Ten Water Conservation Techniques By: Sarah Bernheim The average U.S. household uses 400 gallons of water every day1. Water usage can be reduced significantly by adopting a few simple water conservation measures. 1) Check your pipes and faucets for leaks. One dripping faucet can waste 20 gallons of water each day. Multiply by two or three faucets, and that can add up to 25,000 gallons a year in water conservation. 2) Use the waste basket instead of the toilet. Each time the toilet is flushed, up to seven gallons of water is used. Make sure you only use the toilet for its intended use. 3) Perform a leak test on your toilet tank. A leak in the seal between the holding tank and toilet can easily be checked by adding food coloring to the tank water and checking for seepage into the toilet bowl. 4) Install low-flow faucet aerators and shower heads. A regular shower head can use ten gallons of water per minute. Low-flow shower heads use no more than 2.5 gallons per minute. This single change can save up to 40 percent of a household's total water usage. 5) Reduce the amount of water in your older, non low-flow toilets. Newer toilets by law are limited to 1.6 gallons per flush, while older toilets still use up to 6 gallons for each flush. Ideally, your home's older toilets should be replaced with newer, water conservation friendly units. Short of that, you can reduce the amount of water that flows into the bowl by placing a closed jug of water or brick to take up space in the tank. 6) Adjust the timing and pattern of your lawn sprinklers to ensure your yard is adequately watered, and not the sidewalk or your neighbor's yard. Time your watering to avoid daytime evaporation. 7) Wash clothes and dishes only with a full load to reduce the number of wash cycles. Also, change the dishwasher setting to its regular cycle, and wash clothes with cold water to save energy. 8) Running the shower or faucet until the water is sufficiently heated can waste a significant amount of water. Replace your old water heater with a tankless unit which heats water almost instantaneously. Also, insulate your hot water pipes to conserve heat in the pipes. 9) Reduce the amount of time water is running. Take shorter showers, turn off the facet while brushing your teeth, reduce garbage disposal usage by composting food instead of throwing it down the sink. 10) Replace water using appliances like dishwashers, clothes washers with new energy and water efficient units. Newer units can contribute up to 20 percent toward water conservation efforts over older models.
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