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Simple water conservation tips for your home November 12, 2010

Posted by WaterWise Consulting in water conservation, Water/Energy Connection.
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There are many quick and easy ways to save water around your home. Some of these ways even serve dual-purposes of water conservation as well as maintenance and upkeep. For example, wrapping your pipes with insulation serves to both protect pipes from cracking in the cold as well as reduce the amount of water you use while waiting for hot water. Some conservation measures also serve multiple purposes such as reducing the amount of water wasted, and reducing the amount of energy needed to heat that water.
Leaks: To check your home for leaks, check your water meter while no water is being used. Record the number on your water meter, and then check it again after a few hours. If the number has changed without anybody using water, you have a leak somewhere. The solution for this can be as simple as replacing the gasket in a leaky faucet, or as difficult as replacing a leaking pipe inside a wall.
Piping: Insulate all exposed pipes in your house and outside. By insulating interior pipes, you will reduce the amount of time you must run appliances before you get hot water. By insulating outdoor pipes, you will protect them from cracks in extreme weather, and prevent potentially expensive fixes.
Toilets: If you do not already use a water-efficient toilet, you should buy one. If that is out of your budget, you can fill some water bottles with water, sand, or gravel and place them in your toilet’s tank. This displaces water so that you use less water each time you flush your toilet.
Showerheads: If your shower has not been retrofit recently, you likely have a high water using showerhead. You can test this by placing a five-gallon bucket under the showerhead. If it takes fewer than two minutes to fill, you should replace your showerhead with a new one.
Sinks: One of the most common ways people waste water in sinks is by leaving the water running. You should simply turn off the water while you shave or brush your teeth. If you would like to conserve even more water, consider replacing the aerator with a low-flow version that uses as little as 0.5 gallons per minute.
For more tips on water conservation, please visit http://www.waterwise-consulting.com
Brian O’Neill
boneill@waterwise-consulting.com

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Feasibility of collecting rainwater November 5, 2010

Posted by WaterWise Consulting in water conservation, Water Reuse.
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Rainwater harvesting is a practice that has been used by environmentalists for many years, but has only recently become more popular. By connecting underground cisterns or above-ground containers, people can collect up to 0.6 gallons of water for every inch of rain that falls on one square-foot of roof. In other words, if it rains one inch, and you have a 1,000 square-foot roof, you can collect about 600 gallons of water. With two inches of rain, you can collect up to 1,200 gallons.

The problem, however, arises with mosquitoes and other harmful vectors. Since mosquitoes with harmful parasites and diseases have recently been spreading, it is crucial to ensure a biologically sealed rain capturing system. This is often done by having a series of filters or screens that seal the water from the open-air. By doing so, the mosquitoes cannot access the water to lay their eggs, and must find elsewhere to breed.

This method of “recycling” rainwater is seen as much safer than reusing greywater because rainwater is often much cleaner than greywater. There are, however, systems to recycle greywater. These systems are often very expensive because they sometimes must filter out soaps or other biological contamination.