How to Conserve Water this Fall
Whether you’re watering your lawn, running a dishwasher or washing machine, brushing your teeth or showering, you use large amounts of water every day. In fact, the average American uses over 100 gallons of water daily and unknowingly wastes 30 gallons! Work toward reducing your water usage with these tips on how to conserve water inside and outside your home this fall.
In Your Home
One way to conserve water is by reusing it. Try to eliminate pouring water down the drain if there is another use. For example, when cooking items like pasta or vegetables that require boiling pots of water, instead of pouring the used water down the drain, try using it to water plants kept in the house.
Another step you can take to conserve water in your day-to-day life is to shorten your showers. The standard shower head uses about 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Shortening your showers by a minute can save more than 900 gallons of water per year. Similarly, try shutting off your water when not using it. For example, turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth, and do not run your shower until you’re ready to step in.
Lastly, one of the most impactful differences you can make to conserve water in your home is to check for water leaks. On average, household leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year. This is the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry! Common leaks inside the home can be shower head leaks, dripping faucets and worn toilet flappers. An easy way to determine if your home is experiencing water leaks is to check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when water isn’t being used. If the meter does not read the same, your house probably has a leak somewhere. You can also have a plumber install a smart leak detector, which helps indicate where there might be a high-risk for plumbing leaks.
Outside of Your Home
Further steps can be taken outside of the home to conserve water as well. For example, collecting rainwater is one of the easiest ways to conserve water usage outside. You can use any large container as a rain barrel. Just place the container outside and use the collected rainwater for watering plants, yard work and more.
Another way to conserve water usage outside is through maintaining your irrigation system. Up to 50% of water used outdoors is wasted due to runoff, evaporation and wind. You can save up to 146 gallons of water a week by ensuring your irrigation system is working efficiently. Once a month, check that each sprinkler head is running properly and not leaking, clogged, or damaged, and adjust sprinkler heads to be sure they’re targeting the intended area. With the temperatures cooling, instead of running your sprinklers on an automatic schedule, monitor the week’s rainfall and determine if running the sprinkler system is necessary or can be turned off for the season. Rain shut-off switches can also be added to your system to easily automate this process throughout the year.
When seasons change, especially in Autumn when leaves fall, keeping the car clean isn’t always easy. Instead of washing your vehicle at home, it’s often better to go to a car wash. Most commercial car washes use high-pressure rinse arches that use less water than your garden hose. Commercial car washes use around 50 gallons of water per car compared to the 100 gallons needed to clean your car at home. Many commercial car washes also use water reclamation systems to recycle the water used on each vehicle.
Water conservation is a responsibility we share as a community. When we make mindful choices inside and outside our homes, we collectively reduce water waste, save money and ultimately protect one of Earth’s most precious resources.