Conserving water is a great step toward lowering your monthly water bill, decreasing energy usage, and ensuring reliable water resources for future generations.
The average American household spends about $500 per year on its water and sewer bill, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. But did you know that you could save up to $170 on your water bill each year by incorporating a few simple water-saving practices and retrofitting your home with water-efficient fixtures?
In our most recent blog, the water quality and conservation experts at Indiana American Water discuss 10 easy ways to save water in your home and decrease your water footprint.
Tips to Save Water
1. Fix leaky faucets
The sound of a leaky faucet or toilet is not only annoying, but it can be very costly. Faucet leaks may not seem like a huge deal, but they can really add up over time. According to the EPA, a leaky faucet with a drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year – or the equivalent of 180 showers! On average, a home’s water leaks can waste as much as 10,000 gallons of water per year, so it’s important to check for leaks and have them repaired quickly. Contact a local plumber if you’re not comfortable making such repairs.
2. Repair or replace toilets
Even a minor toilet leak can waste a lot of water—about 22 gallons per day! Many toilet leaks are caused by worn-out toilet flappers, which are relatively easy and inexpensive to replace. One simple way to tell if your toilet is leaking is by putting food coloring in your toilet tank. If the color appears in the toilet after not flushing, the toilet has a leak. You may want to install water-saving toilets, like a low-flow toilet, in your home. These toilet models are much more efficient than older toilets and can save water each time they’re flushed.
3. Take shorter showers
Not much beats a hot shower in the morning, but try to limit them to five minutes or less, if possible. A shower uses more water than nearly every appliance in the home, so if you’re able to limit the time spent in the shower, you should. If you take a bath, try to fill the tub only about halfway to save water.
4. Turn off the tap
Most people brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. Turning the tap water off while brushing your teeth can save you three or four gallons of water each day, or more than 1,000 gallons over the course of a year.
Consider turning off the taps while you wash dishes by hand, too. Instead, fill one sink up with hot, soapy water and the other sink with cold water for rinsing. While you shave, fill the sink with water to rinse your razor, and then turn off the faucet.
5. Dishwasher considerations
When you’re in the market to buy a new dishwasher, look for one with a light-wash cycle. Operating a dishwasher on a heavier cycle uses more water and energy.
Before running your dishwasher, make sure it’s full. Using it only when necessary conserves water and can save you money. Also, instead of pre-rinsing dishes, scrape them before placing them inside the dishwasher.
6. Washing machine considerations
Like your dishwasher, you can conserve water and energy by only running your washing machine when it’s full. You can also cut down on water usage by buying a water-saving model which can be adjusted to the load size, according to the EPA. Look for a washer that is certified by Energy Star. These models can cut down on water usage by 40%.
7. Install faucet aerators
A faucet aerator is a small screen that can be attached to the tip of faucets. They reduce splashing and, because they deliver a mixture of water and air, they decrease water consumption while the faucet is being used.
8. Install a low-flow shower head
Showers and baths make up for a majority of a home’s water consumption, so installing a low-flow shower head can significantly reduce water consumption, by as much as 60,000 gallons per year for a family of four. You’ll also save on your energy bill, as your water heater won’t have to work as hard to provide hot water for showers.
9. Water your lawn only when necessary
Over-watering your lawn is one of the fastest ways to increase your home’s overall water usage. Only water the lawn once a week, if rainfall isn’t sufficient. It’s best to water in the morning or evening to reduce evaporation and maximize the amount of water that can reach root systems.
10. Collect rainwater
Avoid watering your trees and plants with a hose, and instead use collected rainwater. Harvesting rainwater in a barrel is a great way to water your plants and gardens. Using barrels to catch the rainwater from your roof is an effective way to conserve water and keep your trees and plants healthy throughout the spring and summer. You can also consider using drip irrigation hoses to water plants.
Indiana American Water Is Committed to Water Conservation
The EPA estimates that if the average family practices these water conservation tips – coupled with purchasing Energy Star-rated appliances and WaterSense-labeled fixtures – the average American family can reduce its energy and water usage by 20% and save $380 per year. Indiana American Water is committed to educating its customers about water conservation to ensure water is available for future generations.