Bathroom Water Conservation
Fresh water is a valuable resource. Here are a few tips to use only the water you need in the bathroom:
- While brushing your teeth, washing your face, or shaving, don’t continuously run the water in the sink. Turn it off until you need it.
- The aerator, the screw-on tip of the faucet, ultimately determines the maximum flow rate of a faucet. Aerators are inexpensive to replace and they can be one of the most cost-effective water conservation measures. For maximum efficiency, purchase aerators that have flow rates of no more than 1.0 gallon per minute. Some aerators come with shut-off valves that allow you to stop the flow of water without affecting the temperature. When replacing an aerator, bring the one you’re replacing with you to the store to ensure a proper fit. You can find quality aerators at hardware stores and home centers for $10-$20 each and achieve water savings of 25-60%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Check for toilet leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. Check the toilet for worn out, corroded, or bent parts.
- Avoid unnecessary flushing. Dispose tissues, insects, and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet. If you have older toilets in your home (those built before 1982), every flush uses 5-7 gallons of water. Newer toilets are designed to flush using only 1.6 gallons. If the toilet flush handle frequently sticks, letting water run continuously, replace or adjust it.
- Fix leaky faucets. Leaks could be a significant portion of your indoor water use. According to the American Water Works Association (AWWA), leaks make up about 14% of all indoor water use. Fixing a leaking faucet could you save you 140 gallons of water per week.
- Use the minimum amount of water needed for a bath by closing the drain first then filling the tub. The initial burst of cold water can be warmed by the adjusting the water temperature as you fill the tub. Be sure to use the least amount of water necessary.
- Take shorter showers. Try an “Army” shower: get wet, turn off the water, soap and scrub, then turn the water on to rinse. (Some low flow shower heads come with shut-off valves that allow you to stop the flow of water without affecting the temperature.)
- Install a low flow shower head in your bathroom. For maximum efficiency select a shower head with a flow rate of less than 2.5 gallons per minute. If you are not sure of the flow rates here is a quick test to determine whether you should replace a shower head:
- Place a bucket, marked in gallon increments, under your shower head.
- Turn on the shower at the normal water pressure you use.
- Time how many seconds it takes to fill the bucket to the one gallon mark.
- If it takes less than 20 seconds to reach the one gallon mark, you could save water by installing a low-flow shower head.