With summer right around the corner, you can expect an increase in your water bill. The kids use more water when home from school, your lawn and garden need frequent watering, and your clothes need more frequent washing. Plus, you’ll need to drink much more water to keep cool. Each person in your family uses an average of 82 gallons of water daily. An average four-person family could use around 10,000 gallons of water a month. But how can you beat the heat without breaking the bank? Here are five easy ways to start conserving water today.
1. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth and washing your hands.
The easiest way to conserve water is to turn it off when it’s unnecessary, especially when brushing your teeth or washing your hands. You don’t need running water while brushing your teeth or scrubbing your hands with soap. Keeping the water off until you need to rinse can save over 200 gallons of water a month.
2. Take shorter showers.
Sometimes there’s nothing better at the end of a tiresome day than taking a long, hot shower, but those hot showers add up. A standard showerhead produces 2.5 gallons of water per minute, so a 15-minute shower uses 30 gallons. A five-minute shower can save up to 20 gallons, saving up to 7,300 gallons of water annually! This tip gives you a break on your water bill and some money back on your power bill since your water heater won’t have to replenish as much hot water.
3. Don't run your dishwasher or washing machine until you have a full load to wash.
It’s easy to get into the habit of washing dishes and clothes daily to keep your surroundings clean, but you’re adding more and more to your water bill the more frequently you use these appliances. While using a dishwasher does conserve more water than washing by hand, you use an average of 4 gallons per cycle. Also, your washing machine can use at least 19 gallons per cycle! By running these appliances half the time as usual, you can save over 2,100 gallons per year.
4. Water your garden or lawn in the morning or evening.
As the temperature climbs into the 80s and 90s, your vegetation needs more water to thrive. You’ll need more water during the day because the hot weather will cause most of the water to evaporate before reaching your plants. Watering before the sun rises or after the sun sets allows the roots to soak in the moisture needed without significantly more water.
5. Fix any leaks in water pipes or fittings.
Annual household leaks waste one trillion gallons of water in the United States every year, equivalent to the amount of water used by over 11 million households. Be sure to check toilet flappers, faucets, and valves for leaks. You could save around 90 gallons of water daily by ensuring your home is leak-free.
Save yourself the headache by following these tips to conserve water. Not only will you be helping your planet by consuming less water, but you will also keep your water (and power) bills down year-round.