Leonardo da Vinci, the famed Italian Renaissance artist, engineer and polymath, once said that “water is the driving force of all nature.” Indeed, making up roughly 71 percent of the earth’s surface and 60 percent of the human body, water is arguably the most essential element to life on the planet (along with sunlight). Yet, it’s no secret that we often take it for granted or use it in ways that aren’t sustainable. Considering the costs, environmental implications, and the fact that we continue to enjoy this most plentiful resource for many generations to come, here are a few tips from us at Houston Water Solutions to help you “do better” with your water.
- Conserve it / Use less of it.
With shortages now happening around the country, we all should be conscious of not wasting water. During the summer months in Houston – June, July, August, and September – water usage increases dramatically. And with it, costs go up. Much of that is due to outdoor water usage (watering the lawn and irrigating gardens). Not only does excess water usage cost money, it can potentially create water shortages. The average American adult uses roughly 82 gallons of water a day. Meanwhile, the average family spends about $1,000 a year in water costs on household leaks alone, wasting about 180 gallons of water a week or about 9,400 gallons in a year. Here are some of the ways Houston residents can conserve water:
- Use less water on your lawn and garden. No one wants your lawn or vegetables to die, but outdoor water usage can encompass more than 30 percent of a household’s water total annually. If the average sized lawn in the United States is watered for 20 minutes every day, it’s the equivalent of running a shower constantly for 4 straight days. One tip: Trying watering your lawn every other day.
- Use products and appliances labeled with a WaterSense label. You can conserve water and save up to $380 per year in water costs by choosing water-efficient appliances. Learn more about the WaterSense label from the EPA website.
- Don’t run the faucet when brushing your teeth. OK, many of us might be guilty of this simply because we’re too lazy to turn the faucet on an off. But such behavior can waste up to 32 gallons of water daily per household of 4.
- Reduce your shower time. Every minute you don’t use the shower conserves about 2 gallons of water. If you shower every day like many people do, that can certainly add up in terms of conservation – and save you some money annually on costs.
- Running the dishwasher only when it’s full. That can save up to one load of dishes per week, conserving 320 gallons of water a year.
- Stop buying bottled water.
The cost of tap water in the Houston area is roughly .2 cents to .3 cents per gallon compared to bottled water, which costs $9.60 per gallon. And with the average American household spending about $1500 per year buying bottled water, that translates a big waste of money when compared to just using water from your tap. When you purchase bottled water, you’re also harming the environment with fossil fuels used to produce the bottles and then also recycle the bottles (if they get recycled at all). Roughly 80 percent of the bottles end up in landfills and many end up polluting lakes and oceans as plastic doesn’t break down over time, hurting animal life. Bottled water also may not be any safer or healthier, as it may contain the same contaminants present in your own unfiltered water. That’s one reason why we recommend investing in a water filtration and softening solution from us at Houston Water Solutions. It will save you money over time and give you the confidence to know you’re drinking safe and clean water, which is great for your health.
- Soften it, to help your appliances, water fixtures, and your skin.
Hard water contains deposits of calcium and magnesium, which create unsightly buildup in your pipes, sinks, and drains over time. That means to maintain your home, you have to do more scrubbing and cleaning to get rid of the stains and may have to call additional plumbing services. Hard water also causes issues with dishwashers, refrigerators, and washers, as it can reduce the lifespan of those appliances by 30 percent, and makes them to use more energy as well. Finally, hard water can damage your skin (clogging pores) and make your hair less shiny. For that reason, we recommend installing a water softening solution that can help you address such issues – an investment that will help your appliances last longer and mean less scrubbing and cleaning.
- Drink more of it.
While some might argue about the exact amount of water you should drink every day, what’s not in dispute is that most Americans (and residents of Houston) should probably be drinking more than they do now. A general guideline is about 8 cups of water per day, which varies depending on your unique circumstances. You can get the quantity you need in various forms other than pure water too – tea, coffee, vegetables all count. Why do you need that much water? Overall, water helps you lose weight, it aids in digestions, keeps your joints lubricated, and helps you flush out the body’s toxins, among other benefits.
Given your most plentiful and accessible source of drinking water is likely your tap, what’s critical here is that you have confidence that your water is safe and healthy. That’s where we recommend getting a free water quality analysis with us. We’ll send a technician to your home and analyze your water for contaminants and hard water deposits. We’ll show you the results and then craft a water filtration and softening solution that best meets your needs.
When you “do better” with water, you’ll save money over time, improve the environment, and, most importantly, end up healthier. That seems like a great deal for making some simple changes to both your own routine and investing in a water quality solution from us. Learn more about all our water quality services