It is effortless to take something for granted that has always been available at the tip of your fingers. You turn on a faucet or shower, and water flows out with what appears to be abundant abandon. But we all know that is not the case. Residents in the United States are fortunate to have reliable and safe drinking water on tap in our homes. But not everyone in the world is as lucky. And there are many ways that we can help ensure that this precious natural resource stretches as far as possible.
The simplest rule about water conservation is that small savings add up to be some pretty impressive numbers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were well over 128 million households in the country in 2019. If each home reduced their water consumption by only one gallon a day for an entire year, the savings would reach close to 47 billion gallons of water. So start small, and you will see that minor changes in your daily routine can change the world.
Repairing small leaks and drips around your home is an easy place to start. These repairs will not impact your routine, but they will save you some money and the headache of potential water damage. A faucet that drips 15 times per minute is wasting about 27 gallons of water each month. That single faucet repair would save nearly a gallon of water each day. A toilet that randomly runs can waste hundreds of gallons of water each month. You can replace the flapper for only a few dollars and save money and valuable water with this ten-minute DIY repair.
Sing A Song, But Don’t Waste Water
You spend roughly two minutes brushing your teeth and humming various songs to mark the time. Unfortunately, many people also pass that time by watching water flow down the drain. The average bathroom faucet delivers over two gallons of water per minute. So you are wasting close to five gallons each time you brush. For a family of four who each brush twice a day, that comes to over 16 gallons. Fill a glass, brush your teeth, rinse with the water in the glass and save nearly 1,500 gallons of water per person each year.
Washing your clothes consumes a lot of water. Old machines used as much as 45 gallons of water to wash a load of clothing. New high-efficiency units reduce that number to 15 – 30 gallons per load. If a new washer is not in your budget, be sure only to wash full loads. Washing only a few items per load wastes a significant amount of water and the energy used to operate the washing machine.
Older showerheads consume as much as five gallons of water per minute. Newer low-flow showerheads mix air into the water as it flows from the fixture. This added air makes the water feel as enjoyable and refreshing as the old shower heads but reduces the water flow to just over two gallons per minute. But a 10-minute shower still uses over 20 gallons of water. If you shave just one minute off the length of your shower each day, you are saving over two gallons of water. By the end of the year, that small amount adds up to over 730 gallons of water saved. Convince someone else to follow your good example, and the savings reach nearly 1,500 gallons.
Call (701) 402-6643 to schedule an appointment to fix that dripping faucet. The team at A-1 Plumbing offers affordable rates on all these water-saving projects.