With California’s water supply dwindling amid the current historic drought conditions, home owners throughout the state are resorting to new and innovative techniques to save this precious resource for their home. Conserving water not only helps to keep state reservoirs stocked, but it will also help to save money on your utility bill, prevent pollution and extend the life of your home’s septic system.
If you’re looking for ways to cut down on your home’s water usage beyond letting your lawn and garden go without water or taking shorter showers, here are a few ways to cut down on wasted water and to be smarter about how you use it throughout your home.
In the bathroom:
The bathroom might be one of the smallest rooms in the home but it is perhaps the largest user of water between the toilet, bathtub and sink. Although these appliances can use a lot of water, there are plenty of tweaks you can make to save just a little bit here and there that will really add up later on.
If you haven’t already, consider investing in low flow shower heads and low flush toilets. These cut down on the water wasted when you bathe or flush the toilet, and some Southern California communities are even giving home owners monetary breaks for installing such appliances. According to eartheasy.com, replacing an 18 liter-per-flush toilet with an ultra-low volume six liter model can cut down on 70 percent of the water you flush and 30 percent of your total indoor water use.
You might also want to think about insulating your pipes to help your warm water heat up faster. Many home owners will run the water prior to getting into the shower to let it warm up a bit, insulation will help speed the warm-up by keeping more heat in the pipes.
In the kitchen:
The kitchen is another rather “wet” room in the house, and there are a number of tweaks you can make here that will help to cut down on water usage. For washing and rinsing purposes, invest in dual setting swivel faucet aerator, which will allow you to reduce the flow of water without reducing the effectiveness of the rinse.
Kitchen sink garbage disposal units are also big wasters of water, so instead of throwing food scraps down the drain start a compost pile. You can easily buy or build a compost bin which will help keep your water usage down and your garden as healthy as it can be given drought conditions.
In the laundry room:
When washing clothes, avoid settings such as the permanent press cycle which will use an extra couple of gallons of water and wash only full loads. Make sure your washer and dryer are Energy Star rated, which will use 35 to 50 percent less water and 50 percent less energy-per-load.
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