(NewsUSA) - Oftentimes, it takes mandatory water restrictions enacted during a drought to get consumers thinking about saving water. But using less water every day can help reduce household utility bills, lessen local municipalities' energy use and put less stress on aquifers and water tables.
Officials with World Energy Solutions (stock symbol WEGY), an energy services company based in St. Petersburg, Fla., note that using less water also helps reduce air pollution by lessening the power needs of local water plants to pump, treat, recycle and purify water.
"A community's wastewater treatment plant often consumes substantially more electricity than any of the other community-owned buildings or facilities," said Jeff Stokes, World Energy Solutions vice president.
Half of a home's total water use takes place in the bathroom. Installing water-saving showerheads will reduce gallons of water used per minute in half or more. Older showerheads use 5 to 7 gallons per minute, but new models use only 2.5 gallons.
Similarly, low-flow faucet aerators can be attached to existing faucets in the kitchen and bath to reduce flow per minute. Repair faucet leaks immediately. A slow leak can waste 20 gallons or more of water each day.
Toilets are the single biggest users of household water. Check toilets periodically for leaks; a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water a day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A constantly running toilet is obvious, but silent leaks are more difficult to detect. To test for leaks, add a drop or two of food coloring to the tank and wait 15 minutes for signs of color in the bowl.
Replacing a poor-fitting toilet flapper is an easy do-it-yourself project. And if you are remodeling, consider replacing outdated toilets with low-flow models, which can save 20 percent.
In the kitchen, fill your dishwasher completely before running it. But in the laundry room, take advantage of your washer's water level settings. When it comes time to replace the washing machine, consider a side-loading model, which uses a third less water than a top-loading machine.