Getting the most out of every drop

It is without doubt that Americans must reduce their demand on natural water sources. Our population is increasing every second, but our water sources are not. As a matter of fact, some water sources are actually shrinking on a daily basis. So, how can we get the most out of our water? What if your house or business already has efficient fixtures? To answer this problem, we will look at the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. You reduce consumption by implementing efficient fixtures, such as showerheads, faucet aerators, and toilets.
In order to reuse water, we must figure out ways to capture water after we use it once, and harness it again to use a second¬¬ or even third time. Luckily engineers and environmental advocates have been working on this problem for many years. There are water catchment systems available that capture water once it has been used, and contain it for use at a later time.
For example, some people have small water containment systems under their sink that hold water from hand-washing , and pump it into toilets for a second use. Other systems may be significantly larger-they can be connected to shower drains, washing machines, and even dishwashers. As a result, these systems must have much larger tanks and sometimes pumps depending on the location.
These devices essentially are a large bin or tank in the plumbing line that contain water before it flows out to the sewer. Depending on the location, some of these systems are zero-energy systems; meaning they use gravity to push water into other locations or devices. The most common systems are under-sink systems that pump water into toilets, and larger versions to contain shower and washing machine water. Often these systems are connected to a series of large barrels to contain large amounts of water. This stored water can then be used to water landscape or fill toilets, etc.
However, it must be noted that special biodegradable soaps and detergents must be used if the water will be used to irrigate plants. Traditional soaps and detergents are typically chemical-based and are very harmful to plants. Biodegradable soaps are easily decomposed and broken down by microbes and bacteria in the soil.
To read more about innovative ways you can save water, visit
Brian O’Neill

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