Water Usage Around the Home

Water Usage Around the Home
Water Usage Around the Home
Good Water Conservation Practices
Water usage around the home accounts for most of the water consumed in many communities. The
amount of water used in each household depends on such factors as the number of water consuming
appliances in the home, the amount of outdoor watering and personal water use habits.
Most of us do not give much thought to the water we use each day around the home. Yet household
water use accounts for most of the water used in many communities.
Where is most water within the
home used?
! Toilets 30 per cent;
! Bathing, shaving and brushing
teeth 35 per cent;
! Laundry and dish washing
20 per cent;
! Cleaning five per cent; and
! Cooking and drinking 10 per cent.
Did You Know?
! One drop per second may waste
over 9,000 litres of water a year.
! Water running steadily through a
0.8 mm hole can waste about 680
litres of water in a 24-hour period.
We need to save water every way we can. If we don't conserve, we're pouring water and money
down the drain. By changing some water-waste habits, repairing leaks and installing water saving
devices, a significant amount of water can be saved in the home.
Detect and Fix Leaks
Leaks are the biggest water waster. Many homes lose more water from leaky taps than they need for
cooking and drinking. Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. Leaky faucets are usually
caused by a worn washer or O- rings.
Another simple method to determine if there is a leak in the home is to read your water meter before
and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the readings are different, you have a
leak. Turn off all faucets and water-using appliances and make sure no one uses water during the
testing period. Remember to wait for the hot water heater and ice cube makers to refill and for
regeneration of water softeners. Check for leaks from pipe connections and plumbing fixtures. If you
have a well, listen to see if the pump kicks on and off while the water is not in use. If it does, you may
have a leak.
Install Water Saving Devices
Did You Know?
! A toilet tank water saving device
only uses 16 to 23 litres
compared to 18 to 27 litres
without one. New low volume
toilets use just 6 litres per flush.
! A five-minute shower uses about
100 litres but with a reduced flow
showerhead only 35 litres.
Inexpensive devices are available for use on home plumbing fixtures. Many 4 ishwasher u
new fixtures already incorporate water saving devices into their designs. A c to 54 litres ( s
ycle) a
reduced-flow showerhead will cut your hot water costs. An eight minute
litres ( nd about 32
shor t
shower with a reduced-flow showerhead saves over 6.5 litres of hot
water. That means annual savings of 14 per cent on water heating.
Using a reduced-flow showerhead saves 7,500 litres of drinking water per year.
Changing Habits: Indoor Water Use
In the Kitchen
! Dishwasher: Load dishwasher full before using it, use the short cycle or the water-saving cycle.
Consider water use when purchasing a new dishwasher. New water and energy efficient models
use 20 per cent less water. Scrape, don't rinse, your dishes before loading in the
! When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or basin with soapy water and fill the rinsing sink to
one-third or one-half full, avoid letting the water run continuously in the rinsing sink.
! Food Preparation: Put a little water in the sink and use a brush to clean fresh vegetables. Don't let
the tap run needlessly. Cook vegetables in just enough water to cover the food, with a tight-fitting
lid over the top. Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or microwave, not under running water.
! Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. This will save running the tap until the water gets
! Use your garbage disposal sparingly and start composting your kitchen waste.
! Install flow restrictors or aerators in faucets.
An automatic washer uses about
225 litres in the full cycle at top
water level; while only about 95
litres is used during the short
cycle with minimum water level.
In the Laundry Room
! Automatic Washer: Pretreat stains to avoid rewashing. Adjust your washing machine to use a
minimum amount of water. Use the short cycle for lightly soiled clothes and use the “sudssaver” if your machine has this feature. Normal and permanent press wash cycles use more
water. If load size cannot be set, operate the washer with full loads only. Consider energy and
water efficiency when purchasing new laundry machines. Newer models use 40 per cent less
! Insulate the water heater and hot water pipes. Less water will run from taps before hot water
flows. Avoid using hot water, when cold water will do.
! Install water-softening systems only when necessary. Save water and salt by only running the
minimum amount of regenerations necessary to maintain water softness; turn softeners off
while on vacation.
In the Bathroom
! Toilet: Install a water saving device in the toilet tank. Toilet water use can be cut by 40 per cent
(depending on tank size) with a toilet tank dam or displacement bottle (capped plastic bottles
weighted, filled with water). Since toilet flushing accounts for most water use in homes, flush
only when necessary. Do not use as a garbage can.
! Install a low-flush toilet as they are designed to use six litres of water per flush, significantly less
than the 23 litres of water water that conventional toilets use. Water requirements in singlefamily residences is reduced by about 20 per cent and in multi-residential units by about 40 per
Approximately 30 to 40 per cent of
water used inside residential buildings
is used for toilet flushing. Since toilets
last approximately 15 to 20 years,
about a 40 per cent reduction in water
use in apartment buildings can be
achieved by using a low-flush toilet.
The water and dollar savings over the
lifetime of the fixture are substantial.
! Check for toilet tank leaks caused by worn parts. Does the flapper valve or plunge ball “seat”
properly? If not, replace the valve. Some leaks are silent, some produce a running water sound
and others may be visible as a small trickle running from the rim to the water in the bowl. These
leaks can often be found by simply listening to the toilet. A slight hissing sound may indicate
water running unnecessarily. To detect silent leaks, remove the toilet tank lid and any coloured
cleaning agents. Flush to clear water in the bowl, then add a few drops of food colouring to the
tank. If the tank is leaking, colour will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. To avoid staining
the bowl, flush as soon as the test is complete. Replace worn, corroded or bent parts.
! Shower shorter (5 minutes), use for rinsing only. Taking a shower rather than a bath saves
several litres of water especially with a reduced flow showerhead.
A bathtub uses about 115 litres when
more than half full; and 70 to 115
litres if one-quarter to one-half full.
By shutting the water off in the basin,
about 3 litres is used compared to
nine to 11 litres with the tap left
running. Under 2 litres is used if
water is used for rinsing only.
! Bathtub: Partially fill; uses less water than a longer shower
! Basin: Use the stopper in the basin when shaving or washing. Fill the basin only partially full.
Turn tap off when brushing your teeth.
! Faucet water use can be cut by 50 per cent with a low-flow faucet aerator.
! Replace leaky drain plugs in sinks and bathtubs.
Make Every Drop Count
Reducing water waste in the home can be simple. Use these suggestions to make every drop
For more information contact
Saskatchewan Environment
(306) 787-6504
or visit your water information
website at www.SaskH20.ca
Feb/05 5M
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