Toronto’s record for environmental health is pretty good, with a sustainability plan that was approved back in 2000 for a clean, green and healthy city. The plan is implemented by an environmental task force made up of representatives from government, business, education and agencies across the GTA. One of the vital factors in the plan is the conservation of water, particularly through household use, important even in a region with the vast resources of Lake Ontario on our doorstep. Here are 8 ways in which you can play your part this summer, by making sure your plumbing services use water efficiently:
Water Conservation Tip # 1
Check for leaking or dripping faucets. An ongoing drip can waste up to a bucket of water a day, or 300 litres every month. If you find any leaks, replacing the washer may do the trick unless your faucets are really old, in which case you may need to get a Toronto plumber out to replace them.
Water Conservation Tip # 2
Fit flow control devices on all the shower heads in your home. This makes it possible to turn off the water while you soap yourself, without having to get the temperature right all over again. The normal water usage for a shower is between 15 and 50 litres per minute, and you can cut this by 50 percent. If your shower has an old-fashioned head that can’t work with a flow controller, have your Toronto plumber replace it with one that can.
Water Conservation Tip # 3
If your toilet is an older model, install a modern, low-flush toilet in your home. Even though the Eco-Energy Retrofit government rebate for installing low-flush toilets closed in March 2012, some cities across the GTA still offer municipal rebates. Either way, it’s is a good method of saving water usage. Find plumbing services that will help you check for rebate programs in your area, and apply for the grants. If you can’t fit a new toilet, place a plastic jug in the tank of each toilet to limit the quantity of water the tank takes to fill.
Water Conservation Tip # 4
Machine-wash laundry and dishes only when you have a full load. Alternatively, wash a small amount of dishes by hand in a sink half-filled with water. Never wash under a running faucet, as you use double the quantity of water that way.
Water Conservation Tip # 5
A leaking tank can waste a substantial amount of water each month without you knowing it. One easy way to see if your toilet is leaking is to add a bit of food colouring to the water in your toilet’s reservoir tank. Next, wait for a few hours. If your tank is leaking the food colouring will eventually make it’s way into the toilet bowl, providing you with a clear indication that a leak is present. Ask your local plumbing services to inspect your toilet for leaks and fix the problem if necessary.
Water Conservation Tip # 6
Take your car to a commercial car wash when it needs cleaning. If this isn’t possible, fill a bucket with water and general purpose cleaner and wash the car down by hand, using an old bath sponge. Throw the remaining water over the car, then refill with clean water. Rinse the sponge thoroughly and “wash” the car again, then dry it off with an old towel.
Water Conservation Tip # 7
Collect runoff rainwater from your downspouts in buckets and use that for watering your plants. If you have a big area of lawn to maintain, connect a length of plastic piping from your bathroom outlet to the grass and let each bath or shower nourish the grass. These connections are simple enough to do yourself, so you don’t need to get plumbing services to install them.
Water Conservation Tip # 8
Install a tankless water heater. If you are remodeling your bathroom, now is a good time to shift from water heaters that use lots of water and energy to keep it hot, to point-of-use heaters that provide just the quantity of warm water that you need. Check with your local plumbing services to see whether this is a practical option for your home.
For more information on ways to save water this summer in the GTA, contact your local Toronto plumbers today for advice, free inspection or an estimate for your needs.
Have some killer water saving tips that aren’t on this list? Leave us a comment below!