Save Water, Save Money Inside

With the average American family using over 300 to 400 gallons of water per day, conserving water isn’t as hard as you might think. From using easy-to-implement habits to switching to more efficient fixtures indoors, you’ll find there are plenty of opportunities to conserve our most precious resource.

Look the WaterSense label when you’re in the market for one of these.

Are you planning to remodel your kitchen or bathroom? Or replace that broken dishwasher or washing machine? Look for EPA’s WaterSense label and you’ll enjoy the good feeling of knowing you’re doing your part to help the Ipswich River and the fish, birds, and other animals that live there. Even better, your new purchase will save you money in the years to come!

We are a WaterSense™ Partner, joining with the US Environmental Protection Agency to promote water efficiency. You’ve seen EPA’s energy star logos on all kinds of appliances. The WaterSense program works much the same way. For more information about this program, see EPA’s WaterSense website.

Here are more tips on what you can do indoors to save water!

Toilets

  • The average U.S. household (2.64 people) equipped with low-flow toilets saves 25 gallons of water per day, or more than 9,000 gallons per year. Today’s low flow toilets use only 1.6 gallons of water per flush compared to more than 5 gallons in the recent past.
  • Install a dual-flush conversion kit. Three out of four flushes are for liquid waste. Dual-flush conversion kits can cut the water used for flushing liquid waste in half. Installation usually takes less than half an hour, and requires no tools. Replacement of the fill valve may be necessary if your toilet tank has a float ball. Cost: $20.
    Helpful Link: Dual-Flush conversion kit
  • Fix leaky toilets. If your toilet has a leak, you could be wasting about 200 gallons of water every day. That would be like flushing your toilet more than 50 times for no reason! If so, check your toilets by putting food coloring in the tank to see if it goes to the bowl. Water Savings/month: 6,000 gallons. Helpful Link: Step-by-step directions for fixing leaky toilets

Shower

  • showerInstall low-flow shower head. With new shower head technology, low flow feels like normal flow. Saving heated water also reduces energy bills. Low-flow shower heads that use as little as 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm), are easy to install, and can pay for themselves in a matter of months. Cost: $8 – $56
  • Get a shower timer, and challenge your family to limit their showers to 5 minutes, saving water and energy, and leaving enough hot water for the next person. Cost: $2 – $10
  • Put a bucket in your shower to catch water while you wait for it to warm up. Use the bucket of water for houseplants or in your garden.
  • Cut 2 minutes off your usual shower time.
  • Taking a shower uses much less water than filling up a bathtub. A shower only uses 10 to 25 gallons, while a bath takes up to 70 gallons! If you do take a bath, be sure to plug the drain right away and adjust the temperature as you fill the tub.

Faucets

  • Install a faucet aerator. This is a cheap and easy way to save water (up to 3,000 gallons per year!) and energy. 0.5 gpm is enough for bathroom sinks. Use 1.5 gpm for kitchen sinks. Cost: $2.00 per faucet, can save almost 300 gallons a month.
    Helpful Link: Source for faucet aerators of various flow rates;
  • Fix leaky faucets. All those wasted drops add up—sometimes to 10-25 gallons a day. Water Savings/month: 20-50 gallons per day!
    Helpful Links Step-by-step directions for fixing leaky faucets
  • Turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving. Sounds basic, but at ordinary household pressure, a running faucet can pour out 6 gallons of water in 3 minutes.
  • When washing dishes by hand, fill the sink basin or a large container and rinse when all of the dishes have been soaped and scrubbed.

Clothes Washing

  • washingmachinePurchase a modern clothes washer. Washing laundry is a large water user in the average home; accounting for 15% to 40% of the overall water consumption inside the typical household of four persons. Traditional clothes washers used approximately 30 to 45 gallons of water per load.  A typical family of four using a standard sized clothes washer will generate more than 300 loads per year.  This equates to a regular washer consuming approximately 12,000 gallons of water annually.  High-Efficiency Washers (HEW) significantly reduce this water use by more than 6,000 gallons per year, save energy, clean the clothes better, and use less detergent. Cost: $ $450- $1000 http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/washing-machines.htm
    Helpful Links:
    Rebates, where to find, instructions, etc.
  • Run your clothes washer only when full. Water Savings/month: up to 1,000 gallons

Dishwasher

  • A dishwasher built before 1994 wastes more than 10 gallons of water per cycle. A new water efficient dishwasher will save 3-10 gallons per load.
  • If your dishwasher is new, cut back on rinsing. Newer models clean more thoroughly than older ones. Scrape and then wipe the dishes with a wet sponge instead of rinsing. Water Savings/load: 20 gallons
  • Run your dishwasher only when full. Water Savings/month: up to 1,000 gallons

Other

  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead.
  • Don’t use running water to thaw food. Defrost food in the refrigerator for water efficiency and food safety.

savewater_saveELearn a few surprising facts about the connection between saving energy and saving water.

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