People use a lot of water on a daily basis and not just for drinking or cooking. Such a consumption makes water out to be a commodity, one that seems unlimited at times. The ease with which we can just turn on a faucet and have clear water flow out, in a sense, trivializes it.
This is why many homes pursue an avenue that can increase their water efficiency. Pursuing this will have more than just one form, and some strategies will be better depending on the circumstance. A few options can be implemented either with high-tech devices or in simple lifestyle choices.
What is Water Efficiency?
For starters, it’s important to know what exactly it means to increase a home’s water efficiency. On one hand, the water quality is taken into account, and how it affects household activities like soap and limescale deposits due to what it may contain. On the other hand, water efficiency can mean a reduction in the amount of water used and wasted, better disposal of wastewater, or even alternative sources of water.
Strategies to Increase Water Efficiency
Either to reduce water consumption in an attempt to save up money, or to lean towards a more eco-friendly path, water efficiency is something that can be beneficial for many households.
1. Consider Low-Flow Fixtures
More than 40% of hot water usage indoors is from the use of showers and dishwashers. Low-flow fixtures can significantly reduce water consumption, and the good news is that there are even toilets with this functionality. Less hot water can be a great way to reduce energy consumption as well, as a bonus to water efficiency.
2. Water Filtration System
Location-based contaminants can prove inefficient in water usage, especially if running the water daily is required to clear solid sediments. Luckily there are a great many devices that were designed just for this kind of situation and effectively clean physical contaminants.
Reducing limescale and other chemical components that render soap ineffective is a water quality issue that filters can take on. It’s only a matter of finding the best type of water filtration device that can help in this case, which can very well be a whole house device.
3. Use a Car Wash
This might sound odd, but there is a good reason why it’s a good strategy to wash your car at a car wash for water efficiency. The automated car washing systems are more efficient at washing your car due to their high pressurized hoses and coverage system, but they also use less water.
Washing your car at home guarantees more water usage and dumps all that grey water in the storm drains which is normally reserved for rainwater. Not to mention the fact that it’s harder to actually reach everywhere on the car, especially if you own a larger vehicle.
4. Water Collection
The most typical way to increase water efficiency and reduce the reliance on tap usage is to collect rainwater. Good maintenance of water gutters will help in this endeavor. The water collected from the roof of the house usually in plastic containers installed in a corner is perfect to use for irrigation.
Not only does this method reduce water consumption but it can even be better for the garden in general. There are fewer artificially injected elements like chlorine, so it will be more nutritious for a garden.
5. Invest in a Dishwasher
The luxury of a dishwasher is one that has a very positive effect on increasing water efficiency. Much like a car wash, a dishwasher has specific engineering designs that make it quite efficient at washing dishes while conserving water. More modern dishwashers even have software that stores the last rinsing water to use in the next prewash cycle.
6. Greywater for Flushing
Drought in many warm climates is a serious problem and one that will put a damper on water consumption. Greywater is still produced from showers and washing, and it can still have some use. Highly developed technologies can now be used to collect this greywater before it ends up in the drain and redirects it toward the toilet tank.
This greywater then finds another use, when the toilet has to be flushed. Since that water would have ended up in the drain anyway, this method simply enhances the existing water’s efficiency.
7. Using a Shower Timer
Generally, showers take up less time and water than bathing in a bathtub. What is even more, using a timer to see exactly how much time you actually do spend in the shower can help speed it up, and will reduce this time even further. A shower timer can be an electrical one that chimes when the time is up, or it can simply be an hourglass with a suction cup that sticks on the shower pane. Local water providers sometimes offer these little hourglasses to their consumers, but clients may need to request them.
Water efficiency is something that gets more attention as other problems like climate issues and pollution make more and more headlines over the years. A general responsibility is starting to emerge on an individual level and many consumers take it upon themselves to create a more water efficient home.
Solutions vary according to current issues, like water quality, reducing water use in drought seasons and warmer climates, or collecting rainwater. There is probably no one solution for everyone, and even one household may find it necessary to use multiple strategies for multiple problems.