A Comprehensive Guide to Reducing Household Water Use

Since people in developed countries use much more water than they actually need, the question of how to reduce water use is the talk of the day. There are many things you can do to lower your water bill, and here is a detailed guide on how to do it. Take a look at ten brilliant ways to reduce your household water bill.

For many of us, clean water is so plentiful and readily available that we rarely, if ever, pause to consider what life would be like without it.
~ Marcus Samuelsson

tap-black-faucet-kitchen-sink

Change your behavior and get better equipment

If you install devices that help you measure and monitor water consumption you are more likely to adjust your behavior and attitudes towards water (like turning the tap off when brushing your teeth). Since people only tend to change when they personally benefit from it, this way you will be able to actually see the money you’re saving which will make you stay on the right path.

It’s also important to install energy and water efficient devices straight away, if you are in the process of building your house. That’s the cheapest time for you to do so and it will save you a lot of money in the long run. The best way to encourage people to invest in such water-saving fixtures and regulate their behavior is if they really save up some money in the end.

Change your toilet and the way you use it

The easiest and cheapest way to save water is to modify your behavior. Never flush tissues and cotton swabs down your toilet as it is not a garbage can. If you do so, you’re wasting up to 1.000 liters of water per year, plus you’re facing the risk of clogging and that’s an additional expense.

You can also modify your toilet. Standard old toilet models use from 13 up to 26 liters of water per flush, while new low flush models use only 6. There are even high efficiency models that use 5 liters and dual flush systems that have two settings, 3 and 6 liter per flush. This way only one person can save almost 20.000 liters per year or 20% of the overall household water consumption. There are other changes you can make, like adjusting your toilet to flush rainwater, installing a dry toilet that doesn’t use water at all or a composting toilet that makes compost out of feces.

Leaks are another common problem. If your toilet is leaking you’re wasting almost 4.000 liters a month! Since leaks can sometimes be practically invisible, you can test your toilet by putting food coloring into the tank. If color starts showing in your bowl without you flushing first, you’ll know you have a leak. Deal with the problem as soon as possible.

Change taps and modify the way you use them

In order to save water this way, you can get a foaming soap instead of a regular bar. Foaming soap doesn’t require any liquid for soaping up, only for rinsing. Close the tap while brushing your teeth and use a glass for rinsing. Rinse your shaving razor in a glass, not under a running tap.  Another thing you can do is install tap aerators that lower the consumption of water or install more efficient fixtures. Also check and address all drips and leaks.

Change the way you wash yourself

Even though baths are relaxing and satisfying, they waste a lot of water, so switch them for showers. Take shorter showers by putting an alarm clock in the bathroom or play music and limit your shower to two to three songs only. Shave and soap up with the water off. If you decide to take a bath, don’t overfill the tub. Use only as much water as you need, and use even less for small kids and pets. You can use the bath water for your garden or even to wash your car, just make sure that the soap you used is eco-friendly.

Modify your showerhead

If you’re using an older type of showerhead, the chances are you’re using up 15 to 20 liters of water per minute. If you can fill up a bucket in less than 20 seconds, get a new showerhead. There are water-efficient models with aerators that use only about 6 liters per minute, and they have different settings for different purposes.

Change the washing machine and modify the way you wash clothes

If you own an old washing machine, you’re using 20% more water than necessary. New models are water and energy efficient, especially if they have different modes. Also, you can reuse laundry water for your garden or car. See that you’re washing full loads or using water-level control setting on your machine to lower the unnecessary water consumption.

Cooking with less water

When washing fruits or veggies, wash them in a bowl instead of under the running tap. Thaw frozen food in a microwave or in the fridge. It’s less messy and uses up less water. You can also compost food waste by replacing your garbage disposal with a composting bin. It saves water and you get fresh compost for your garden. If you like drinking cold water, keep a bottle in the fridge, don’t use ice.

Lower dishwashing water consumption

If you own an older type you could be using around 60 liters per load. Compare that to a new model that uses 10 to 20 liters and you can see how much water you’re wasting. If you’re looking to buy a new model, look for those with an Energy Star label that save water and electricity. If you own a dishwasher, turn it on only when you have a full load of dishes.

If you’re hand-washing your dishes, don’t rinse them under a running tap. Use a separate sink (if you have one), fill it with clean water and use it for rinsing. You can also simply stack soapy dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a pan of water. Capture exec clean water and use it for plants, flushing or even pets (if the water came directly from the tap).

Use less water outside

Many homes in Australia have big gardens and backyards and thus need a lot of water for maintaining lawns and plants. As much as 50% of all household water usage is spent on watering lawns and plants and much of it is a simple waste. If you want your garden to look great, but also want to save water, put compost on your plants. This way you will retain moisture, create an optimum temperature and feed your plants. Replace your wasteful sprinklers with drip irrigation system.

Also, choose the right time of day to water your plants. Water them in the morning, when the temperature is lower, to prevent all the water from evaporating. In addition to this, you should watch out for any leaks and drips. If you’re not handy with tools, you can call a seasoned professional, as this plumber from Sydney’s Inner West, to fix any leaks you have.

Collect rain water

This is a great way to save some water for (not so) rainy days and still keep your garden fresh. You can use that water later to water your plants, wash your car or even give it to your pets.

Now that you know all the tricks and tips on saving water, it’s time to start doing it yourself. Remember that by saving water you’re not only saving money, but you’re also helping the environment and thus ensuring that our kids will live in a greener future.

Image credit: kaboompics

Rinkesh

Rinkesh is passionate about clean and green energy. He is running this site since 2009 and writes on various environmental and renewable energy related topics. He lives a green lifestyle and is often looking for ways to improve the environment around him.