Here in Hendersonville, Tennessee, we’re
fortunate to have abundant supplies of high quality drinking water.
Even so, it’s always important to carefully use the natural
resources available to us so that ample supplies will be available for
years to come.
It’s amazing when we stop to think of the
role water plays in our daily lives. Here are some examples of
the ways many families use water on a daily basis:
Saving Water In The Bathroom
- Check your toilets for leaks. Place a few drops of food coloring in your toilet tank
(behind the toilet). If, without flushing, the color begins to appear
in the bowl, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately.
- Consider a Water-Saving Toilet. While a conventional toilet uses 4 to 6 gallons per
flush, water-saving toilets that use 3 gallons or less per flush, are now
widely available. In fact, low-flow toilets are required in all new construction
- Put plastic bottles in your toilet
tank (if you've got older toilets). To cut down on water
waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles
to weigh them down. Fill them with water and put them in your toilet tank,
safely away from operating mechanisms. In an average home, the bottles may
displace and save ten or more gallons of water a day.
- Take shorter showers, or baths. Long, hot showers can waste five to 10 gallons
every extra minute. (And don't forget the extra cost of heating that
water.) A bath in a partially-filled tub uses less water than all but
the shortest showers.
- Install water-saving showerheads or flow
restrictors. Your local hardware or
plumbing supply store stocks inexpensive water-saving showerheads or
restrictors that are easy to install. A low-flow showerhead uses only 2
to 3 gallons of water per minute.
- Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush
and while shaving. Many gallons can be
lost if you allow the water to continue running.
- Check pipes and faucets for leaks. Even the smallest drip from a worn washer can
waste 20 or more gallons a day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds! This
tip is useful throughout the house.
Saving Water In The Kitchen
- If you have a
dishwasher, only use full loads. A dishwasher can use 15 to 30 gallons
per load. BUT, if used properly, a dishwasher can use less water than
if you were to wash all your dishes by hand.
- Use only full
loads when washing clothes. Many washing machines use 25 to 40 gallons
a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. Running tap water to
cool it off for drinking can be very wasteful. And you'll benefit in many
ways by keeping refreshing, cold drinking water in your refrigerator. You'll
get an icy-cold glass of high-quality water; the chlorine that some people
notice will have dissipated; and you'll enjoy considerable savings over buying
bottled water at the store.
How To Save Outside the Home –
Where Some Of Our Biggest Water Uses Occur
- Water your lawn only
when needed. A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step
on the grass. If it springs back up when you move, it's O.K. If it
stays flat- get the sprinkler.
- Deep soak the lawn.
When you do water, do it long enough for the moisture to soak down to
the roots where it will do the most good. A light sprinkling can
evaporate quickly and tends to encourage shallow root systems.
during the cool parts of the day. Early morning generally is better
than dusk since it helps prevent growth of fungus, yet it avoids the hot part
of the day when most water evaporates.
- Don't water the
gutter. Position your sprinklers so water lands on the lawn or garden,
not a paved area. Also avoid watering on windy days.
- Use a broom, not a
hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.
Other tips on how to become water efficient can be
found at: www.h2ouse.org
Water Use Statistics-
Consumption and Conservation
- Americans drink more
than 1 billion glasses of tap water per day.
- On average, 50 to 70
percent of home water is used outdoors for watering lawns and gardens.
- Daily indoor
per capita water use in the typical single family home with no
water-conserving fixtures is 74 gallons. Here is how it breaks down:
- Average household
water use annually: 127,400 gallons
- Average daily
household water use : 350 gallons
339,000 million gallons per day (mgd) of freshwater (about one quarter
of the national renewable supply) was withdrawn during 1990 for use by
the nation's homes, farms, and industries, and about 220 billion
gallons per day was returned to streams after use. The withdrawals
during 1990 were about 7 percent less than during 1980, the maximum
year reported, and about the same as during 1985. Some reasons for the
decline are because of active conservation programs, new technologies
requiring less water, higher costs to obtain water, and the enhanced
awareness by the general public to water resources. (USGS).