Did you know that a faucet that leaks one drop of water per second can add up to 5 gallons of wasted water per day? There are two main reasons why it’s a good idea to reduce water use in the bathroom. First, you can save money on your monthly water bills: the bathroom utilizes more water than any other room in a house, so the bulk of your water savings will come from there.
The second benefit is water conservation. Every gallon saved is a gallon of usable water that doesn’t end up in a wastewater stream. Your dripping tap is not only wasting water, but it’s also hiking up your water bill. Checking for and fixing leaks is one of the simplest ways to cut water costs in the bathroom, but there are many other ways to help save both your wallet and the planet.
If you take baths, plug the tub before running the water: Many people choose to let the water run down the drain until it reaches the desired temperature, but depending on how long your water takes to heat, this could end up wasting gallons upon gallons.
Switch to a 5-minute shower: A standard showerhead can use as much as 2.5 gallons of water per minute, or 25 gallons for a 10-minute shower. Cutting your shower time down to 5 minutes can save your household hundreds of gallons every month.
Invest in low-flow faucets and showerheads: These showerheads are designed to use less than 2 gallons of water per minute. This means that taking a quick 5-minute shower with a low flow showerhead only uses 10 gallons of water. Low-flow faucets also can reduce water flow from the standard 2.2 gallons per minute to as few as 1.5 gallons. A good low-flow product will reduce water use without decreasing water pressure, so your showers will still feel just as refreshing.
Invest in a water softener: Hard water negatively effects many different parts of your bathroom and routine. With hard water, it’s difficult to properly rinse away soap from your hair and skin during a shower, so it can leave your skin feeling dry and dull. You could wash your hair and body over and over thinking it’ll fix the problem, but the results won’t change.
The residue that hard water leaves on your hair and skin not only causes you to spend more time in the shower but forces you to spend more on shampoos and body wash. Hard water also leaves water spots on shower doors and causes buildup on faucets and drains, requiring more water and products to clean and maintain them.
Get your water tested: To find out if you have hard water, schedule an in-home water test with a local water quality expert, who can then recommend which water softener is the right solution for your household water needs.
Get a new toilet: Toilets use the most water in the home by far, nearly 30% of all indoor use on average. According to federal standards, toilets made in the past 30 years usually run 1.3-1.6 gallons per flush, but if your toilet was made before 1992, it could be running 2.5-3.6 gallons per flush. A new toilet may sound like a big investment, but the water savings benefits far outweigh that cost.
Test for toilet leaks: A leaky toilet tank often goes unnoticed because all the leakage is contained within the bowl. To test for a toilet leak, put some food coloring in the tank. If the water in the bowl changes color before you’ve flushed, consider calling a plumber.
Place a weighted water bottle in your toilet tank: An easy way to use less water per flush is by taking up some extra volume in the tank of your toilet. To do this, fill a disposable 1-liter water bottle with weight (sand, pebbles, etc.). Place the bottle in the tank safely away from the operating mechanism. In an average home, this action can save you up to 5 gallons of water per day. If your tank is large enough, you may even be able to fit two bottles, adding onto the savings.