Showering is part of everyday life. Be it a luxurious hot shower in the middle of winter, or a cold shower in the summertime to wash the sweat away, we love to get clean. In fact, showering accounts for 17 percent of all indoor household plumbing use in the country, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That's 1.2 trillion gallons per year – a significant use of resources, to say nothing of all the energy used to heat water for hot showers.
Save Money, Energy and Water at the Same Time
Cleanliness may be next to godliness, but we all have a responsibility to conserve. Check out these tips to cut down on water consumption with your household plumbing while still maintaining proper levels of hygiene:
- Go Low Flow: Your average showerhead uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute, all of which goes right down the drain. If you upgrade to a WaterSense certified low-flow showerhead model, you cut down consumption to a maximum of 2 gallons per minute, leading to household plumbing savings of 2,900 gallons per year for the average family, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When energy to heat the water is taken into account, you can save about $70 per year by making the switch.
- Don't Waste Water: When you let the shower run before you jump in, waiting for it to reach just the right temperature, you're wasting gallons of water. "Typically 20 percent of every shower, the duration, is essentially lost," Jonah Schein, technical coordinator for homes and buildings for the EPA's WaterSense program, said to the Daily Herald. "The average shower is a little over eight minutes long, so that's a good chunk of the shower that we're not actually being able to utilize." That's a significant loss, especially when you take into consideration the serious droughts facing certain parts of the country.
- Take Fewer Showers: According to a story in the Atlantic, more than 70 percent of people in the United States shower every day, and the average American takes just under seven showers per week. That's right around the global average – Brazilians were in the lead with nearly 12 showers per week! Still, a shower per day is a lot of water. Try cutting down to every other day and see how it works for you.
- Recycle the Water: One of the best ways to reduce water waste in your household plumbing is to use it twice. You can take the simple route and put a bucket in the shower with you to capture excess water, and then use it to flush the toilet or water the garden. For a more complicated option, you could install a greywater recycling system that automatically takes water from the shower drain, treats and filters it, then diverts it to the toilet or irrigation system.
If you need more tips on reducing water consumption in your household plumbing, or want help installing low-flow water fixtures, call up a local plumber today.