As droughts, overcrowded cities and other problems have arisen, people have become more and more concerned with water conservation. This makes it essential for water to be a valuable asset that must be used wisely.
Water Use in the United States
A report from the U.S. Geological Survey shows that in 2010 California, Idaho, Texas and Florida used more than one-quarter of all saline and fresh water in the United States. The three largest categories were public supply, irrigation, and thermoelectric power. These added up to 90 percent of the national total. Of these amounts, withdrawals for domestic use (44.5 million people) was estimated at 98 percent.
Steps are being taken in certain states to emphasize water conservation. For example, in California people are fined if they use more than the amount allocated for their situation. If violation of the rules is continued, each month the fines increase dramatically.
Household Water Uses
Water, which is allocated for residential properties, includes indoor and outdoor use. We use it for things like food preparation, staying well-hydrated, washing dishes and clothes, bathing, flushing toilets, maintaining a swimming pool and watering gardens and lawns.
With the reduction of available fresh water, it is important for people to take the necessary steps to reduce water waste. A plumber is one of the first people to consult when trying to fulfill this goal.
Ways to Reduce the Use of Water
• Leaky toilets use more than 40% of a home’s total water use. This problem can be solved with the installation of a new fill valve and toilet flapper.
• Be sure the temperature setting on the water heater is below 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Check for leaky faucets. According to EPA.gov “…eight gallons of water a day can be lost when the faucet is dripping and can waste up to 3,000 gallons per year”.
• Check the water pressure in your home. If it is above 60 pounds per square inch, it can damage the plumbing. Check with the local water authority. If it is over 60 pounds the installation of a pressure reducing valve will correct the problem.
• When no water is being used, note your water meter reading and then check it 8 to 10 hours later. If it indicates a meter reading, then you have a water leak somewhere.
• The amount of water used for lawn watering can be controlled by installing a timer to the outside faucet. The timer will prevent over sprinkling.
Reduce the amount of time you take showering and check your shower head.
An old shower head can use up to 7.5 gallons a minute. Keep in mind that replacing it with a new one will not reduce the spray action.
• Reduce landscaping. Replacing grass with attractive rocks or other materials can save lots of water and money.
Having a plumber check your entire water system will reveal any discrepancies. They will be able to review all areas of water usage and make any repairs necessary. They have special tools for detecting unknown leaks in the walls, which can help avoid a lot of expenses not only with the water bill but in damage to the wall as well.
The Use of Greywater and Blackwater
Many people have helped conserve water by using wastewater for things such as plants, outdoor landscaping and gardening. Wastewater is classified as greywater and blackwater.
Greywater includes water from the shower, hand basin, kitchen tap, dishwasher, washing machine and laundry tap. Blackwater is water from the toilet and requires disinfection and chemical or biological treatment. Blackwater is not recommended for the average home use.
Reduce the use of cleaning chemicals. There are natural cleaning products available.
• Use a washing machine lint filter which will allow water to flow through effortlessly. This filter must be cleaned regularly and replaced when necessary.
• Do not use sodium soaps, laundry detergents or shampoos.
• Do not pour household chemicals down the sink. These can be disposed of through collection services.
Advantages of greywater usage:
• Reduces the sum of water use costs
• Can irrigate lawn and garden during water restrictions
• Good secondary source of water
This water is currently being used for landscaping along public roads, as well as for watering golf courses and other outdoor areas.
Industries often use wastewater for things such as cooling power equipment.
The city of San Francisco, California makes a prime example of how reclaimed wastewater has been beneficial. It has been used to conserve drinking water, provide water for industrial and irrigation purposes and has reduced San Francisco Bay pollution. It is stated that their project saves 5.5 billion gallons per year and that it will save drinking water for 83,000 households.
When considering making use of greywater, a plumber can examine your water system and describe the various methods that can be used to make use of this water resource. He or she will help you plumb your water drain system to make the best use of your water supply.
For many years, the source and use of water has not been considered a problem. However, today it is noticeable that water waste is approaching a crisis especially in areas that are overpopulated or where there is a drought situation.
It is important that every means be used to avoid a shortage of water anywhere in the United States.
For any water services in your Oklahoma City, OK home, call Hull Plumbing at (405) 267-9283.
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