Water is one of the necessities of life. It is an integral part of our chores. From cooking and eating to cleaning, showering, and gardening, nothing is possible without water. However, most of us take this blessing for granted until we face water scarcity or water quality issues.
Public water facilities are the water source for almost 85% of the Americans. The rest of the US citizens rely on private wells or other sources for their potable water needs.
While you are enjoying an endless supply of freshwater, be mindful of your water usage habits. Reducing water usage should be your main goal. It will not only help you save money on your bills, but water efficiency also helps protect the environment.
Ways to Reduce Water Usage At Home
1. Use Low-Flow Bathroom Fixtures
The per-day water consumption of an everyday American is about 80-100 gallons, as per the USGS water science school. Showers and toilets are two of the major sources of water consumption. Having low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets can reduce water usage drastically. Low-flush toilets use 1.6 GPF, i.e., gallons of water per flush. Use showerheads with a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute.
2. Use Energy-Efficient Water Heaters
Water heating units account for 18% of your household energy consumption. For conserving water, make sure that your water heater is energy-efficient. If you have a small family, consider using tankless water heaters.
Also, lower your water heater’s thermostat to 120°F to reduce energy expenses. Insulate your pipes and heater to prevent heat loss. Check your contract directory and find a contractor to help you with the process.
3. Get yourself a Dishwasher
As per the Energy Star program, having a dishwasher at your home can help you save up to 5,000 gallons of water per year. Moreover, automatic dishwashers consume less water than washing the dishes manually. So, get a dishwasher for your home to save time and water, thereby protecting your environment.
4. Tweak your Garden Management
As per the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average Americans use 9 billion gallons of water on their gardens every day. The inefficient irrigation methods are responsible for much of the water wastage. For reducing water usage, try to avoid irrigating the entire lawn. Consider replacing your lawn with a drought-resistant landscape.
Ways to Improve Water Quality
While it is important to find ways to reduce water usage at home, make sure that you have good quality water at home. If you observe discoloration in water or a change in the taste, it’s time to take some steps to improve the water quality. But, first, have a look at some of the culprits that affect the water quality.
- Disinfectant products developed during a water treatment
- Corrosion in the plumbing fixtures
- Corrosive products found in the distribution system
- Contaminants invading the water distribution system through line breaks
The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention recommends using purified water for basic house chores, such as brushing your teeth and washing your hands. So, what can be done to improve water quality?
1. Use Filtered Water
Waters is a universal dissolvent and may contain mineral deposits, such as calcium, that hardens the water. The mineral deposits are harmful to health, and it is important to remove them from the water before consumption.
Installing a filtration system in your home is an effective solution for removing the minerals. Different filters have different screening materials, such as fiber, ceramic, or fabric. Make sure to choose a material that blocks the water impurities. What pollutants a filter can remove is mentioned on the unit’s label.
Don’t forget to replace your filter cartridges regularly, as bacteria can easily buildup in the filter cartridge. For replacing the filter cartridge, follow the instructions on the manual. Some of the common filtration systems include Countertop Water Filter, Point Of Use Water Filters, Under-the-Sink Water Filters, Distillers, and Whole-House Water Filters.
2. Drain your Water Heating Units
Water heaters need annual maintenance as worn-out heaters can pose some serious threat to water quality. Bacteria, sediments, and metals can build up in the tank. Make sure to drain your water heater every year for improved water efficiency and better water quality.
According to the Water Quality Association, using hard water in water heaters reduce their efficiency by 50 percent. For getting rid of the hard water in your water heater, you may use water softener systems. These systems help remove the contaminants, thereby increasing water efficiency and reducing utility bills.
3. “Tap” the Cold Water Taps
When you don’t use the water for several hours, it sits in the pipes for a long time. The corrosive material in the pipes affects water quality. Leave your cold water taps running for at least two minutes before you use water for drinking or cooking. Besides running the taps, other water usage activities, such as showering, running the dishwasher, and flushing the toilet, are also effective.
Besides the above-mentioned ways, you can also improve the water quality by
- Cleaning the faucet aerators regularly and replacing them when needed
- Replacing old household plumbing fixtures
- Avoiding hot water for cooking as it dissolves contaminants more quickly
These were a few of the many ways to reduce water usage at home and improve water quality.