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Tips to conserving water in your home
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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Karen Bell is director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.

Well, I think the real weather is finally here. It will be close to 90 degrees this weekend. I had really enjoyed the milder weather the last month or so. 

As the weather heats up, it is a good time to share tips for conserving water. Water is an essential resource for us. We cannot live without it. 

We humans waste hundreds of gallons of water every day, so let’s stop it. With just a little effort, we can all become “water savers” instead of “water wasters.” 

Here are a number of water-saving ideas from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Take a look. You may find several that you can put into place and start your water saving experience.

Around the house:

• Install a hot water recirculation device. By recirculating water that would otherwise go down the drain, you can save 2-3 gallons of water for each shower taken, or 16,500 gallons a year per household. This may mean an average annual savings of $50 on your water bill and $40 on your energy bill.

• Never install a water-to-air heat pump or air-conditioning system. Air-to-air models are just as efficient and do not waste water.

• Install water-softening systems only when necessary. Save water and salt by running the minimum amount of regenerations necessary to maintain water softness. Turn softeners off while on vacation.

• Never put water down the drain when there may be another use for it, such as watering a plant or garden. For example, reuse fish tank water on your household plants. It makes good fertilizer, too.

• Verify that your home is leak free, because many homes have hidden water leaks. Read your 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.

• Repair dripping faucets by replacing washers. If your faucet is dripping at the rate of one drop per second, you can expect to waste 2,700 gallons per year. That is money going down the drain.

• Retrofit all wasteful household faucets by installing aerators with flow restrictors.

• Insulate your water pipes. You’ll get hot water faster and avoid wasting water.

In the lundry:

• Unlike your dishwasher, the amount of water your washing machine uses is adjustable, so plan loads and adjust according to the load size.

• Look for a water-saving washing machine to purchase.

• Frontload machines use less water than topload machines.

In the kitchen:

• Minimize the use of kitchen sink disposals. They require a lot of water to operate properly. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing of food waste.

• Store drinking water in the refrigerator rather than letting the tap run to get a cool glass of water.

• Do not use running water to thaw meat or other frozen foods. Defrost them overnight in the refrigerator.

• When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or basin with soapy water. Quickly rinse under a slow stream of water from the faucet. Use the dirty water to run your sink disposal, if necessary.

• Fully load automatic dishwashers. They use the same amount of water no matter how much is in them.

• Buy dishwashers with water and energy saving options.

In the bathroom:

• Check for toilet leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. Check the toilet for worn out, corroded or bent parts. You can buy kits to do this, but this is essentially what the kit will do.

• Consider purchasing low-flow toilets that can reduce indoor water use by 20 percent.

• Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily. Dispose of tissues, insects and other similar waste in the trash rather than the toilet. It is not a trash can.

• Replace your showerhead with an ultra low-flow version to save up to 2.5 gallons per minute.

• Take shorter showers. Try a “Navy” shower: get wet, turn off the water, soap and scrub, then turn the water on to rinse.

• Use the minimum amount of water needed for a bath by closing the drain first and filling the tub only a third full. The initial burst of cold water can be warmed by adding hot water later.

• Don’t let the water run while shaving, washing your face or brushing your teeth.

Some of these tips may seem a little picky, but the nice thing about water-saving ideas is that they are usually dollar-saving ideas, too. So even if you are more interested in your pocketbook than your faucet, it will be worth your time to consider some of these ideas. 

For more information on conserving water, contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at 912-880-4888 or

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