With more than 30 years’ experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Mark Nelson is a Class 1 Drinking-Water Operator and a CBWA (Canadian Bottled Water Association) Certified Plant Operator. As founder and president of Nelson Water in Ottawa, Mark focuses on dealing with challenging water treatment system designs for problem water. He also heads the largest water bottling plant in the city of Ottawa with a delivery network throughout the Valley.
Reports have shown that water use in Canadian households is an average of 243 liters per day, which is more than ten times the average in some developing countries. This shows that we’re wasting a lot of water, and according to Environment Canada data, 65 percent of our indoor water use occurs in the bathroom. This makes the bathroom a good place to start taking some steps to conserve water. So, here we’ll explore ways that you can conserve water in your bathroom.
Install a High Efficiency Shower Head
Most of us enjoy a hot shower to get going in the morning or to relax after the stresses of the day. Unfortunately, your shower head may waste up to 10 liters of water for every minute. Installing a high efficiency shower head is a simple DIY task, but can help you to save up to 30,000 liters of water every year. A high efficiency shower head can also reduce your electricity bills since you won’t be paying to heat all of that wasted water.
Check for Toilet Leaks
Your toilet is likely to contribute to 30 percent of the total water usage inside your home. Unfortunately, not all of this water is used for flushing the toilet, as small toilet leaks can waste massive amounts of water in the long term. A running toilet can waste up to 75 liters of water in a day, but since it lacks the drip, drip, drip that accompanies a leaky faucet, it is harder to detect.
Fortunately, you can check if your toilet is leaking with a toilet leak test kit or even just some regular food dye. Open up the toilet tank and put a few drops of dye into the tank. Avoid flushing the toilet for approximately 15 minutes and then check the bowl to see if there is any color in the water. If there is, you have a toilet leak, and it is wasting money.
Fix any Dripping Faucets
That dripping noise from your bathroom tap may be annoying, but it can’t be wasting that much water, can it? It can be easy to delay fixing a dripping faucet because you can reason that it is only dripping a bit of water. In fact, even a slow drip can waste as much as six liters of water a day. Just pop the plug in the drain and wait to see how much that little drip wastes in just an hour. So, don’t delay and fix any dripping or leaky faucets. Remember that leaks don’t just occur as a drip, so while you’re checking your faucets, make sure the area around the base remains dry and is not leaking water.
Upgrade Your Toilet
If you’re serious about your bathroom water conservation, then you should consider upgrading your toilet. Many of us have no idea how old the toilet is in our homes, but older toilets from the 1980s and 1990s can use 3.5 gallons to 7 gallons of water every time you flush. Investing in a new, water saving toilet could save you hundreds of dollars in water costs and conserve up to 60,000 liters of water in an average year. If you’re not sure how old your toilet actually is, then take the lid off and look for a set of numbers inside the tank. This will help you to find the year your toilet was manufactured, and if it was before 1992, then an upgrade will help you to save a lot of water.
Don’t Run the Water When You Shave or Brush Your Teeth
Many of us have the bad habit of leaving the water running as we brush our teeth or shave, but this can waste a great deal of water. When brushing your teeth, just wet your toothbrush and turn off the water. In the two minutes it takes to clean your teeth, you could save approximately 12 liters of water. Get your whole family following this example, and you could be saving hundreds of liters a week.
The same principle apples to shaving. Leaving the water running to rinse a razor is wasteful, so just add an inch or two of water into your sink or shaving mug. You’ll still enjoy a good shave, but you can save gallons of water throughout the year.
Make the Kids Conservation Aware
It is also important to get the whole family involved in the water conservation practices of your household. Children often waste water without realizing it, so you need to use this as a teachable moment. Many younger children are obsessed with flushing the toilet, but you need to explain how this wastes gallons of water. Likewise, get your children to follow your example of not allowing the water to run while you brush your teeth. It is also a good idea to monitor whether your child is allowing the water to run for longer than necessary to get it hot. Many children start the shower running and then get distracted, so the minute or two needed to get hot water turns into five minutes. Teach your children to have everything they need before they start running the shower and to check it regularly. This way, as soon as it reaches the desired temperature, they can jump in and start showering.
Greener lifestyle techniques are often taught in schools, but you can reinforce this in your home and help your children to be conservation aware. This will not only help to reduce your water usage, but help them develop good habits that could last a lifetime.
For many, the prospect of trying to save water can be daunting, but with some simple steps, you can start to conserve water in your bathroom today. Just being aware of how much water you’re using can help you to make water savings, such simple measures like turning off the water as you’re brushing your teeth or fixing that leaky faucet you’ve been ignoring can add up to saving hundreds of gallons of water throughout the year.
If you want to know more about improving your water quality and conserving water, contact your local water treatment professional today.