With the recent proliferation of water shortages caused by wonky weather patterns, finding ways to maximize the water we do have has become a focus of preppers near and far. That said, in addition to knowing how to find, harvest, purify, and store water, it is important to develop a lifelong habit of conserving water.
The bottom line is that careful water conservation methods will allow you to make the most of limited supplies not only following a disruptive event but also day to day as you learn to make do with what you have during a drought.
Today I share 16 ways to conserve water in in your home. We’ll begin in the bathroom since interestingly enough, that is where 75% of all household water is used.
16 Tips to Help You Conserve Water
1. Do not keep the bathroom faucet running.
The faucet at the bathroom sink does not need to be running continuously while you brush your teeth, wash your face, or shave. You will save between three and five gallons of water each minute your faucet is turned off. That is a lot of water! Instead, use the stopper on the sink and drain the basin when you are done.
2. Only flush when needed.
The toilet is not a wastepaper basket for tissues, cotton balls, or other bits of trash. Even better, flush the solids every single time but alternate flushing the liquids.
The prepper’s motto is ‘yellow, let it mellow’, ‘brown, flush it down’.
3. Flush using less water.
Most toilets installed before 1980 use 5 to 7 gallons of water per flush. Toilets installed between 1980 and 1993 use 3.5 gallons per flush. Toilets installed since 1994 use 1.6 gallons.
If you happen to have an older toilet, consider filling a used soda bottle or jar with water and small pebbles or marbles and place it upright in the tank. This will cut down on the amount of water that flows through the tank with each flush. Just be careful not to place the bottle where it will jam the flushing mechanism. Also, make sure you don’t displace so much water that you have to double-flush.
Double flushing wastes more water than you would save.
4. Check for leaky faucets and toilets.
It is easy to replace worn washers and since a small leak can waste many gallons of water a day, it is well worth the effort to test for leaks now.
The way to test for toilet leaks is to put a few drops of food coloring in the tank to see if the colored water appears in the bowl. This takes about 10 minutes. If the water color changes, you have a leak. Not to worry, though. Most leaks can be repaired with a kit that you can pick up at your local hardware store or on Amazon.
You can find a lot of information on toilets and toilet repairs at the Toiletology 101 website, including a free course on toilet repairs.
Keep in mind that little leaks can add up quickly. A faucet drip or invisible toilet leak that totals only two tablespoons a minute comes to 15 gallons a day. That’s 105 gallons a week or 5,460 wasted gallons of water a year.
Are you wondering how long the parts in your toilet tank should last? The answer is: it depends. Replaceable parts such as flappers and washers or seals inside the refill valve may last several years. However factors such as water treatment processes, toilet bowl cleaners, and high water pressure can cause parts to disintegrate much sooner. If you touch the flapper and get black “goo” on your hands, the flapper needs to be replaced.
5. Check for hidden water leaks.
Check for hidden water leaks elsewhere in your home by reading your water meter. What you do is read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
This article was written by Gaye Levy from Backdoor Survival
Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.
To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.
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