Water Use: Be Green and Save Gold!
Are you a water hog or a water miser? Chances are, if you’re like most Canadians, whether you live in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or elsewhere, you use more water than you should. This excessive water use costs us as homeowners, in higher water bills, and as citizens, putting a strain on infrastructure and resources.
“Stemming the flow of H2O”, an article in the March 3, 2012 issue of the Edmonton Journal and written by Patrick Langston of the Ottawa Citizen, contains some startling statistics about water use. For instance, the article states that Canadians on average use 340 litres of water per person per day, the 2nd highest amount in the world.
Other facts quoted in the article:
- Roughly 65% of indoor water use occurs in the bathroom.
- One drop per second from a leaky faucet can waste about 10,000 litres of water in a year. A toilet that keeps running after it’s flushed can waste up to 200,000 litres per year (enough to fill 2 swimming pools!)
- Standard shower heads release 15 to 20 litres of water per minute. A low-flow model cuts that amount in half.
- A standard 18-litre-per-flush toilet, flushed 4 times per day, uses close to 30,000 litres per year. Think of how much water (and money!) can be saved by replacing one standard toilet with a low-flow model that uses 6 litres or less per flush.
- It takes about 265 litres to fill a standard bathtub, more (sometimes much more) for a soaker tub.
- Most front-loading washing machines use about 75 litres per load, about half that of top loaders.
- Think you’re saving money and water if you hand wash your dishes? Hand washing uses about 75 litres, while an Energy Star dishwasher takes about 15 litres per load.
Tips and information abound in this useful article. Some of these things we’ve heard before, like not leaving the tap running when you brush your teeth or wash your hands. Other tips may be new, such as installing a thermostatic valve in the shower so that the shower can be shut off while lathering without having to re-set the water temperature when the tap is turned back on.
The article concludes with conservation tips borrowed from the website WaterUseItWisely.com. This excellent website offers over 100 ways to conserve water, such as:
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
- Wash vegetables in a bowl of water instead of under a running tap. Then use the vegetable water to water houseplants.
- Keep a bottle of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap.
- When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load. Better yet, aim to run your machine only for full loads.
- Install an instant water heater near your kitchen sink so you don’t have to run the water while it heats up.
Read the article“Stemming the flow of H2O” and check out WaterUseItWisely.com for much more information. Whether the tips you’ll find there are new or old, we all can stand to be reminded of ways we can help the planet and our wallets!