If you like Texas Jot, please take a look at my other blog, Fashion Plate. It is the home of my handmade retro Barbie clothes and lots of delicious recipes from my cookbooks.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Midland's Water Woes: Why is My Water Meter Spinning?
I readily admit that I never considered my water softener regenerates every 2-7 days, depending on demand, and can use 30 or more gallons of water each regeneration.
Newer, more efficient models use 50% less water, but dishwashers usually account for only 1.5% of one's indoor water consumption.
It is pretty obvious if you have a major plumbing leak, but 14 percent of residential water is lost through leaking fixtures or pipes. A leaking toilet can waste up to 100 gallons of water per year. So, if you have to jiggle the handle to make the water stop running, if it "turns on" by itself or makes noise when it is not in use, you have a leak.
Even a slow drip on a faucet uses 3 gallons a month.
A vintage toilet uses four to six gallons per flush; a conventional toilet 3.5 and a low consumption 1.6.
Conventional showerhead: 3-10 gallons per minute
Low-flow showerhead: 2-2.5 gallons per minute
They are the big culprit here, contributing to 20% of our indoor water usage. An old washing machine uses over 40 gallons per load, while a front-loader uses around 25 gallons per load.
Now for some water saving tips.
Install an aerator on your kitchen sink. They cut the water usage by half. You can purchase these almost anywhere. Just unscrew the bottom strainer part on your faucet and screw the new aerator in its place.You can tighten this by hand, but if you use a wrench, be sure to wrap your faucet with a washcloth so you don't scratch the surface.
While you're in the kitchen, we might as well talk about washing dishes. I confess that I am a rinser. If you cannot break yourself of this habit, run some water in the sink and rinse all your dishes before you load the dishwasher. Breaking NEWS...dishwashers were made to wash dirty dishes. You don't need to pre-rinse. I started giving this a try yesterday and it is working. At the end of the day, if you don't have a full load to wash, just run the pre-rinse cycle on your dishwasher...it only uses one or two gallons of water. It is less work for me, if I can just get over the grossness factor of putting dishes in the dishwasher that still have bits of food residue clinging to them.
I also admit to being a finite clothes sorter, which leads to many small loads. I purchased some Shout Color Catcher sheets and I'm combining loads with abandon. I've reduced my loads by at least half.
I'm sure you already shut off the water while you're brushing your teeth or shaving. Now let's work on the shower. The average time spent in the shower is 5-10 minutes. I can get finished in less than five minutes and Partner shuts off the water while he is lathering up. I can't do that because I get cold when the temperature drops below 80. I'd suggest you shower with your spouse, but I will tell you that it will only lead to longer showers.
Good luck with your conservation efforts. Let me know if you have a great ideas to share. I already know about putting a bucket in your shower to collect water, but I'm not hauling an open bucket of water across my wood floors. Besides, a gallon of water weighs over eight pounds. Sounds like a sloppy mess.