In response to the severe drought conditions in the western United States, people in states such as California are being required to reduce their water usage by as much as 36%. Fortunately, you don't need to make radical changes to your lifestyle to reduce your water usage; you just need to make changes to your plumbing. Here are three plumbing technologies that can drastically reduce your water usage, without drastically affecting your lifestyle.
Traditional flush toilets are one of the biggest water wasters in your home. Each flush uses anywhere between 1.6 and 7 gallons of water, depending on the type of toilet you have. Over time, this adds up: in the average household, about 27% of total water consumption is used for flushing toilets. Replacing these water-wasting toilets with waterless options is an easy way to slash your water consumption.
There are many types of waterless toilets, including composting toilets. Composting toilets look similar to the toilets you already have, but the waste falls into a chamber beneath the toilet, rather than being flushed into the sewers. Within this chamber, the waste breaks down and becomes compost.
If you don't like the idea of composting your waste, incinerating toilets are another water-free option. Instead of using water to flush your waste to the sewers, these toilets char your waste and turn it into a sterile ash. These toilets are powered by either natural gas or propane and use more energy than composting toilets, but since they're completely water-free, they're still ideal for people in drought-stricken areas.
Ultra Low-Flow Showerheads
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, showers are responsible for nearly 17% of the average household's water consumption. While waterless showers aren't a realistic option, ultra low-flow showerheads can be used to reduce the amount of water that you're wasting during your showers.
Many people have showerheads that use 2.5 gallons of water per minute, though some older showerheads use more than 5 gallons per minute. These showerheads can be replaced with models that use as little as 0.75 gallons per minute, which allows you to significantly reduce the amount of water you're using in the shower.
If you want to save even more water, invest in a shower timer and start taking shorter showers. Trimming even a couple of minutes off of your shower every day will add up over the course of a year. For example, if you install a showerhead that uses 0.75 gallons of water per minute and cut two minutes off your daily shower, you'll save nearly 550 gallons of water in a year!
In the average household, faucets in the bathrooms and kitchens are responsible for about 16% of total water consumption. If your faucets are older models, they may use more than 5 gallons of water every minute, though newer models need to use no more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute.
Installing aerators is an easy way to cut back on the water coming out of your faucets. Aerators screw on to the tips of your faucet and add air to your water, which reduces the flow of water that comes out. Using aerators can decrease the water flow from your faucets by up to 40%. The best part about aerators is that water providers often give them out for free, so there's no reason not to install them.
If you have older faucets, you may not be able to screw modern aerators onto the tips. If this is the case, have your plumber install new faucets to make aerator use possible.
If you need to drastically cut back on water, you don't need to skip your showers. Talk to a plumber about installing green plumbing solutions in your home or visit websites like http://www.aabsoluteplumbing.com for more information.
The best way to handle major home renovations is to take them one step at a time. Instead of trying to change your whole home at once, start small. I started with the guest bathroom, then the guest bedroom, then moved on to my kids’ rooms, my bedroom, and the living room. Now I’m working on remodeling the kitchen. I started this blog to help other people who are attempting major home renovations. I’ll show you how to change your whole home by breaking it up into manageable chunks. Wondering which kitchen counters are right for you, or how to add more space to your bedroom? We’ll go over the pros and cons of different materials and discuss DIY renovation projects. Before you know it, you’ll have created your dream home.