Hints & HELP!
Water Wisely to Lower Utility Costs & Conserve Resources
by Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator
This article appeared in the June 1,
2003 Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper.
conservation is not only important outside the home, it
is also necessary to conserve water inside the home. Most
people use about 50 to 80 gallons of water indoors everyday,
but that amount can be significantly reduced by using water-conserving
appliances and practices.
is a valuable natural resource. It's important to use it
wisely. Homeowners can reduce water use by repairing leaks,
avoiding running unnecessary water, installing water-saving
features on older appliances or purchasing new appliances
that minimize water use. These actions are particularly
useful and responsible during a drought.
fixtures, water softeners, clothes washers and dishwashers
use the most water in a home. Older toilets can use 3 to
7 gallons of water for each flush and account for up to
50 percent of all indoor water use depending on individual
households. Low-flush toilets only use about 1.6 gallons
of water per flush and save 8,000 or more gallons of water
per household per year. Newer models include jet-action
or pressure-assisted toilets. Consult a consumers' study
and a professional plumber for more information. Older toilets'
water use can be reduced with toilet dams, water-filled
containers or a 1.6-gallon flapper if the devices don't
interfere with flush action or water flow through waste
pipes. These devices displace water and reduce outflows
by up to 25 percent.
and shower water use can be cut in half by installing faucet
aerators and low-flow shower heads, which reduce the water
flow rate while maintaining spray velocity. Taking shorter
showers and turning off the shower during shampooing and
lathering soap or turning off the sink faucet while shaving
or brushing teeth also will help.
appliances such as washing machines can use up to 57 gallons
of water per load. Newer, high-efficiency and front-loading
models use about 30 to 50 percent less water. Recent technology
includes sensing the load size, dirtiness of the water,
fabric type and controlling incoming water temperature.
Some use high-pressure rinses. Setting the water level controls
to match the load size will save hot water.
use 7 to 25 gallons of water per full load depending on
the model. Newer models use about 7 to 10 gallons of water
per full load and have water-saving cycle options to match
dish loads. To reduce water and energy use, run full loads
and only pre-rinse when needed. Select an energy-saving
or air-dry cycle when possible.
water softeners also have features to reduce water use.
On-demand water softening equipment measures the demand
and softens water only when needed. These units can save
water by eliminating unnecessary regeneration cycles and
making the most efficient use of water, salt and energy.
homeowner or renter should take time to check their living
quarters for leaks and start now to try water conservation
practices. Water is an important resource that we shouldn't
take for granted.
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