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Water Wastage

Tips to limit water usage at home

One of the easiest ways to cool down, freshen up, and rejuvenate is to take a shower. It may be a mundane daily task, but for many, taking a shower is more than just about maintaining personal hygiene. They consider their shower time their “me” time, a personal time to do their daily musings. Hence, some people spend longer time in the shower than necessary.

Excessive Shower Time

Approximately, we use 9.25 litres (2.5 gallons) per minute in the shower.1 If we spend 15 minutes in the shower without turning the water off, we can use up to 138.75 litres. This means we consume up to 4,162.5 litres of water per month for showering alone. Now, imagine if a family of four would take 15-minute shower each every day. They could be using up to 16,650 litres of water for shower only, which amounts to $19.48 in water bill every month. Most households spend an average of $230 on shower water alone. Let’s not even mention those who prefer taking baths instead of showers.

Below is an estimate of the US Geological Survey’s Water Science School on daily indoor use1 (1 gallon = 3.785 litres):

Bath: 50 gallons Shower: 2.5 gallons per minute

Teeth brushing: 1 gallon

Hands/face washing: 1 gallon

Face/leg shaving: 1 gallon

Dishwasher: 20 gallons/load Dishwashing by hand: 5 gallons/load

Clothes washing (machine): 10 gallons/load

Toilet flush: 3 gallons

Glasses of water drunk: 8 oz. per glass (1/16th of a gallon)

Of course, this varies from household to household and from person to person – newer houses use less water per flush, some people don’t have the habit of letting the water run when brushing their teeth or washing the dishes, etc. But this clearly shows that shower takes up most of the water usage at home.

The Need to Conserve

On average, the country’s current domestic water consumption per person per day is about 154 litres. This includes water consumed while showering, cooking, and cleaning. “Our long term target is to bring down our daily per capita domestic water consumption to 147 litres by 2020, and 140 litres by 2030.” 2 Among the PUB’s initiatives to reduce water consumption are Water Efficient Homes programme and the 10-litre challenge initiatives.

Beyond saving a few dollars in our water bill per month, everybody should bear in mind that water wastage affects sustainability and the environment, not to mention our individual health, as taking long showers exposes us to the harmful effects of chlorine. We need to ensure availability of water for future generations. We consume a considerable amount of energy on waste water treatment and management. Conserving water not only helps to preserve fresh water habitats for wildlife, but also helps to reduce the need to build new water dams.
Here are some helpful tips to help save water at home:

 Limit your shower time to five minutes. Turn off the water when you’re shampooing or scrubbing yourself.

 Turn off the water or use a glass when brushing your teeth.

 When taking a bath, fill the tub with only five inches of water. Re-use the water for cleaning the toilet.

 Use a basin when washing the dishes.

 Check your toilet for leaks.

 Repair leaky faucets.

 Wash full loads of clothes.

 Install a water-saving shower head.

References: 1http://ga2.er.usgs.gov/edu/sq3action.cfm 2http://www.ifaq.gov.sg/mewr/apps/fcd_faqmain.aspx

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Posted by ezyhealth on Jan 16 2013. Filed under Lifestyle. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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