Water plays a very important part in our everyday lives. We drink it, we use it to cook with, clean our clothing, dishes and ourselves. Did you know that the average Canadian uses up to 329 litres of water a day?
Being aware of how much water we are using is also very important. We don’t have an endless supply of water at our disposal and, if you live in an urban centre, you almost certainly pay for the water you use.
March 22 was World Water Day. Its purpose is to draw attention to the importance of our freshwater resources. It is an opportunity to learn about issues related to water use and to learn how to make a difference through education and conservation.
To find out more about World Water Day go to: https://www.worldwaterday.org
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about water and some ways to conserve it.
Install aerators or flow-restrictors on faucets to decrease the amount of water flowing through them. Check for leaks due to worn out washers. Low-flow fixtures (faucets or showerheads, for example) can also be effective in reducing your water use.
In the bathroom, take shorter showers by limiting your time to 5 minutes and don’t take baths. Check the flow of your showerhead and replace it with a high-efficiency version. [To check the flow of your showerhead, find a large pail and run your showerhead into the pail for 10 seconds. Measure how much water you collected. Convert the measurement into gallons (16 cups in a gallon) and multiply the total amount of water you collected by 6. This will give you the flow rate of your shower in gpm (gallons per minute). To give you an idea of how much water you ideally should be using, new low flow showerheads use less than 2.5 gpm]
Other ways to reduce the amount of water you are using in the bathroom are by turning the water off while you brush your teeth, wash your face, or shave.If you don’t need to flush, don’t. Remember the saying “If it’s yellow, let it mellow…” This may take a bit of getting used to, but will save a lot of water!
If you suspect your toilet is leaking, you can check by simply adding a few drops of food colouring to the tank. If after 10-20 minutes you notice the food colouring has leaked into the toilet bowl, you definitely have a leak and your flapper will need to be replaced.
And, if you have an old toilet (for homes built before 1996 and if you have a high-flow fixture that uses more than 6-litres a flush), the City of Barrie offers a $50 Rebate Toilet Rebate Program. See if you qualify here. Check your local municipality for similar programs.
In the kitchen, instead of running the water until it is cold, fill a pitcher of water from the tap and let cool in the refrigerator. Collect the water you use when running the tap for hot water. Use it for watering houseplants or for cooking. Wait until your dishwasher is full before you run it. If you are washing dishes in the sink and have two sinks, use one for rinsing the dishes instead of running water to rinse.
In the laundry room, only turn your washer on when you have a full load of clothes and/or adjust the water level. When replacing your washer, look for a high efficiency version that uses less water.
Other simple ways to use less water in the laundry room are to wash clothing and towels less often. Use cold temperature settings instead of hot and don’t use the extra rinse cycle.
In the garden, a great way to conserve water is to harvest rainwater. Investing in a rain barrel is a great solution and rainwater is much better for the health of your plants and flowers. If you have a well, rain barrels are a much better option for watering as it saves the potable water for drinking.
These are just some of the great solutions for conserving water in our homes. We hope this has given you some inspiration on great ways to save water now and for the years ahead. Contact us today and we will be happy to help you make your home more water efficient.