While we typically think of water conservation during the hot and arid months of summer, water conservation is an important issue all year round. Take a glance below to see how you can conserve water at home in the colder months.
Be Careful with the flushes
Flushing toilets can use upwards of two gallons per flush, and even more with older toilet bowl models. Additionally, check your toilet for leaks. Leaking toilets can waste hundreds of gallons a day. Check for leaks by dropping food coloring into the toilet tank. You will be able to tell if a leak is present if you see coloring in the bowl after a few minutes. If it is in your budget, consider upgrading your toilet to a low-flush, higher efficiency toilet.
Turn the Faucet Off
Easier in theory than in practice, the small act of turning the faucet off when not in use will make a big impact. Turn the sink off as you brush your teeth. Keep the faucet off when you shave. Don’t leave the tap running while you wash the dishes. Use a dishwasher and washing machine that will recycle water and only use them when they are full. These simple adjustments will provide a big impact on your water bill.
Ready the Pipes
Cracked and burst pipes can cost a fortune. Winterize your pipes to prevent paying astronomical water and plumbing repair bills. Take some precaution to protect your pipes indoors and outdoors. For indoor pipes, insulate them so they stay warmer, heat more quickly, and are less likely to leak. Wrap outdoor pipes as well in order to protect them from unforgiving winter air. Additionally, ensure that you know what to do in the event of a water pipe burst. Locate the shut-off valve in your home in case your pipes do burst to prevent flooding.
Take a Second Look at Your Shower
Water used in the shower can account for a big portion of your water bill. Low-flow showerheads can make a big difference when it comes to water conservation. In fact, it can save you thousands of gallons of water and hundreds of dollars a year. While you shop for a new showerhead, consider decreasing the amount of time you spend in the shower. Long, languid showers will run up your monthly bills and dry out your skin.
Another trick you can do is to collect water while you run the shower and wait for it to heat up. Even if you take short showers, any water you use waiting for the temperature to be just right is clean water going right down the drain. A bucket of water collected from your shower can be used to water your plants, feed your pets, cook with, mop the floor, and much more. It’s clean and you pay for it, why not use it?
Water conservation isn’t a seasonal responsibility. You can easily implement good water habits year-round with a little extra effort. For more ways that you can conserve water throughout the year, visit the Minnesota section of the American Water Works Association today.