We all know that at home, it is good for the environment and for its purse to conserve water wherever possible. Here are four smart ways to reduce household water use.
1. Install water savers
Today, all kinds of accessories and fittings can save water. However, before starting to install new equipment, check with your local authority to see if the plumbing work is to be done by a licensed plumber. In some jurisdictions, doing so may affect your coverage.
- Replace the faucets separated by a single-lever mixer. This allows the water temperature to be adjusted more quickly and therefore saves water.
- Ask a plumber to adapt aerators and flow regulators to valves, or install valves that incorporate these devices. They reduce the flow of water without reducing the pressure – in other words, without you really feel a difference.
- Replace the existing tank (toilet tank) with a high-efficiency double flush system. This can reduce the flush volume from 11 l to 3 l.
- However, even if you do not have a flush toilet, you can still reduce the amount of water used by flushing by installing a commercially available volume regulator or by placing a full bottle of water in the tank, as far as possible from the mechanism.
- To avoid wasting cold water remaining in hot water pipes, install a recirculation system that sends unused water to the heater, or a heat tracing system that uses a minimum of Energy to keep the heat from the water pipes.
2. Review the effectiveness ratings
- When buying appliances that use water, look for models with labels or ratings that indicate they are water efficient.
- These efficiency ratings cover showers, dishwashers, washing machines, faucets, toilet facilities and flow regulators.
- Water rating tags indicate effectiveness by using a rating of one to six stars and a consumption figure. The more stars, the more effective the product.
- Household appliances with high ratings may be more expensive, but they offer significant savings in the long term.
- Water saving products save not only water and money but also energy, thus limiting greenhouse gas emissions.
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3. Check for leaks
Small leaks can waste enormous amounts of water – for which the bill must be paid. It is, therefore, a good idea to regularly check for leaks in the pipes. To do this:
- Turn off all faucets and machines that use water;
- Note the number on the water meter;
- Wait for half an hour, then check again;
- If the number has increased, there is a leak;
- Call a plumber if you cannot find the leak yourself.
4. Install an economical showerhead
Switching to a water-saving showerhead is the cheapest and most effective change you can make at home to save water.
- A water-saving showerhead saves up to 50,000 l per year.
- Some water authorities provide, install and even offer discounts for the use of these devices.
By taking small steps to make your home more water efficient, you can have a big long-term impact on the preservation of this valuable resource.