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Saving water saves: Part 1 – In the home

It only takes 15,140 drips to fill a gallon jug according to the USGS website: http://water.usgs.gov/edu/sc4.html.  How many drips do you count in a minute?
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There is only 1% of water on this planet that is capable of use for human consumption. The other 99% is saltwater or frozen in glaciers.

April is a great month here in Central Florida. Spring has settled in and the temperatures are just about right, baseball season is underway, fishing for tarpon and sailfish are at their peaks, Earth Day is April 22 and April has been water conservation month in Florida for 13 years running.

I’ll admit that this article idea struck me in the shower as I read my Suave shampoo bottle while enjoying the peaceful sound of the water falling on tile. That peaceful feeling quickly declined to guilt, for my wasting water, then to elation at the epiphany that struck for birth of this article. Being this topic is dear to me and there is a multitude of things to cover it will be in three parts. The first is inside the home.

If everyone in a family of 3 shuts off the water when they shampoo and condition their hair up to 3200 gallons of water could be saved annually which equates to about $150. That could be doubled by doing the same while lathering up with soap. Couple that with a low flow shower head and the savings multiply.

This year the City of Palm Bay declared April as water conservation month and provides several tips on how to save water in your home. Some of those ideas merged with the EPAs suggestions could save a lot of water which equals saving lots of money.

Of course, you should turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth. That simple act alone can save as much as 3,000 gallons per year. If you put just a bit of hot water in the sink while shaving to rinse your razor that is another several thousand gallons saved.

If your home has leaking faucets, showerheads, toilets or water heater that could be costing you money without you even knowing it. The extent of the water wasted by minor leaks is often overlooked. A leaking toilet has been known to use 200 gallons of water, per day!

Another suggestion for saving money on water does require some form of an investment. On the low end are sink faucet aerators and low flow shower heads. Slightly more expensive are low flow, Water Sense toilets which save $2000 or more throughout the life of the toilet which more than pays for itself. And at the top of the cost scale are new Water Sense appliances including dishwasher, water heater and/or a washing machine.

Some city and counties even offer programs to assist people with the cost of installing a water and/or energy efficient appliance or even faucet. Contact your local Department of Public Works for more information.
More important information and water saving tips coming up soon in part 2 of the “Saving water saves” series.

Comments are always welcome. If you have any suggestions for future articles or questions about existing ones, feel free to email me. Comments are always welcome at the bottom of the article. Subscribe to receive an email when a new article is published.