Project Category: Water

It’s practically painless — but vitally important — to conserve water.

Few things in this country are as taken for granted as water. Turn on the tap and it flows. It seems as if the supply is endless, but far from it — fresh, clean water is a limited resource. Water conservation is vital, not just to ensure the supply, but to reduce the amount of pollutants entering rivers, lakes, and streams. Efficient water use can reduce water and wastewater treatment costs and the amount of energy used to treat, pump, and heat water, and it can help to ease the burden on water resources during drought conditions.

Inspect & Repair Water-using Fixtures

Inspect & Repair Water-using Fixtures

Leave the leaks to the media, not your plumbing!

You usually know if a faucet’s leaking, but slow leaks in the bathroom or toilet often go unnoticed. Leaks can account for 13% of a home’s water use, which can also leak hundreds of dollars per year from your pocket. For instance, it’s possible to waste 200 gallons of water a day if your toilet is running constantly. According to the EPA, the average house with leaks can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water a year. This is the equivalent of 270 loads of laundry. Talk about flushing money down the toilet! Inspecting and repairing your fixtures twice a year can pay large dividends all year-round; fixing easily corrected leaks can save more than 10 percent on your water bill.  
Image of a man repairing leaks to a bathroom sink

Image credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

 

Know Your Water Use

Use water like it’s a precious commodity, because it is!

Every drop counts! Whether you’re on “city” water or have your own well, the benefits of conserving water add up:
  • If you’re on a municipal water meter, your water bill will go down.
  • If you’re on a well, you’ll have water for drier times of year like late summer/early fall.
  • Regardless of the source, you’ll save money on the electricity it takes to pump and heat water. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating water can account for 12% of a home’s annual energy use, or about $264 for an average home.
See the tips in the Resources section for easy ways to cut your water use.

Install High Efficiency Shower Heads

You’ll hardly notice the difference — except in your water use and bill.

You can save a lot of water and hardly notice the difference if you install new low-flow faucet aerators, shower heads, and toilets. If you have an older home and haven’t upgraded, you’re due. But even newer homes don’t always have the best water-saving fixtures. Changing faucet aerators and showerheads is a quick and easy job almost anyone can do. Changing toilets is a bigger expense and effort, but the savings are big, too; unless you’re super-handy, call a plumber for this one.

Recycle Your Cooking Oil

One person’s waste is another person’s biofuel.
Cooking oil and grease is hard on municipal water sanitation systems and can increase the energy required to treat waste water. It’s also hard on your garbage disposal and can build up and cause major problems in your plumbing system. Dispose of used oil responsibly through Montgomery County’s cooking and vegetable oil recycling program, where it is reused in animal feed and biofuels. See the Resources tab below.