiting for your buried pipes to become a water wasting problem, trained repiping technicians in Toronto can ensure that your home, apartment, or office pipes are flowing properly.
To ensure that your home is free of leaks and to inspect your pipe and plumbing systems, give CPL Tech a call today.