Toronto Home Maintenance - 8 Ways To Lower Water Usage
Reducing water consumption has a large impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Our modern society's copious consumption of water wastes electricity, which is required for water treatment and pumping it at appropriate pressure to our homes, as well as in treatment after initial consumption before returning it to our waterways. Much of this electricity comes from burning fossil fuels.
- Stop unnecessarily running water
Don't keep water running unnecessarily at the water fountain, while washing dishes, while shaving, or while brushing your teeth. Save up to 25 liters per minute by only running the tap only to wet and later rinse your razor and/or toothbrush..
- Take a quick shower instead of a bath
Heating water can account for 25% of your home's energy use. Shorter showers (under 5 minutes) use 50% less hot water than a bath, and can save about 50 litres of water.
- Get a low flow showerhead
A low flow shower head uses up to 60% less water, and can save up to 0.4 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year.
- Turn off taps tightly and check that they are not dripping.
A faucet the leaks enough to fill a 500 ml pop bottle in a half hour will over the course waste about 8,000 liters of water.
- Wash laundry in warm water and rinse in cold water.
Some washing machines let you select water temperatures, so you can save 50% less energy by using warm water rather than hot water when washing clothes, and using cold water for the rinse cycle, which does not affect the cleaning.
- Water grass and flower beds early in the morning.
To stay green and healthy, most lawns and gardens only need 2 to 3 cm of water per week (enough to fill an upside down Frisbee). As air temperature warms up over the day, you lose 50% for the water to evaporation before sprinkler water it hits the ground and increased evaporation on the ground.
- Install a low-flush toilet
Low flush toilets are specially designed and save significant water. If you don't want to replace your existing fixture, reduce the capacity of your toilet tank by placing a 2 litre plastic soda bottle or milk jug (filled with water along with sand and small stones to prevent it from moving around) into your toilet tank. With 4 flushes per person per day, a family of 5 can save 1200 litres a month.
- Flush only for #2
Some people put a sign in their bathrooms sharing their water-saving philosophy: "If it's yellow, let it mellow; if it's brown, flush it down!". In a recent California drought this was actually part of the water saving legislation.