Save Water, Save Money

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Keep all of your resources from needlessly trickling away
As utility costs and
seasonal water needs rise, the time is right to consider conservation. The
typical annual household water bill comes to around $500, and a fair amount of
that spending that can be chalked up to unattended leaks, inefficient fixtures,
and all-around waste.
So take a look and listen
around

Keep all of your resources from needlessly trickling away

As utility costs and

seasonal water needs rise, the time is right to consider conservation. The

typical annual household water bill comes to around $500, and a fair amount of

that spending that can be chalked up to unattended leaks, inefficient fixtures,

and all-around waste.

So take a look and listen

around your home for adjustments that can get things flowing in your favor. You’ll

not only enjoy a reduction in your water bills (and extra cash to put toward

those summer drives), but will also help to conserve precious resources for

your community.

style='font-family:Arial'>Tend to leaky, running toilets

While toilets themselves

style='font-family:Arial'>nev

style='font-family:Arial'>er wear out, their moving parts do, and the resulting

leaks and runs of one unit can waste as many as 78,000 gallons of water in one

year─enough to fill a backyard swimming pool! To determine if a toilet is

running away with your hard-earned dollars, do a leak check by opening the tank

and pouring a little food coloring inside (any color but yellow, of course).

After 20 minutes, peek into the bowl; if the dye shows up, you probably need a

new flush valve, a part that costs just a few bucks and is easy to install

yourself. If, on the other hand, your toilet seems to run all the time and

style='font-family:Arial'>nev

style='font-family:Arial'>er fill up, the fill valve may need replacement,

another simple do-it-yourself repair.

style='font-family:Arial'>Upgrade to a toilet that uses less water

If you have a unit dating to

before 1994, consider replacing it with one of the WaterSense-labeled

href="http://www.epa.gov/watersense/pp/het.htm">high-efficiency toilets (HETs)

now widely available. Operating at 1.28 gallons per flush versus the 3.5 gpf of

older, inefficient models, an HET can reduce water

style='font-family:Arial'>usa

style='font-family:Arial'>ge by 60 percent. Some water providers, utilities and

cities also offer incentives in the form of rebates and free toilet

replacement.

style='font-family:Arial'>Spend less water at the sink

Using water wisely can be a

big savings at the tap (like shutting off water as you brush your teeth or

shave), as can the correction of leaks. To make conservation even easier, install

faucet aerators and

href="http://www.epa.gov/watersense/pp/bathroom_faucets.htm">high-efficiency

bathroom faucets bearing the WaterSense label, which help to reduce water

flow by over 30 percent without sacrificing performance. Moen offers many

WaterSense-certified bathroom faucets, including those in the

href="http://www.moen.com/products/6201">Rothbury and

href="http://www.moen.com/products/84439CBN">Muirfield collections.

style='font-family:Arial'>Switch to a smarter shower

Americans shower away 1.2 trillion gallons of water each year, with about 17

percent of an individual household’s water use being devoted annually to this

clean scene. But with the new-and-improved technologies behind today’s smart

showerheads, you can enjoy the same amount of showering comfort with far less

water.

style='font-family:Arial'>America

style='font-family:Arial'>n St

style='font-family:Arial'>andard has just introduced a suite of FloWise

showerheads, including a

href="http://www.americanstandard-us.com/products/productDetail.aspx?area=bath&cat=11&col=&prodID=1920">three-function

model that offers a turbine spray at 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm),

combination spray for a 2.0 gpm maximum flow rate and a regular spray,

providing an overall water savings range of 20 to 40 percent. The three-function

showerhead also includes a unique auto-return feature, with which the

showerhead defaults to the 1.5 gpm ultra-water-saving mode after use.

style='font-family:Arial'>Oversee outdoor irrigation

If you’re already feeling the

cost of keeping your landscaping lush, you may want to consider going even

greener by remodeling the scheme to include less turf and more native

plantings. A timer-operated drip irrigation system is also water-wise, as is

doing regular checks of any setup for the stray sprays and languid leaks that

send water everywhere but where you need it.

Note: Tom Kraeutler is the Home Improvement Editor for AOL and host of The Money Pit, a nationally syndicated home improvement radio program. To find a local radio station, download the show’s podcast or sign-up for Tom’s free weeklye-newsletter, visit the program’s website.

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