Whether you're an eco-conscious homeowner or whether you just want to save money on your water bill, identifying and eliminating common water wastes can be a great way to knock your water usage down. This is even more important for homeowners who own a septic system, since extra water can place quite a strain on the leach field.
You may have already identified and eliminated some of your own water-wasting habits, but here are a few common ones to check off your list.
An efficient dishwasher can be a great way to save money and water, but not everything is dishwasher-safe, including many pots and pans. Do you run water down the drain while rinsing the dishes? Instead, you could catch that rinse water in a large bowl and use it to flush the toilet or, if your state allows graywater reuse, to irrigate the lawn and shrubbery.
Thawing Frozen Food
If you habitually use running water to thaw food, consider a more water-efficient method such as setting the food in the refrigerator overnight or defrosting it in the microwave. Different types of food will be more suited to one of these techniques than others, and the microwave can be a lifesaver if you're in a hurry.
Running Water for Your Shower
You can save a lot of water in the shower with a low-flow showerhead, but that doesn't solve the warm-up problem. You don't want to get into the shower in the morning before it gets up to temperature, but you don't want to waste all that water either. A simple, low-tech solution to this is to place a bucket under the flow of the shower when you switch it on.
If the shower isn't large enough for both you and the bucket, you can take the bucket out when you're getting in. Alternatively, you can catch even more water if you leave it in place for the entire shower. The water you catch won't be good for drinking, but you can use it to flush the toilet or water non-edible landscaping (check your area’s graywater laws first).
Brushing Your Teeth
Leaving the faucet on while brushing may not seem like a big deal at first. For ideal dental health, though, you should brush gently for an entire two minutes, both morning and night. If you do that with the water running, you could be wasting hundreds of gallons of water per month.
If you use four gallons per brushing (assuming a faucet flow of two gallons per minute), that's eight per day. Eight gallons per day adds up to 56 per week and around 240 per month.
But not all of this water is waste, right? You do need some if you're going to wet your toothbrush and rinse your mouth out afterwards. But many dentists now recommend not rinsing your mouth out after brushing (supposedly this allows the fluoride more time to work on your teeth). So a few drops to wet your toothbrush at the start could be all you really need.
These tips can help you identify places in your life where you use more water than you need to. Tighten up your water use so that less goes down the drain, which helps your septic system as well as your water bills. You can also sit down and make a list of all the ways you use water each day and consider ways to do each activity with less water use.
When it comes to septic health and water use, O'Fallon Sewer Service can help. If you need a professional maintenance visit for your sewer line or your septic system, give us a call today.