Water conservation has become a more urgent concern in recent years, and it always seems to get more attention when the outdoor temperatures start to climb as summer approaches. That's because household water use peaks in the summer, when it can increase four-fold compared to the wintertime. If you'd like to start conserving water, here are some tips for reducing your household consumption.
Get Any Plumbing Leaks Fixed
You may not realize that even minor leaks in your home's plumbing system can waste thousands of gallons of water a year and dramatically increase your usage. If your goal is to conserve water, it's wise to have your plumbing system inspected by a licensed professional and get leaky water lines and dripping shower heads and faucets repaired or replaced.
Reduce Usage in the Kitchen
Always use your dishwasher instead of hand washing, since this uses less water. Put your dishwasher to the most water-frugal setting, too, and only run it when it's completely full. Don't pre-rinse your dirty dishes before you load the appliance either, since doing so can waste up to 20 gallons per dishwasher load.
Practice Water Conservation in the Bathroom
Update your shower heads and bathroom faucets with low-flow versions – look for WaterSense labeled products that are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use 20 percent less water than comparable standard models. To curb your water consumption even more, start taking shorter showers and shut off the faucet when brushing your teeth or shaving.
Water Outdoors When It's Cooler
Watering your lawn and gardens in the early morning or evening helps limit water waste from evaporation that occurs when the sun is high in the sky. If you have a sprinkler system, make sure the heads aren't positioned where water is hitting the driveway and sidewalks and being wasted as well.