Summer is just around the corner, and water conservation will undoubtedly be brought to the forefront for those who are impacted by seasonal droughts and water usage restrictions in their towns. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at least 36 states anticipate local, regional or statewide water shortages by 2013, even under non-drought conditions.
Simply by making small changes around the house and to our daily routines, we can make a significant impact on our water supplies without feeling as though we’re sacrificing our comforts or experience.
A good place to start is with the home bathroom, where the water-saving potential is great. The EPA estimates that Americans use roughly 3.3 billion gallons of water each day just for showering. Handyman Matters believes it’s easy to bring that number down by taking a slightly shorter shower or using a water-saving showerhead.
It seems to be abundant, but water is a relatively scarce resource. Less than 1 percent of the world’s fresh water is readily accessible for direct human use. Here are a few tips that Handyman Matters professionals have put together for you to follow in order to help reduce your water consumption in the bathroom:
- Install a water-efficient showerhead. By installing a water-efficient showerhead, the average four-person household can potentially save an estimated 11,000 gallons of water per year. Here’s an example:
- 8-minute shower x 2.5 gallons per minute (standard showerhead) = 20 gallons used per shower.
- 8-minute shower x 1.5 gpm (water-efficient showerhead) = 12 gallons used per shower.
- 8-gallon savings x 4 people per day x 365 days yields approximately 11,680 gallons of water savings per four-person household, per year
- Fix a leaky faucet. According to the EPA, a leaky faucet dripping at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year.
- Learn to reuse and recycle. Don’t pour water down the drain when there may be another use for it, such as watering plants or cleaning.
- Turn off the water. According to the EPA, a bathroom faucet usually runs at 2 gallons of water per minute. By turning off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving, you can save more than 200 gallons of water per month.
- Take showers instead of baths. The average bathtub can hold up to 70 gallons of water when full. By taking an 8-minute shower instead of a bath, each person can save approximately 50 gallons of water per day.
- Switch to a high-efficiency toilet. A high-efficiency toilet uses less than 1.3 gallons per flush, leading to an average of 20 percent less water per flush when compared to the industry standard of 1.6 gallons.
In March 2010, the EPA established its WaterSense specifications for showerheads to promote water efficiency in the shower, and product performance and quality. To earn the WaterSense designation, a showerhead or handshower must flow at a rate of no more than 2.0 gpm, tested at a flowing pressure of 80 psi, and is tested against the following attributes to ensure performance and user satisfaction:
- A consistent flow rate across a range of pressures
- Spray force
- Spray coverage
As the world’s population increases, the conservation of water has moved from being more than just a good idea; now it is an imperative. Handyman Matters professional craftsmen can help you take some of these water conserving tips and apply them to your home. Click here to find a location near you and information on kitchen and bathroom updates and remodels that include water-sensible features and fixtures.