Shut the tap: Stretch household budget, cut down on water waste

Wynne Everett

Wasting water is like pouring money down the drain. If you want to cut your water bill, consider these water-conserving tips from the Environmental Protection Agency.

1. Only run your dishwasher when you have a full load. This can save 10 to 20 gallons a day.

2. Don’t leave the faucet running while you brush your teeth or shave. Only run the water to rinse your brush or razor.

3. Install a low-flow toilet, which can dramatically cut the amount of water you use when flushing. More than 4.8 billion gallons of water is flushed down toilets each day in the United States. The average American uses about 9,000 gallons of water to flush 230 gallons of waste down the toilet per year. Low-flow toilets use about 1.6 gallons per flush, compared to 3 or 5 gallons for conventional toilets.

4. Install a low-flow showerhead for the same kind of savings as a low-flow toilet. By replacing standard 4.5-gallon-per-minute showerheads with 2.5-gallon-per-minute heads, which cost less than $5 each, a family of four can save approximately 20,000 gallons of water per year.

5. Use “gray” water. Instead of sending water from your bath, car-wash bucket or laundry tub down the drain, consider reusing it to water plants and grass.

GateHouse News Service