How can we conserve water (In the bathroom)
The bathroom uses the highest amount of water of all the rooms of the house. With the toilet, sink, shower and/or bath, there are many ways that the bathroom can send our water bill through the roof. However, this brings us many opportunities to save water. How can we conserve water in the bathroom? Let’s look at the toilet first:
According to the above graph, the toilet has the highest water usage of all water utilizing devices in the household. And that can really add up. Depending on how old the plumbing in your home is, the toilet can use as little as 1 gallon to up to 7 gallons of water per flush. You can check how many gallons per flush your toilets uses by looking in the tank for the letters GPF. In 1992, the Federal legislation passed a law requiring that all plumbing fixtures meet a water-efficiency standard of 1.6 GPF (gallons per flush). If your home was built before 1992 and your plumbing hasn’t been updated since then, you may want to replace your toilet. You may end up saving a lot of water, and money. When looking for a water efficient toilet, make sure it uses 1.6 GPF or less. Some toilets use as little as 0.6 GPF! Here are a few websites that have water efficient toilets at great prices:
You may also want to consider duel flush toilets. A dual flush toilet has a more complex mechanism that allows you to choose which flushing method you want. There is a low flush option, which usually uses less than one gallon (for ‘number one’ waste), and a regular flush that uses the standard 1.6 gallons per flush (for ‘number two’ waste). These types of toilets can save thousands of gallons of water a year, which also translates into less money spent on the water bill. Here are some dual-flush toilets at great prices:
Toilet Tank Water Displacement
If you have up-to-date toilets, there are of course other ways to conserve water. Water displacement in the toilet tank is becoming a popular and practical way to use less water. This involves placing a large object in the tank of the toilet to displace the water in the tank. As the tank fills up after each flush, it will not use as much water because the object is taking up space that used to be water. You can replace that water with a brick or recycle a bottle and fill it with sand or pebbles. If you use a gallon milk jug, you will use a gallon less water per flush. For a more professional look (if the inside of a toilet tank can look professional), you can purchase a bag called the ‘Toilet Tummy’. Just fill with water and hang in toilet tank. Buy one here.
Check for Leaks
Your toilet could also be using too much water if there is a leak in the tank. You can check for this simply by adding 10 drops of food coloring to the tank, wait 10 minutes, and then check the toilet bowl to see if you see any color. If you do, then there is a leak.
Don’t flush as often
Many don’t agree with this idea, and you should definitely discuss this idea with your family before you implement it. It is not necessary to flush every time you use the toilet. Or as the saying goes:
If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down!
The shower and bathtub don’t usually use as much water as the toilet, but depending on how many people are in a household and how long their showers are, you could be using too much water here as well. How can we save water here? Here are some ideas on how to save water when bathing.
- Take showers, not baths
Depending on how large your bathtub is, it can use from 30-70 gallons of water. If your shower was built after 1992, a 10 minute shower usually only uses 20 gallons of water. However, if you take really long showers, or you have an older shower head that uses more than 3 gallons of water per minute, then taking a bath is probably the better alternative to a shower.
There is an easy way to measure the amount of water that your shower uses per minute. Get a stopwatch and a bucket with a one gallon mark on it. Hold the bucket under the shower head and turn on the shower. Time how long it takes to fill the bucket to the one gallon mark. Then simply divide 1 gallon by the time:
- If you shower uses more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute, you should consider getting a low-flow shower head or an aerated shower head.
Many people enjoy a high pressure shower and are concerned that a shower head that uses less water will not deliver as pleasant a shower. However, newer technology has provided two solutions to this problem. You can opt to get an aerated shower head that uses a mixture of air and water to provide a high-pressure flow. There are also pulsating shower heads that shoots the water at you in short powerful bursts, which uses less water, but still feels like you’re getting a powerful shower. Here are some great water saving shower heads:
- Time your showers
An easy way to cut back on water usage in the shower is to simply take shorter showers. However, this can be hard since most people are unaware of how long they are actually in the shower. Water proof shower timers are an easy solution. There are many varieties from digital timers to sand hour glasses. Here are a few to choose from:
It doesn’t seem like the sink would use as much water, but it is used for a lot of things like brushing your teeth, shaving and washing your hands. The average faucet uses about 2.5 gallons of water per minute. To use less than that, you can purchase a faucet aerator which mixes air and water and still offer good water pressure. They are inexpensive and can save you a lot of money. Here are some great faucet aerators:
Turn off water when not using
Of course, you can also save water by turning off the water when brushing teeth or shaving. Instead of rinsing off the razor under running water, plug the drain and fill the sink basin half-way, and rinse in sink.
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