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Easy Ways to Save Water and Money

Fri, Oct 16th, 2009
Posted in Government

Perhaps no issues are more hot button these days than the environment and the economy. The general feeling is that both need to be saved, but there are differing views as to how to go about doing so.

One of the ways that can help save the environment and a little money is to conserve. Be it conserving energy, fuel or water, there are myriad ways concerned citizens can save the environment while trimming some of the fat off their monthly bills as well. Those looking to conserve water, for instance, can take the following steps.

* Fix any leaks. Leaky faucets and toilets are often at the core of water bills that suddenly skyrocket. And more often than not, these leaks are barely audible, even to those who are closely listening for them. To put the problem of leaks in perspective, consider that a leaky toilet can silently waste up to 200 gallons of water each and every day. Discovering if a toilet is leaking can be as simple as the food coloring test. Simply add food coloring to the toilet's tank. If color appears in the bowl without flushing, the toilet is leaking. Another method is to examine the meter while no water is being used. If the dial is moving, there's a leak. Consult a plumber if either case is true.

* Cool it with the running water. Many people keep their water running when they really don't need to, such as while brushing their teeth, shaving or washing their hands and face. According to Denver Water, a family of four that stops running the faucet while brushing their teeth can expect to save 800 gallons of water per month. Should the same family mandate that the washing machine be full in order to do a wash, they'll save more than 2,000 gallons of water per month. Though it seems as though turning the faucets off when brushing your teeth would have a minimal effect, that's anything but.

* Don't flush the toilets so often. Excessively flushing toilets when using the bathroom is a common occurrence. But each flush equals roughly six gallons of water. Don't use the toilet as a garbage can to flush tissue paper. Only flush the toilet after using it for its main purpose.

* Replace old appliances with water-friendly products. Over time, water-friendly products can trim substantial amounts of money off the monthly water bill. As more and more people look to conserve, more and more water-friendly products are available to environmentally-conscious homeowners. Low-flow faucet aerators, for example, can reduce water flow by as much as 50 percent, even though it will seem as though the water pressure has gotten stronger. There are also water-saving shower heads that are equipped with on/off valves, allowing the water to be stopped and restarted. Better yet, once restarted, the temperature has not changed and does not need to be readjusted.

Front-loading washing machines are also more water-friendly. These machines use 40 to 60 percent less water, and use less energy as well (as much as 50 percent less according to some estimates). Much of those energy savings is due to the fact that front-loading washers extract 35 percent more water than top-loading washers, meaning it doesn't take as much time (and, as a result, energy) to dry your clothes once they've been washed. In addition, some state governments offer tax credits and rebates to those who have purchased a front-loading washer.

* Store cold water in the fridge. Storing water in the fridge is another simple solution that can make a significant impact. Consider how much water is routinely wasted running the faucet while waiting for the water to get cold simply to drink a single glass. More than you'd likely think. Avoid this waste by keeping a pitcher of cold water in the refrigerator. Not only will it conserve water, but it will save time as well.

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