With California in the fifth year of a major drought, water conservation has become more important than ever. And as a whole, the state is doing pretty well–the State Water Resources Control Board recently announced that California’s water conservation for July held steady at 20 percent.
Of course, conserving water doesn’t just help fight the effects of a terrible drought. It can also lead to major savings on your utility bills. But despite your best efforts, you may still be using more water–and seeing higher water bills–than you’d like. Where do you use the most water in your home, and how can you reduce your water usage in these areas? We’ve got your answers.
1. Outdoor Irrigation
Whether you’re watering your lawn too frequently or simply watering at the wrong time of day, outdoor irrigation can play a major factor in your home’s water bill. In fact, the EPA estimates that as much as “50 percent of water used for irrigation is wasted due to evaporation, wind, or runoff caused by inefficient irrigation methods and systems.”
Thankfully, new technology has made it easier than ever to cut down your outdoor water use. For example, a smart irrigation controller can reduce your outdoor water use by 30 percent, simply by tracking local weather data to automatically adjust your watering schedule. Inspecting your irrigation system and conducting any necessary repairs can also go a long way in improving your outdoor water use by fixing leaks and ensuring that your sprinklers are watering your plants–not your sidewalk.
2. Bathroom Blues
Your bathroom is another water-use culprit. In fact, it’s estimated that toilets alone can account for 28 percent of your family’s water use–and that doesn’t include the water that gets used for showers or brushing your teeth!
Take a look at this breakdown of water use indoors:
So how do you cut down your bathroom water use? Turning off the tap water while brushing your teeth is a good start, but it’s far from the only thing you can do. For example, while older toilets may use 5 to 7 gallons per flush, replacing an old toilet with a WaterSense-labelled toilet can cut that amount by 75 percent. Low-flow shower heads and faucets can also help you save water without needing to change your morning routine.
3. Outdoor Cleaning
Whether you’re washing your car or spraying off your back porch, many families use (and waste) a lot of water while cleaning outdoor items. In this case, changing your habits can help you save hundreds of gallons of water each year.
What are some ways you can save water on outdoor cleaning? When washing your car, use a bucket of soapy water and only use the hose for the final rinse. Instead of spraying your sidewalk or driveway with the hose, use a broom instead! Even when more intensive cleaning is required, the simple choice to use a pressure washer instead of a garden hose can cut the amount of water used for cleaning in half.
How Much Can You Save?
Whether your home could use an irrigation upgrade or you simply need to change some of your water usage habits, making the effort to conserve water is something that benefits all of us. If you need help saving water at your home, reach out to the water conservation specialists at ezhome today.