5 Water Saving Strategies – To Save You Money, Energy And Oh Yeah – Water

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Well for some of us out there the summer was pretty brutal. Little to no rainfall for most of July caused drought conditions over much of the US. Much of the central part of the country are still in an extreme drought situation. Many municipalities are under heavy water restrictions. With all that being said there are a number of things that you can do to reduce water usage while increasing effectiveness. Im sure at some point in your life you’ve seen a 7000 ways to reduce water, (my personal favorite is probably showering with your spouse…it’s all about the environment baby!) To limit the list we’ve categorized some of these methods into five strategies; Usage, Energy and Technology, Pools, Ponds and Pumps, Vegetation, and ‘no-nology’.


The way we go about doing things around the house can be a ‘little’ wasteful. Think about what you’re doing when you go to use water. For example, turn the water off when you brush your teeth. Or, fill the sink up when doing dishes instead of running water. Washing the car so runoff waters the grass to pull double duty. A personal favorite of mine, only because it rhymes, if it’s yellow let it mellow. Sure that one is sometimes a little awkward when you have dinner guests. Another is don’t let the water run to cool down, just fill a pitcher up with water and keep it in the fridge. Watering plants at night or in the cool of the evening can also reduce evaporation. Little tips like this can cut your water usage dramatically.

Energy and Technology

evolve-ladybugThere are several things that you can do and buy that can help reduce your energy usage. Simple things like low-flow shower heads and faucet heads reduce water. Newer technology like Evolve Shower Heads stop flow of showers when the water warms up to prevent waste. There are instant hot water tanks that reduce the time water needs to flow before the hot water gets to the sink or shower. Or you can upgrade to higher efficiency toilets and washing machines. Another tool worth considering, especially if your bathrooms are spread far and wide, is a Hot Water Recirculation Pump which, when plumbed, circulates hot water from a traditional tank-style water heater to each individual sink and back to ensure hot water is always at the tap. It’s estimated by the manufacturer that a recirculation pump like the one linked above can save up to 15,000 gallons a year. Your mileage may vary.

Pools, Ponds, and Pumps

Out of the three Ps, pools and ponds are the greatest one time users of water. You’re never going to take a 10,000 gallon shower, even if you’re “showering” with your significant other. So be wise and preserve the investment. Covers for hot tubs and pools reduce the amount of water that evaporates and it also reduces the amount of cleaning, maintenance and heating you’ll need. Check the liner for any holes and check pumps and hoses for leaks. When you do need to back-flush a pump, flush it on the grass or other landscaping that can use some extra H2O.


There are a couple things you can do with your existing plants and lawn systems to reduce water. First, keep an eye on the rain gauge. Often we irrigate our plants and lawns on a timed basis, however, if we pay attention to how much rain there was, we could reduce the watering frequency. Also, changes to the irrigation types can also reduce water usage. Larger drops closer to the soil reduce evaporation and can increase root intake. Better yet, install a rain barrel to collect rain water from your roof and distribute water to plants. You can also reroute your grey water (kitchen and washer water) to the grass and trees in your yard (local codes on this vary, so check-up on your area before re-routing your grey water). And while we are on the topic of grass, consider re-landscaping the yard to increase the amount of shrubs, which require less water to keep. Adding a couple inches of mulch to these shrubs, trees and flowerbeds also increases the retention of moisture in the soil. Reducing the square footage of grass can also help tremendously.


There are a couple of simple tricks that you can do to alter or minimize the water needed for certain tasks/fixtures. For example, making sure that all your faucets have aerators on them and that they are clean will increase the effectiveness of the water flow while minimizing the volume of water you need. You can also place an object into the toilet tank to displace the water, thus decreasing the amount of water used per flush. This can be done with an actual tank displacement product or a simple stone. Fix sinks that are dripping. That should be a no-brainer but it’s one of those things that you sometime put on the very end of your to do list. A little tightening or the replacing of an O-ring or gasket can save you on your water bill.

These are just a few of the myriad of things that you can do to save water. Try a few and see how much your water bill goes down. If you have any water-saving tips of your own, please share them in the comments section below.

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About Leroy

LeRoy was born into a long line of contractors/carpenters/missing links which maybe why he fell naturally into tools and fishing with his paws, errr, bare hands. He has since punctured, stabbed or electrocuted every appendage that can be discussed in mixed company. Given his natural fur vest, he has never been cold. In his parallel life he is a mild mannered environmental scientist where he builds, destroys and builds again. Which let’s face it is much cooler than Superman’s parallel life.

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6 thoughts on “5 Water Saving Strategies – To Save You Money, Energy And Oh Yeah – Water”

  1. billw Polybutylene was one of the stories that the plumber told me about after we discovered the “pin holes” and I said I guess I should’ve had plastic piping. He started telling me the horror stories of people that have these “newer/better” products in their homes. I feel bad for you knowing the mess that water can make of everything. Makes one think of going to out houses. But it’s like being robbed…you loose your trust. Foregoing the flood in the basement mine could have been a lot worse but like I said I just don’t trust it now and who’s to say that 3 days after I close those holes it doesn’t leak again or maybe even somewhere it already is causing serious damage I can’t even see.

    Marc Interesting link. I didn’t even know that this was such a major issue. I guess we’ve only had water in the house for about 100 years now. Maybe we’re just starting to see the tip of the iceberg and with the addition of chemicals in the water and what not these days it may become a common occurrence.

    Yesterday I heard about a problem with a fungus that’s covering peoples homes and it appears that it’s related to distilling spirits and I don’t mean boiling ghosts. A fairly new phenomena is that homes near distilleries are getting covered with a grayish fungus from the ethanol. Now what makes this interesting is that my neighbor’s home looks like it’s got the fungus but we have no distillers anywhere in the area. But what we do have is a lot of vehicles using Ethanol in their gasoline. Could it be that our pollution is starting to truly catch up with us in ways we never thought of?

  2. Water is not one of my favorites topics these days but not because we had a drought….God no…it rained almost every other day here in South Central PA all summer long. But I’m not even torqued about that! What I am torque about is that copper pipes leak without provocation. In my entire life I have never seen a spontaneous leak in a copper pipe but it happened to me. For some reason the pipes going up the wall to the 2nd floor just sprouted a pin-hole leak. It wasn’t even a pin-hole but smaller.

    I had to call a plumber because I had no idea why my basement was dripping with water but nothing else seemed to be wet. I also couldn’t figure out why my water bill had gone up 5000 gallons in one month. When I called the water company they told me based on the gallons that I had sprung a leak. I argued with them and they sent me to the meter. I said “ha”, I already checked the meter it’s not moving. Then she pointed me to tiny little needle almost not even visible. Around and around and around it went. “But,” I said, “I would hear that kind of water going through the pipes that’s almost 5 times what I normally use.” She said, you would be surprised at how much water can come out of a pin-hole.

    As the plumber cut up through my textured plaster walls I thought there’s no way to repair this even if we find the leak. He cut the first hole at the baseboard in the Dinning Room. Nothing, although it was wet inside. So I asked him. How do we proceed? Do you keep cutting up my wall until we find it or do we go by halves? He told me I could choose.

    I didn’t want to have to take down my diecast display cases so I picked the first spot below the first case. Boom! Right on target. There is was my smaller than small pin prick peeing inside my wall. The odd part was there was no seam no connection just a hole in the pipe. It took the plumber 3 times replacing the longer and longer pipe until it was finally cured. As each piece was soldered in the old pipe would spring a new leak. I never saw anything like it nor had I ever heard anyone have such a problem.

    Once it was repaired the plumber showed me the corrosion inside the pipe. That’s right – inside the pipe. Blue corrosion. I always thought it took air to corrode and if it does how does air get inside a pipe going up through a wall? Wouldn’t the bubble keep going up because it’s lighter than water?

    My whole world has been turned upside down and I have 3 holes in my Dinning Room wall that I don’t even want to repair for fear that it starts leaking again. Even assuming I can repair them and make them look decent.

    Well just a heads up for all you people that believe that copper pipes are better than PVC or whatever they use these days.

    Which brings me to a quick story about my new washer. I was talked into buying these special wire wrapped pipes that were guaranteed to never leak or bust for a mere $10 more. The plumber informed me that there is no such thing.

    As I said, my whole world is crumbling around me. Last year I had a basement full of water. A drought doesn’t really look all that bad too me. It’s all about perception.

    • Todd, i once thought copper was the total water pipe solution; your story and that of a friend on well water convinced me otherwise. I just had to have a total pipe replacement of the problematic polybutylene in my two story house so trust me i can sympathize with you!! I was left with 20 holes in ceilings and walls; that’s with using PEX which can bend into many places copper cannot easily go and copper was cost prohibitive for me.
      Sadly it sounds like you will be doing some replacement as well; once it starts to go, it just keeps going. I had several leaks under the house, then it finally popped in the dining room ceiling downstairs with a gusher. Flooded the ceiling, floors and walls. Out of date on the class action suit for that terrible piping. I’m still finishing drywall… one of my least competent abilities.
      Good luck!!

  3. Leroy, if you’re going to include the obvious repairs like sink washers, you should also include (in my experience) THE most common one: the always running toilet. I see this in so many places!! Friends houses, any restroom with the standard float type toilet; restaurants, service stations, public restrooms… everywhere!
    Granted that in the noisier locations it is nearly undetectable by sound, but i know when the water is supposed to be NOT running in the bowl.
    I have absolutely NO statistics to support my theory but I think this probably uses more water than a drippy faucet! Besides, I rarely let statistics (or lack of) change my already made up mind!
    So, i call your drippy faucet and raise you one overfilling toilet!


    • Mea culpa, mea culpa! As the sad owner of a presently leaking toilet, I admit you’re absolutely right Bill. It was a terribly blinded oversight on my part. It should have fallen under ‘no-nology’ along with the sink. Thanks for the insight. Here’s a giant internet hand to my face for forgetting that. 🙂


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