How To Save Water In The Home

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The demand for water- and energy-saving plumbing fixtures and fittings to meet these critical hygienic needs has grown substantially over the past decade, giving home and business owners more options than ever. Here are a number of effective actions you can take to maximize water efficiency where you live and where you work.

What you can do in the home…

Replace old toilets: The EPA estimates that replacing all the old, water-guzzling toilets — that is, those manufactured before passage of the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992 — with high-efficiency models bearing the WaterSense label could save approximately 2 billion gallons of water per day in the United States. The WaterSense label assures toilet performance, so there is no reason to be concerned about flushing power and cleanliness. Find a list of WaterSense-labeled toilets here.

Replace or upgrade bathroom sink faucets: Faucets account for 15 percent of indoor household water use, according to the EPA. WaterSense-labeled faucets reduce this standard flow by at least 20 percent. Switching to WaterSense-labeled bathroom sink faucets or faucet accessories could save your family enough water annually to do 14 loads of laundry.

Try a higher-efficiency showerhead: Higher efficiency showerheads, which use less than the 2.5 gallons per minute mandated by Federal law, represent a promising opportunity to conserve water. However, there is a critical need to ensure that water savings are being realized, performance is meeting consumer needs, and health and safety are being maintained with the use of these showerheads. Always be sure that the shower valve is sized to fit your showerhead.

Shorten the distance hot water travels: There’s nothing mysterious about it. The farther the heat source — whether a water heater, a heat pump or a boiler — is located from the outlet, the longer it takes the hot water to arrive. Water is wasted down while you wait for the right temperature. One solution is a recirculating pump that moves hot water to the outlet while bringing cold water back to the heat source. In this scenario, water is not wasted, because hot water is automatically pumped to the fixture before the consumer turns on the water. The pump should be activated by a special switch or sensor.

Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth: The EPA says this simple practice saves as much as 3,000 gallons per year.

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