Con­serve your wa­ter

Easy steps can be taken around the house to help fight drought

The Covington News - - SHOWCASE OF HOMES -

As the world grows more en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious, a com­mon ques­tion keeps rolling off the tongues of con­cerned cit­i­zens: what can I do? One of the big­gest prob­lems is that the head­line- grab­bing is­sues, such as global warm­ing and re­source de­ple­tion, ap­pear too in­tim­i­dat­ing and much too far along for reg­u­lar peo­ple to make a dif­fer­ence.

While it’s un­der­stand­able for peo­ple to feel a sense of hope­less­ness, in re­al­ity there is much ev­ery­one can do to be­gin turn­ing around the state of the en­vi­ron­ment. Con­sider the case of wa­ter. Ac­cord­ing to the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency, the av­er­age per­son uses 60 gal­lons of wa­ter per day. Seem high?

That’s be­cause it is. Ex­perts note that the av­er­age in­di­vid­ual could de­crease his daily wa­ter use by 15 to 20 per­cent and barely no­tice it. In that light, the is­sue of wa­ter con­ser­va­tion doesn’t seem so daunt­ing, does it?

It shouldn’t. In fact, trim­ming wa­ter us­age can be done in a num­ber of easy and in­ex­pen­sive ways - ways that will not only save more wa­ter, but end up sav­ing in­di­vid­u­als money as well.

• Look for leaks: Leaky faucets and toi­lets are some of the big­gest wasters of wa­ter to­day. And more of­ten than not, th­ese leaks are silent as­sas­sins, not even au­di­ble to those who are closely lis­ten­ing for them. A leaky toi­let, for in­stance, can silently waste up to 200 gal­lons of per day. Dis­cov­er­ing if a toi­let is leak­ing can be as sim­ple as a food col­or­ing test. Sim­ply add food col­or­ing to the toi­let’s tank.

If color ap­pears in the bowl with­out flush­ing, the toi­let is leak­ing. An­other method is to ex­am­ine the me­ter while no wa­ter is be­ing used. If the dial is mov­ing, there’s a leak. Con­sult a plum­ber if ei­ther case is true.

• Stop run­ning the wa­ter: While this seems sim­ple, many peo­ple keep their wa­ter run­ning when they re­ally don’t need to, such as when they’re brush­ing their teeth, shav­ing or wash­ing their hands and face. Ac­cord­ing to Den­ver Wa­ter, a fam­ily of four that stops run­ning the faucet while brush­ing their teeth can ex­pect to save 800 gal­lons of wa­ter per month. Should the same fam­ily man­date that the wash­ing ma­chine be full in or­der to do a wash, they’ll save more than 2,000 gal­lons of wa­ter per month. While say­ing “ stop run­ning the wa­ter” sounds sim­ple, the re­sults are any­thing but min­i­mal.

• Flush toi­lets only when nec­es­sary: Many peo­ple flush a toi­let more than once when us­ing the bath­room. Un­for­tu­nately, each flush is six gal­lons of wa­ter. Flush only when nec­es­sary and do not use the toi­let as a fancy garbage can.

• In­stall wa­ter- friendly prod­ucts: Thanks to the grow­ing em­pha­sis on con­ser­va­tion, nu­mer­ous prod- ucts ex­ist to help con­serve wa­ter. Low- flow faucet aer­a­tors, for ex­am­ple, can re­duce wa­ter flow by as much as 50 per­cent, even though it will seem as though the wa­ter pres­sure has got­ten stronger. There are also wa­ter- sav­ing shower heads that are equipped with on/ off valves, al­low­ing the wa­ter to be stopped and restarted. Best of all, once restarted, the tem­per­a­ture has not changed and does not need to be read­justed.

An­other wa­ter- friendly prod­uct is a front- load­ing wash­ing ma­chine. Front­load­ing wash­ing ma­chines use 40 to 60 per­cent less wa­ter, and use less en­ergy as well ( as much as 50 per­cent less ac­cord­ing to some es­ti­mates). Much of those en­ergy sav­ings are due to the fact that front- load­ing wash­ers ex­tract 35 per­cent more wa­ter than top- load­ing wash­ers, mean­ing it doesn’t take as much time ( and, as a re­sult, en­ergy) to dry your clothes once they’ve been washed. In ad­di­tion, some state gov­ern­ments of­fer tax cred­its and re­bates to those who have pur­chased a front­load­ing washer.

• Keep a pitcher of cold wa­ter in the re­frig­er­a­tor: This, too, can seem too sim­ple to have any sig­nif­i­cant im­pact. How­ever, con­sider the num­ber of times a typ­i­cal house­hold drinks a glass of wa­ter each day. How much wa­ter is wasted run­ning the faucet while wait­ing for the wa­ter to get cold? More than you’d likely think. Avoid this waste by sim­ply keep­ing a pitcher of cold wa­ter in the re­frig­er­a­tor. Not only will it con­serve wa­ter, but it will save time as well.

Metro Creative Ser­vices

Make it last: Some­thing as sim­ple as fix­ing a leaky faucet can save sev­eral hun­dred gal­lons of wa­ter per day.

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