Conserving water not only saves money on your utility bill, but it also helps the environment by preventing water pollution. You may also be able to lengthen the life span of your septic system by conserving water, thus saving you from the headache of having to deal with septic tank problems in the future. Water conservation is beneficial to an individual, but if an entire neighborhood also cuts back on water use, it could help the community avoid problems such as a sewage system expansion or water rationing issues during a drought.
Check your household pipes, faucets and appliances to make sure they aren't leaking. Even small drips from a faucet can waste 20 gallons of water in a day. To check for leaks in your toilet, add a little food coloring to the tank. If color appears in the bowl within 30 minutes of adding the dye, this means there is a leak that should be repaired. Check the household water meter as well. If the meter reads differently within a two hour period where water isn't being used, this could indicate a leak somewhere.
Install low-flow faucets in your showers and bathtubs. Low-flow faucets are available at almost every plumbing or home-appliance store and are easy to install. Long, hot showers can use between 5 to 10 gallons every minute. By installing a low-flow faucet, you could use as little as 2.5 gallons of water per minute. You could use even less if you shorten your showers or by only turning the water on when you're ready to rinse, instead of letting it run while you're lathering up. The same concept applies to teeth brushing. Use water only to wet your brush and rinse your mouth. Don't leave it running while you're brushing.
Run the dishwasher and clothes washer only when you have full loads. It's a waste of water if you run these appliances without filling them to full capacity. Most dishwasher detergent manufacturers also state on their products that there is no need to pre-rinse dishes before loading them in the washer, which is also a big way to cut down on waste water. If you don't own a dishwasher, cut back on waste water by turning the facet off when you're scrubbing the plates and only turning it on for rinsing. Also, try to lessen the use of your garbage disposal. Garbage disposals require a lot of water to run properly.
Cover your pool when not in use to keep water from evaporating. If your pool automatically refills itself, also periodically check for leaks. Another way to conserve water is to only have pools, fountains and ponds that use recirculating pumps. Clean your driveway by sweeping instead of using a hose to water it down. Reduce the number of plants and shrubs on your lawn and garden to cut back on the amount of shrubbery you need to water.
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