How to Save Water While Staying Home Due to Coronavirus
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that each person in the U.S. uses an average of 80 to 100 gallons of water at home per day. But this number will most likely rise now that more people are staying home due to the coronavirus.
A number of states, including California and Illinois, have asked residents to stay home in an effort to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. Even if you are not being ordered to shelter in place, you may be practicing social distancing by staying home for the next several weeks or months.
The more time you spend at home, the more water you will likely consume. For this reason, it’s important to learn how you can conserve water so you can keep your water bill low and protect the planet during the coronavirus pandemic.
Fortunately, there’s no need to sacrifice your health or comfort in order to save water at home. Here’s what you need to know:
What Are the Benefits of Water Conservation?
There are a number of benefits to conserving water at home. Utility providers charge you a fixed amount for each gallon of water you use at home. This means the more water you use, the higher your water bill will climb. By conserving water, you can reduce your water bill and save money every month.
This is even more important now that families are spending more time at home due to the Coronavirus. If you don’t start thinking about how you can save water now, your water bill may increase over the next several months.
Saving water can also protect the health of the environment. Water is diverted from rivers, bays, and other bodies of water in order to meet consumer demand. If you conserve water, this will reduce demand, which means less will need to be taken from these bodies of water.
The water that goes down your drains at home is brought to local wastewater treatment plants, where it is decontaminated. These wastewater treatment plants consume a lot of energy, so by reducing your water usage, you can reduce the amount of energy that is needed to keep the water supply clean. Lowering energy usage can reduce carbon emissions and prevent harmful air pollution.
What Uses the Most Water?
Before you can start saving water, it’s important to learn what uses the most water in your home. The biggest consumer of water in your home is your outdoor irrigation system, which accounts for about 30% of your water consumption. Creative solutions to saving water such as Xeriscaping, can minimize water usage and reduce costs considerably.
Toilets are next on the list, accounting for about 19% of your total water consumption so it might be a smart idea to evaluate investing in water-saving toilets for your home. If your toilet was made before 1994, it could use about 3.5 gallons of water per flush. But newer models are designed to use less water with every flush. By switching to a water-saving toilet, your family could save about 25 gallons of water per day.
Washing machines account for 15% of consumption on average, ranking third. Surprisingly, showers and faucets are fourth and fifth on the list, with 12% and 11% of average water consumption at home, respectively.
Leaks and other difficult-to-detect issues account for the remaining 13% of water usage. Fortunately, there are plenty of gadgets that can help you save water at home. For example, smart home leak detectors are designed to detect moisture around the pipes in your home. If the device detects a leak, it will immediately notify you via an app on your smartphone. Gadgets like these make it easier than ever before to identify and correct water-wasting leaks in your home.
What Are 10 Ways to Save Water?
Reducing your water usage doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are 10 easy ways to save water while at home during the coronavirus pandemic:
- Shorten your shower. You don’t have to drastically shorten your time in the shower in order to save water. Cutting your shower time by just two minutes can save more than 1,750 gallons of water per year. Ask everyone in the family to make this change so you can save as much water as possible.
- Reuse your cooking water. Let the water that you used to boil your pasta cool off for a few minutes. Then, use it to water your plants outside so it doesn’t go to waste.
- Be on the lookout for leaks. Check toilets, faucets, and irrigation systems for leaks on a regular basis. If you spot a leak, get it repaired as quickly as possible.
- Cover your swimming pool when it’s not in use to prevent the water from evaporating.
- Adjust your irrigation schedule so you only water your lawn during the early morning or evening hours. A lot of water will evaporate and go to waste if you choose to turn your sprinklers on in the middle of the day.
- Turn off the water when brushing your teeth. You should only turn it on when you need to wet your toothbrush or rinse your mouth.
- Handwashing dishes wastes a lot of water. Put your dishes directly in the dishwasher instead of rinsing them by hand. Then, run the dishwasher once you have a full load of dirty dishes.
- Don’t flush cotton swabs, hair, or other waste down the toilet. Each flush will waste gallons of water, so throw this waste in the trash instead.
- Insulate the water pipes in your home to keep the water warmer for a longer period of time. Doing this will shorten the amount of time you have to keep the water running while you wait for the shower to heat up. You may still order the necessary materials online.
- Put a fresh layer of mulch down around your landscaping. Mulch serves as a barrier between the soil and sun, so it slows down evaporation and gives your plants more time to absorb water from the soil.
These simple strategies will help you keep your water bill low during this period of social isolation, but you shouldn’t stop following these tips once the coronavirus pandemic has been resolved. Keep following these strategies so you can continue to reap the rewards of conserving water at home.
Protect the Planet By Saving Water At Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic
As you can see, there are many different ways to save water at home. Implementing them right away will help you keep your water bill low and protect the planet without sacrificing your family’s comfort at home during the coronavirus pandemic.