Conservation

Tips on how to Reduce the Amount of Water use in your Bathroom



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The US government enacted the Federal Energy Policy Act (FEPA) in 1992. It addressed concerns in the areas of Energy efficiency, conservation and management. It also sets the standards of the daily household appliances, fixture and devices. It mandates manufacturers and suppliers to abide by the standards to be able to improve efficiency in using energy and other resources, including Water.

Traditionally, it is estimated that the average US household consumes of 350 gallons of water per day. If all US households install water-conserving devices, water consumption would drop by 30%. It means savings by more than 5 billion gallons of water per day. This would result to more than $11 million savings per day or an equivalent of more than $4 billion per annum.

The average bathroom is the waterhole in our homes. It is where 50% of daily water consumption goes to. The toilet is the biggest culprit. It is where 28-40% of our bathroom water consumption goes to. The rest goes to the showers, faucets and sinks. It is logical then, that any effort in reducing the water consumption in our homes should start with our Bathrooms.

Here are some Ideas and Tips:

Faucets and Sinks

Install low flow tap aerators to your faucet. It only allows 1-1.5 gallons per minute of water flow. Tap aerators restrict the flow of water while not affecting water pressure. Evaluate which faucet you have to install it with. While they reduce water flow, they also disperse the heat from your water heater. You can also use a low flow tap. It just restricts water flow without aerating it.

Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth. Use instead a glass of water and use the tap only when needed. An average tap could discharge up to a bucket of water per minute.

Put a plug on your sink when you wash or shave.

Shower

Prior to 1992, the standard flow of shower heads was 4.5 gallons per minute. FEPA required to set the maximum flow at/or 2.5 gallons per minute where pressure is 80 psi.

Install newer types of shower heads. There are two types. One is the Aerated shower head. It allows a fuller water spray. It also reduces heat when you're using a heater. The other is a Low flow shower head. It just restricts flow without aerating. It is cheaper though. There are shower heads with a pause or timer function which you can use when you're lathering.

Keep track of your shower time. Try to shower for 5 minutes or less. Even a low-flow shower head can discharge up to 12.5 gallons per 5 minutes.

You can use a pail to really control the volume of water you use in bathing. You can also use it to collect water which is not yet heated, in case you're using a heater. Recycle it for flushing or lawn use.

Toilet

Prior to 1992, the Toilet tank size is more than double the current ones. The older toilets usually use 4.4 gallons per flush.

Replace your traditional toilet with newer ones. FEPA mandates that all household toilets, starting Jan. 1, 1994, should use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Or you can use the newer Dual-Flush toilet which saves even more. It offers a choices of flush volumes; 1.6 gallons for solid waste and 0.8 gallons for liquid. The price of which, starts from $200 going up.

If you don't have the budget, you can put a plastic bottle with some gravel inside (enough to let in sink) or a brick on your traditional toilet tank. The idea is to displace water volume with the bottle or the brick. In this way the water volume will reduce when flushing. Make sure though that whatever you place inside the tank does not interfere with the flushing action.

Do not use the toilet as a waste basket for your tissue paper and other wastes.

Check for leaks in and around the toilet. Add biodegradable food coloring on the water in your toilet tank. Let it stand for about 30 minutes. If you have leaks, you will see the colored water flowing through your toilet bowl. A slow (barely visible) water flow in your toilet bowl can waste more than 4,000 liters of water a year.

You can use the recycled water from your showering, tooth brushing, shaving and washing functions.

Fresh water is a finite resource in our planet. It is estimated that our current population of 6.7 billion, uses more that 50% of our planet's accessible water supply. Current projections suggests, that by year 2025, we need to appropriate ourselves with 70% of this precious resource for our everyday needs. The imbalance has and will continue to affect the delicate balance of our ecosystem.

Our awareness starts and improves with every knowledge and information we can gather from our quest to improve our life and the world we live. It is the key to a sustainable commitment for a viable effort to change our future.

More about this author: B.J. Tolentino

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