It’s easy to take clean water for granted, but with numerous droughts in California over the past decade, it’s important to always be conscious of your water usage. Fortunately, cutting back your water consumption doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Commit to making the following eight changes to keep your water bills low and benefit the environment.
- Check for leaks: A slow leak in the kitchen or bathroom sink could waste up to 20 gallons of water every day. A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons a day! To stop the dripping, you may need to replace worn-out faucet washers and toilet flappers.
- Inspect the water meter for hidden leaks: Not all plumbing leaks are easy to find. To help uncover hidden pipe leaks under the floor and behind the walls, go outside and check the water meter. Refrain from using any water for two hours. Then, check the water meter again. If the reading has changed, that means there’s a leak somewhere. Professional leak detection services can pinpoint its location so you can repair it.
- Install low-flow aerators: Replacing your showerheads and faucets is an inexpensive way to help reduce your water consumption. Aerators add bubbles to the water, lowering the flow to two gallons per minute or less without decreasing the perceived water pressure.
- Take shorter showers: A long, hot shower may feel refreshing, but that’s a lot of water down the drain. Aim to keep your showers to five minutes or less. Shallow baths are also a water-saving alternative to lengthy showers.
- Turn off the water when not in use: While showering, shut off the water as you lather up, and only turn it back on to rinse off. While brushing your teeth, wet your toothbrush, and then turn off the faucet until you need to rinse off the toothpaste. While shaving, fill the bathroom sink with a few inches of water to rinse your razor. While hand-washing dishes, fill one side of the sink with soapy wash water and the other side with cold rinse water to avoid leaving the tap open.
- Store drinking water in the refrigerator: Allowing the water to run as you wait for it to get cold is wasteful. Store a pitcher of drinking water in the fridge so you can fill your cup quickly and efficiently.
- Use your plumbing appliances wisely: Only run your dishwasher and washing machine with full batches. Then, wash your clothes in cold water to benefit from lower water heating costs as well.
- Irrigate smarter: Outdoor water use contributes significantly to your monthly water bills. To reduce waste, trade out the mist-style sprinklers in your flower patch or vegetable garden for a drip system. As for watering the lawn, wait until the early morning hours to reduce evaporation. Also, consider replacing the grass with more eco-friendly xeriscaping.