Every drop of water that comes into your bathroom must come from somewhere, and the average Californian uses nearly 200 gallons per day! And although the San Francisco Bay area is lucky to have great natural water resources that are carefully managed, it’s always best to try and conserve as much water as possible. As area residents know, droughts can deplete water supplies quickly, making it a precious commodity.
What can you do to conserve more water and be more environmentally pro-active?
Fortunately, you don’t have to cut your showers down to once a week to make a difference. So, here are a few ways you can be more water conscious in the bathroom without sacrificing comfort:
1. Upgrade Fixtures
Low-flow toilets, shower heads, and faucets have come a long way. You can get all the functionality of these fixtures and still save water.
If you’re ready to trade in your toilet for a high efficiency toilet, make sure you find one that’s certified by the EPA’s WaterSense program. These toilets must use less than 1.28 gallons per flush. Don’t worry, the WaterSense certification also requires excellent performance. Older toilets may use upwards of 6 or 7 gallons per flush! In total, you could save up to 13,000 gallons per year just by changing to a more efficient toilet.
When it comes to your shower, you can still enjoy great water pressure without sending gallons upon gallons of water down the drain. WaterSense shower heads use less than 2 gallons per minute, while the average shower head uses 2.5 or more gpm.
Faucets with aerators can help you reduce water flow at the sink, too. WaterSense certified products must prove using 1.5 gpm or less. The EPA estimates that you could save up to 700 gallons of water per year simply by making this one change.
2. Check for Leaks
Every year, up to 1 trillion gallons of water are lost to leaks in homes across the country. Even just a simple dripping faucet can result in hundreds of gallons lost each year. So, what can you do?
Be vigilant and keep an eye out for leaks. Try to fix them as soon as possible. In most cases, leaks are a DIY fix, but you can always hire a plumber. Taking care of leaks quickly can help you save up to 10% on your water bill throughout the year. So, a call to the plumber might be worth it!
Don’t forget to check the toilet for leaks too, which are often hard to catch. You can detect a leak by putting a drop of food coloring in the upper tank. If the water appears in the toilet bowl within a short time, then you have a silent leak. The most likely solution is to change the toilet flapper.
3. Turn Off Water Between Rinsing
When you’re brushing your teeth or shampooing your hair, consider turning off the water when you’re not rinsing. It may seem insignificant but it adds up. Just by shutting off the water while brushing your teeth, you’d save about 3,000 gallons of water every year – or ten gallons per day!
Imagine if everyone practiced this water conservation strategy. Our state could save a lot of water!
Now you’re ready to save more water in the bathroom and make an important environmental contribution to the community. How will you start being more water conscious today?