Water Waste Concerns: Why Saving Water for Summer Months Is Key

According to the United States Geological Survey, the water below, on and above the surface of the Earth only contains an estimated 2.5 percent of freshwater. Of that amount, only an estimated 1.2 percent is surface water. The rest is groundwater or water locked in glaciers. With a global human population above 7 billion and climate change causing droughts and other weather conditions that reduce or pollute available freshwater, it is now more important than ever that people learn water conservation techniques to prevent catastrophe.

conserve-waterUnderstanding Standard Usage

Every American uses approximately 80-100 gallons of water on an average day in waste expulsion, cleaning, irrigation and repair scenarios:

– Toilet flushing

– Hand washing

– Bathing and showering

– Dish washing and rinsing

– Laundry washing

– Home and vehicle cleaning

– Landscaping maintenance

– Old and damaged plumbing drips

loading-a-dishwasher_480Waste expulsion and cleaning processes naturally help reduce the number and type of harmful microorganisms in a home or vehicle.

Many people don’t conserve as much water as they can or should when cleaning themselves or their property. The same problem is true of landscaping and garden maintenance. As seen with the recent drought conditions in California and other states, plenty of people continue to use fresh water just to have lush green lawns.

According to the American Water Works Association, a slow dripping faucet that only releases a single drop of water every minute wastes approximately 51 gallons of water per year.

Wasting Water This Summer

It is not difficult to imagine that waste water generation increases during summer months since warm weather also increases outdoor activity and related water usage:

– Sweating and exposure to pollutants and particulates during shopping, exercising, lawn mowing and family or friend gatherings prompts people to take more baths and showers and wash their clothing more often.

– Heat prompts people to use more fresh water in baths, showers, sprinklers and pools to “cool off.”

– People in areas that have marked hot and cold seasons perform most of their outdoor clean up in the summer. They produce water waste when they power wash home exteriors, patios and porches, clean windows and rinse “dust,” such as pollen, road dirt and mud, off cars and other vehicles.

– Homeowners and gardeners use a lot of water to keep their landscaping and fruit and vegetable plants healthy.

Reasons for Concern

Drought regions have less fresh water available than normal. Companies that provide clean water, such as water utilities, bottled water, and other beverages, have started to charge more money to consumers across the country for the privilege of having access to potable water.

Wasteful use of tap water in summer puts a strain on water treatment plants, who then have greater expenses related to the purchase and delivery of water treatment chemicals, equipment repair, replacement and related energy use.

To maintain their bottom lines, water companies that provide clean water after recycling must often pass on their costs to consumers in the form of higher fees. Facilities that treat sewage drained from home sewage tanks must also do the same. Additionally, energy suppliers, who still mostly rely on fossil fuels for energy generation, face greater energy consumption and also raise their fees. Worse yet, any recycled water from sewage treatment is not the same or as clean as true freshwater.

Methods for Conserving Water

Summertime water conservation lowers costs, improves the general cost of living and provides some security against water rationing that results from overuse of surface and groundwater sources.

Most of the methods listed out for conserving water might seem like common sense, but many Americans fail to follow these methods because they have become so used to taking clean, fresh water for granted:

Track Water Use: A lot of tools exist that can help people perform basic tracking of their water usage. One of the best is a simple timer. For example, set a timer as a warning system to prevent showers longer than five or ten minutes. Another option: Attach water consumption gauges to water lines and check them regularly to measure usage.

rain-barrel-collection-systemReset the Toilet: People can also lower their daily water use by setting up a toilet to use the minimum amount of water necessary for flushing purposes.

Repair Every Leak: Whether a faucet drips a little or a lot, the only way to fix the problem is by repairing it. Stop unnecessary clean water loss by regularly checking all faucets and pipes for leaks and then conducting do-it-yourself repairs or by hiring a plumber as needed.

Wipe Away Dirt: Although taking a bath or shower makes a person feel squeaky clean, a quick wipe down with a soapy rag and small amount of water in a sink can provide the same results between regular daily showers. This method is the best idea for reducing water waste if someone plans to go out or get dirty again that same day.

Choose Different Cooling: Ice pops, ice cream cones, hand fans and air conditioners cool down the body just as well as a cool bath or shower.

Recycle Usable Water: Many people waste water by allowing cool water to run down the drain while they wait for it to turn hot. Instead, place a canister under the faucet while waiting and then use the water for watering plants, cleaning or in an outdoor manual shower barrel. Additionally, collect downspout water in rain barrels for the same purposes.

Change the Landscaping: Instead of wasting water trying to maintain grass, which is a water-greedy plant, switch to plants that need less moisture and retain water longer.

Invest in Tech: Several smart home tools now measure and distribute precise amounts of water to landscapes and gardens. Stop relying on all-day sprinklers and set up irrigation systems for timed, controlled water release.

For more information about water conservation or quality services in your Sacramento, CA home, contact the experienced plumbers at VanGo Rooter at (415) 779-0009 today!