As plumbers, water is sort of “our thing.” With Greenville and Spartanburg Counties in one of the worst droughts since 2009, we wanted to share with you our list of the top water saving tips you can implement today. The average person uses about 100 gallons of water per day. It’s eye opening when you use this Water Use Calculator to estimate how much water you’re using. Here are some some of the most impactful tips we know of to help conserve.
You Flushed 30% of Your Home’s Water Consumption
- A running toilet can waste a whopping 200 gallons of water in a day or 6,000 gallons in a month! When not being flushed, your toilet should be silent. If you hear any sort of ‘ghost’ flushing or other noises, you need to address this ASAP. If you don’t hear any noises, it’s still a good idea to test your toilet for a leak. Grab a small bottle of food coloring and add about 10 drops to the tank of the toilet (not the bowl) but don’t flush. Wait at least 15 minutes, if you see the color is in the bowl, you have a leak and you’ll want to take steps to repair it.
- If you have a toilet older than 1994, each flush uses between 3.5-6 gallons of water per flush. People are often afraid to switch to a 1.6 gallon or less toilet because they worry they won’t have as much flushing power. However, manufacturers have designed toilets to work better with less water. Switching can save you 532 gallons a month if your household flushes 8 times a day.
- Consider a Dual Flush toilet. These toilets are designed to give you more (1.6 gallons) or less (0.9 gallons) of water depending on what you need and keep you conserving even more water.
Rub-A-Dub-Dub Here’s 3 Tips for the Tub
No one’s advocating you stop bathing, but before you start that bubble bath, consider your options.
- A standard bathtub holds about 35 gallons of water. An eight-minute shower would only use 20 gallons of water assuming you have a low flow shower head. Not sure if you have a low flow shower head? Look at the base of the shower head and you should see a number that says “2.5 GMP”. In one month, a low flow shower head can save 750 gallons of water.
- Already have a low flow shower head? If each person shortened their showers by 1 minute, you’ll save 152 gallons of water in a month. Two minutes saves 304 gallons and 3 minutes saves 456 gallons.
- Stop waiting on Hot Water! Winter is coming and that means waiting for a hot shower in the morning is going to take even longer. Consider installing a recirculating pump. It almost eliminates your wait for hot water by moving hot water through your pipes so the cold water doesn’t have to be pushed out first. The typical home can save 1,000-3,100 gallons of water a month by eliminating the wait for hot water!
4 More Mindfulness Water Saving Tips
- Use your dishwasher (and save your hands!). 10 minutes of hand washing dishes a night uses over 100 gallons of water in a week compared to using your dishwasher twice a week that might use 20 gallons a week. That’s going to save your home 350 gallons of water a month.
- Wash full loads of laundry. Older washing machines can use 40 gallons of water. Consider upgrading your machine to an Energy Star model and save 15 gallons of water per load. At 6 loads of laundry a week, you just saved 390 gallons of water a month.
- As simple as it sounds, turning the water off while brushing your teeth saves one gallon of water per minute. That can save 240 gallons of water a month.
- Be mindful of your garbage disposal. Yes, they are convenient and we love them, but you do have to run the water for a while to make sure everything has cleared the disposal. Throw away or compost as many food scraps as possible instead of putting them down the sink. Added bonus, your drains will thank you as they are less likely to clog. By eliminating 1 minute a day for running water for the disposal, you just saved 76 gallons each month.
Not every household will save 9,794 gallons of water in a month. We based these values off the assumption of a two-person household. Hopefully, most homes have already taken many of the steps that we mentioned. We visit a lot of homes, and we still see a lot of ways that water can be conserved. We are lucky to live in an area with some of the best water in the country, but it’s important to remember everyone plays a role in protecting our resources.