Fresh potable water is scarce and it will get scarcer and more expensive over the next decade and beyond. There are two ways to ensure we Earthlings have enough water for our needs. The first is to build expensive desalinization plants in our largest coastal cities that will convert ocean salt water into drinking water. The second and most sensible way is to conserve more water by using less of it.
Water leaks are everywhere and getting worse. Some municipalities report that up to 60% of the water that flows through its supply pipes is lost to leaks. But on average, 14 percent of water treated by local water systems is lost to leaks. These are staggering figures that must be addressed if we’re going to get serious about water conservation. Municipalities must fix the leaks in their pipelines and that requires significant infrastructure investment. Conversely, every household in America needs to fix its plumbing leaks.
But the simplest way to conserve water is to make smart plumbing purchases. If you need a new faucet, choose one that carries the EPA WaterSense approved label. The same goes for new toilets and showerheads. Businesses should choose toilets, urinals and irrigation controllers that are WaterSense approved. Many of these products are eligible for state and local rebates but all of them will reduce your water usage and therefore your water and sewer bills. In most cases you won’t pay more for WaterSense labeled plumbing parts and fixtures and they’re so well designed and engineered that you will not sacrifice comfort or flush and shower power.
I just installed a 1.28 gallon WaterSense approved toilet in my basement and it seems just as powerful as the 1.6 gallon toilets upstairs but it uses 20% less water per flush! And no, we don’t have to flush it twice to clear the bowl. Replacing faucets and aerators with WaterSense models will save the typical home 700 gallons of water per year. That’s equal to 40 showers! For more information about WaterSense and green fixtures, check out Roto-Rooter’s ROTOGreen web page.