Being surrounded by water in Southwest Florida it's easy to forget that fresh water is our most precious resource. As fresh water supplies become more strained by growth and saltwater intrusion, it's up to all of us to do our part to conserve water in our homes.
While installing water saving toilets and low-flow shower heads are important steps to prevent wasting water, there are other steps you can take. Not only will you help preserve our most important natural resource, you'll save on your water bill as well.
1. Laundry - Use the clothes washer for full loads, or adjust water levels to match the size of the load. Avoid the permanent press cycle, which uses about 5 extra gallons of water per load.
2. Upgrade to a dual-flush toilet - Installing a dual flush toilet can save an average family 15,000 gallons of water each year. Extra water is available when needed, but for most flushes you’ll reduce the amount of water by 70%, saving a significant amount of water. Existing toilets can be upgraded with a dual flush converter that turns a standard toilet into a dual flush toilet.
3. Fix Water Leaks - Leaking toilets, faucets, showers and leaking pipes can add up to a lot of waste. To see if your house has hidden water leaks, read your home's water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
4. Save Cold Water - A lot of water is wasted while waiting for the shower or faucet tap to reach higher temperatures. Instead of letting the water go down the drain, keep a container nearby to collect and save the cold water and use it for watering plants or filling the pet's water bowls.
5. Use the Dishwasher - It turns out that washing dishes by hand uses a lot more water than using the dishwasher. Newer dishwashers are designed to be very efficient. In fact, the EPA estimates an efficient dishwasher uses half as much water, saving close to 5,000 gallons each year!
• Clean sidewalks and driveways with a broom instead of a hose
• Cover your swimming pool to reduce evaporation
• Compost food waste instead of using your under sink disposal