Recycling water at home used to be something very few people did on a regular basis. But times change. Today, more homeowners than ever are finding ways to reuse water – whether it’s rain that’s gathered in barrels after a storm, or water that was just used for cooking.
There are very good reasons to get into the habit of recycling water. First and foremost, it’s a great way to help preserve one of our planet’s most important resources that’s getting scarce. Consider this: we use about 88 gallons of water a day in the U.S. And a lot of that water gets wasted.
Recycling water can also help you save money on your water bills. Every time you turn on the faucet, use the washing machine, or water the garden, you’re spending money. But if you use recycled water instead, you end up keeping more money in your pocketbook while also helping save the planet. It’s a win/win.
The good news is that you don’t need fancy equipment get started. All you need are items you can buy at the local home improvement store and the willingness to think outside the box and try something new.
Here are seven ways to recycle water at home:
Install a rain barrel
One of the easiest ways to capture and recycle water is with a rain barrel. These work by collecting rainwater from your home’s gutters. You can purchase rain barrels at your local home improvement store and install it yourself.
Simply place the barrel near a downspout and attach the diverter so water funnels into the barrel. Then you can reuse the water in all kinds of ways – from watering the garden to washing the car.
Invest in a gray water system
One of the most comprehensive ways to recycle water is to add a gray water system to your home. These work by taking what would otherwise be wastewater and recycling it so that it’s used for other purposes. While gray water is not safe to drink or use for cooking, it can be used for flushing toilets, washing clothes and watering plants.
It is possible to install a gray water system on your own, however, if your house is older, or if you are looking for a comprehensive gray water system, it’s best to let a plumber do the job. While it may cost more to let a professional install the system, it’s great for ROI, and will add up to considerable savings when it comes to your water bill.
Reuse shower water
Every time you take a shower, you’re using a lot of water and plenty of it gets wasted. We’re not suggesting you stop, or even limit, your showers. Instead, we have a much better solution: simply take a bucket into the shower with you to collect unused water.
Then, use the water for your garden or houseplants. You might also be able to reuse bath water for the same purposes, unless you’ve used bath products with chemicals. That being said, a little soap in the water can act as a bug repellant in the flower garden.
Don’t let your “warm up” water go down the drain
One big missed opportunity is not reusing the water you run in your shower, bath or sink as it heats up. This is another great time to use a bucket to collect and recycle water. Since this water is clean, you can use it for all sorts of things, from filling your pet’s water bowl to soaking dishes and silverware.
Never leave a glass half full
Chances are, at the end of the day there are half filled glasses of water all over the house. Instead of collecting them and tossing the water down the drain, pour it in the dog’s water bowl, in planters or use it in the garden. Do the same with half-filled bottles of water, too.
Aquarium owners, take note
Anyone who tends to an aquarium knows how much water it takes to keep it thriving so fish can live happily. If you have an aquarium that you clean on a regular basis, consider recycling the water rather than pouring it down the drain. Aquarium water is a great natural fertilizer, although you’ll want to steer clear of recycling it if it contains chemicals like algae killers.
A word about pools
While pools are a fantastic addition to any home, they take a lot of water to fill, and a lot of that water gets wasted. This is especially obvious when the weather changes and it’s time to drain the pool, which amounts to thousands of gallons of old, dirty water being dumped. But did you know that pool water can be cleaned through reverse osmosis? With this method, the water can be reused so that it doesn’t end up in the ground, where it can cause even more pollution.
Would you like to learn more about recycling water or installing a gray water system? Give us a call or contact us for a quote. We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service. We’re here to help Cincinnati homeowners with all their plumbing needs. You can follow us on Facebook, @Allied Reddi-Rooter for the latest tips or to ask questions.
It never fails: as soon as the weather heats up across the country, the water starts to dry up, too. Luckily, we usually don’t have to worry about this serious problem here in Cincinnati, but it’s still very important to do everything we can to conserve water here at home.
Using less water isn’t just good for the planet, it’s also a great way to save a little money, and it can even help keep plumbing problems at bay. By monitoring your water usage on the regular, it will be easier to spot a potential issue once you see you’re using more water than usual.
Below are eight ways to conserve water at home:
1. Water lawns twice a week
Doesn’t sound like enough, right? Fact is, though, watering your lawn just two times every week will lead to stronger, deeper roots. In turn, your yard will have healthier grass that’s more tolerant of the heat. Note, however, that we’re only talking about the grass. Flowers and shrubs will still need to follow a different watering routine to stay healthy.
2. Use a nozzle
Left unattended, a running garden hose can waste over 100 gallons of water in just minutes. Use a shutoff or pressure nozzle so you only use what you need when you’re watering the plants, cleaning the house, or washing the car.
3. Water when it’s cooler outside
In the summertime, water will evaporate quickly in the warmer air. So, if you’re watering your yard and plants during the hottest part of the day you’re wasting water. Conserve water instead by watering before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. In fact, if you’ve never gardened at night, we highly recommend it!
4. Wash when full
Use this mantra for cleaning dishes and clothing. Dishwashers and washing machines use an incredible amount of water. That’s why it’s important to wait until they’re full to turn them on. It takes practice to get into the habit, but once you do, you’ll likely notice a reduction in your water usage and maybe even on your water bill!
5. Check for leaks
Take an hour or so and check your sinks, faucets and your ceilings and walls for any signs of a water leak. Another great way to tell if you have a leak is by turning off the water supply, checking the meter, and waiting a couple of hours until you read the meter again. If it’s moved, it’s time to call the plumber.
6. Take shorter showers
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you want to conserve water, you’ll need to take short showers. In fact, every minute you’re in the shower, you use between three and six gallons of water. As for baths? While they certainly can be relaxing after a long day, take them sparingly.
7. Turn off the faucet
Even though most of us let the faucet run while we’re shaving, brushing our teeth, or doing the dishes, we really shouldn’t. Soak dishes in a pan of soapy water and rinse them with running water quickly. And turn off the faucet while you’re doing routine tasks like brushing your teeth.
8. Choose energy saving fixtures
Use an aerator on your kitchen faucet to save about four gallons of water a day. And if your toilet is older, consider switching to a newer model that can save about five gallons of water every time it flushes. You could also install a water saving showerhead and faucets in the bathroom.
Concerned you have a water leak or otherwise wasting water? Give the team at Allied Reddi-Rooter a call or Contact us. We can inspect your home’s plumbing and make sure it’s working properly and efficiently! We always come highly recommended and have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for our expert quality of service. You can follow us on Facebook, @Allied Reddi-Rooter for the latest tips or to ask us a question.
When the weather heats up and the sprinklers get going we often get asked one simple question: How can I use less water in my garden? While we’re happy to help install water conservation systems to keep your plants and flowers healthy and growing, there are plenty of ways you can use less water in your garden easily.
In fact, just doing a few of the things on the list below can help you save water when you garden – and that will save you money on your next water bill, and possibly your energy bill, too.
Check the weather. Don’t use your own water when Mother Nature is going to lend you hers. During the summer months, Cincinnati lawns and gardens require about an inch of water every week. Sometimes, you can catch a break and let the rain do its job. Make sure to turn off any automatic sprinklers when the forecast calls for rain. And of course, check for high heat and humidity, too. There may be days when you’ll need a little extra watering in the garden.
Mulch. A lot. As a general rule, your trees, shrubs and flowers should be covered by one to three inches of mulch. This will keep the soil below cooler and the moisture in.
Purchase the right tools. There are tools out there that will help you keep your garden watered, and they’ll help you reduce the amount of water you use, too. Consider investing in bubblers, soaker hoses, and micro-sprinklers. These will help you tailor your garden’s watering needs so you’ll only water the areas that really need it – when they need it.
Water in the morning. The longer you wait in the day to water your garden or lawn, the better the chances are for the water to evaporate. Watering plants in the heat can also cause fungal disease. Not a morning person? Try watering your lawn at night after the sun goes down. Or, choose a sprinkler with a timer so it will turn on during the wee hours while you snooze.
Use water-conserving crystals. These are easy to find in any gardening or home improvement store. The crystals work by swelling as they absorb water. This can cut your watering usage by half.
The dangers of overwatering your yard. There’s more at stake from overwatering your yard and gardens than wasting money. It can also lead to root rot caused by lack of oxygen in the soil. And it can deplete the soil from the nutrients your flowers, plants and trees need to thrive.
Want to plant flowers that can withstand the heat and go without daily watering? Choose those with a shallow root system. Here’s some of our picks below.
Annuals. Sunflower, Celosia, Moss Rose, Summer Cypress, Zinnia, Cosmos, Four O’Clocks, Globe Amaranth
Perennials. Black-Eyed Susan, Daylilies, English daisy, Lamb’s Ear, Lavender, Blanket Flower, Butterfly Weed