Understanding Water Efficiency and Your Plumbing System
Water managers across the United States predict water shortages to become the norm over the next decade. That means helping save water in any way we can will help fend off these shortages and keep costs as low as possible.
Causes of water shortages
When it comes to water shortages, it’s easy to assume it’s all due to drought conditions. That plays a part, but there are other things as well.
It also comes from the natural migration of our population. As people move into more urban, arid locations, the increasing demand for water goes up as well. This water must be pulled from other locations.
Aging infrastructure of our water system also plays a part. Millions of gallons of water are lost every day due to leaks in the water supply piping.
Water efficiency is everybody’s problem
We always think water shortages are someone else’s problem, but they can and do happen in our own backyard. In 2007, the residents of Orme, Tennessee found out the hard way what it’s like to operate a house with water access only three hours a day.
The more we begin concerning ourselves with the potential problems of what could happen, the more we can prevent the direst events from occurring at all. If we put more into our infrastructure and keep it running smoothly throughout the years, our taxes can be held at lower rates. If we’re conscious of how much we use to operate our appliances, it can reduce the amount of energy we use for each thing.
Efficiency means using our resources responsibly. We have to plan for usage and pioneer advances to make our water system more sustainable now and well into the future. Only when everyone has a hand in making our water usage more efficient can we begin to buy into water conservation.
Replacement of old water wasting fixtures.
As a homeowner, replacing old water wasting fixtures can save you a lot over time. Toilets that flush anywhere between 3 to 4.5 gallons per flush should be replaced with the new 1.6 gallons per flush. Old clothes washing machines should be replaced with a new high efficiency unit. Just with these two upgrades, you could see as much as 60 percent savings on your water bill. It’s based on consumption; the more fixtures you have and replace, the greater your savings will be. Some Georgia counties require a plumber to come out and check for this before selling your home. It’s also good to have a plumber come out once a year, to make sure there are no hidden leaks causing loss of water.
Conserving water isn’t just politically correct, it saves on every level, from individual homeowners to taxpayer dollars.
With water and sewer infrastructure costs running into the millions each year, communities can begin to save by asking its residents to do their part. Products that help use less water put fewer demands on a system that may already be approaching its useful life. And if costs for replacement of old infrastructure can be lengthened by a few years, it can help already taxed communities save up for big replacement projects.
Even where water is not scarce, efficient plumbing products help everyone save energy, water, and wastewater costs, making it a better place to live.
What are you doing to make your home more water efficient?