Make Water Conservation Your Way Of Life

Make Water Conservation Your Way Of Life

What drought?

A lot of people are asking that question after last month’s deluge. Our home base of Simi Valley got drenched with more than seven inches of rain in January, which is more than half as much as we received all of last year and about the same amount that fell in all of 2015. Does this mean our drought is over?

Although last month’s deluge brought a little bit of respite, our area of California has gone about six years without sufficient rainfall. It’s anybody’s guess whether last month was an aberration or a sign of more normal rainfall to come. More than a few meteorologists believe that our region’s drought may be part of a long-range weather pattern that can persist for a lifetime. We have no way to know for sure, but it would be prudent to assume the worst.

That’s what the state of California has done in preparing a California Water Action Plan. While most of its provisions apply to macro-conservation measures by civil engineers, water utilities and agriculture, the plan will trickle down to impact the lifestyles of individual homeowners. For one thing, you can be sure that water rates are going up. A recent study by Michigan State University predicts that more than a third of U.S. households won’t be able to afford water in the next five years. Any conservation measures you employ to save gallons of household water usage will save you money as well as our precious resources.

The California Water Action Plan calls for more restrictions on lawn watering – which in some cases may be prohibited entirely. We may also see a lot more home and commercial water recycling and rainwater harvesting.

We at Dutton Plumbing can help you implement some major conservation measures right now at a modest expense that can offer rapid payback in water bill savings. First and foremost, give us a call to fix those slow drips and leaks that constantly pour money down your drain. A faucet that leaks at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 2,000 gallons per year. That’s enough water to flush your toilet more than 1,300 times! If your toilet is running constantly, you could be wasting 200 gallons of water or more every day! Multiply your per-gallon water rate to find out how much it’s costing you to send all that water uselessly down the drain.

EPA studies have found that 10% of homes have leaks that waste more than 90 gallons per day, which comes to almost 33,000 gallons a year!

Besides leaks, some older homes may still have toilets that use 3.5 gallons per flush rather than the 1.5 gpf standard that’s been in place since the early 1990s. Even if they still function okay, switch them out and you can quickly repay the cost of replacement in reduced water bills.

Tankless on-demand water heaters are another option with large potential savings of both water and the gas or electricity your home uses to heat the water. We also can replace old showerheads and faucets with EPA-designated WaterSense® models that reduce water consumption.

Nobody knows for sure if our drought has run its course. But I can make one prediction with virtual certainty. You will be paying more for your household fresh water supply in the future. Anything you can do to reduce your usage will pay off in the long run.

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