As utility costs and seasonal water needs rise, saving water through conservation is one way to combat those escalating costs. The typical annual household water bill comes to around $500, and a fair amount of that spending that can be chalked up to unattended leaks, inefficient fixtures, and all-around waste of water.
Tend to leaky, running toilets: While toilets themselves never wear out, their moving parts do, and the resulting leaks and runs of one unit can waste as many as 78,000 gallons of water in one year?enough to fill a backyard swimming pool! To determine if a toilet is running away with your hard-earned dollars, do a leak check by opening the tank and pouring a little food coloring inside (any color but yellow, of course). After 20 minutes, peek into the bowl; if the dye shows up, you probably need a new flush valve, a part that costs just a few bucks and is easy to install yourself. If, on the other hand, your toilet seems to run all the time and never fill up, the fill valve may need replacement, another simple do-it-yourself repair.
Upgrade to a toilet that uses less water: If you have a unit dating to before 1994, consider replacing it with one of the WaterSense-labeled high-efficiency toilets (HETs) now widely available. Operating at 1.28 gallons per flush versus the 3.5 gpf of older, inefficient models, an HET can reduce water usage by 60 percent. Some water providers, utilities and cities also offer incentives in the form of rebates and free toilet replacement.
Spend less water at the sink: Using water wisely can be a big water savings at the tap (like shutting off water as you brush your teeth or shave), as can the correction of leaks. To make conservation even easier, install faucet aerators and high-efficiency bathroom faucets bearing the WaterSense label, which help to reduce water flow by over 30 percent without sacrificing performance. Moen offers many WaterSense-certified bathroom faucets, including those in the Rothbury and Muirfield collections.
Save water with a smarter shower: Americans shower away 1.2 trillion gallons of water each year, with about 17 percent of an individual household’s water use being devoted annually to this clean scene. But with the new-and-improved technologies behind today’s smart showerheads, you can enjoy the same amount of showering comfort with far less water.
American Standard has just introduced a suite of FloWise showerheads, including a three-function model that offers a turbine spray at 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm), combination spray for a 2.0 gpm maximum flow rate and a regular spray, providing an overall water savings range of 20 to 40 percent. The three-function showerhead also includes a unique auto-return feature, with which the showerhead defaults to the 1.5 gpm ultra-water-saving mode after use.
Oversee outdoor irrigation: If you’re already feeling the cost of keeping your landscaping lush, you may want to consider going even greener by remodeling the scheme to include less turf and more native plantings. A timer-operated drip irrigation system can save lots of water, as well as adjusting sprinkler heads that send water everywhere but where you need it. Remember that the only thing that grows when you water your sidewalk is the size of the water bill.
So take a good look and listen around your home for improvements that can get things flowing in your favor. Save water and you’ll not only enjoy a reduction in your water bills, but saving water will also help to conserve precious resources for your community.