Be Frugal With the Water You Use
May 28, 2017
by Taylor McCleneghan – TowerTalk has joined the campaign by Board and management to cut back on our use of water. And, as seen in property manager Tim Patricio’s story in this issue, we seem to be making some progress!
Saving water = saving money. True, especially right now in Chicago, and that’s the reason usually stated for trying so hard. But consider also that there is a nation-wide water shortage, as the chart above (reference at end of story) makes clear.
The Government Accountability Office estimates a 50% increase in water-stress conditions in just the past nine years. Being frugal with water should be on everyone’s to-do list.
Changing water consumption habits in the home requires a holistic shift in mindset, where each task is approached with its water requirement in mind. Hard to get there all at once, but here are a few places to start.
- Accessorize with faucet aerators and water-saving shower heads. Neither requires a plumber to install.
- Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush.
- Rinse your razor in the sink instead of under the running lavatory faucet.
- Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rinse off. Even a four minute shower uses 20 to 40 gallons of water.
- Consider investing in “low flush” toilets that save half the water per flush .. Check your toilets for leaks. Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 15 minutes, you have a leak .. Research your particular toilet to see if it can be fully functional with a couple weighted plastic bottles in the tank or with a float booster, either of which can save 10 or more gallons a day .. and for heaven’s sake, don’t use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket!
- As in the bathroom, screw on a faucet aerator and check faucets for leaks (even a small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day) .. Park Tower does not charge labor for fixing most leaks!
- Keep a container of drinking water in the fridge.
- Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a bowl of clean water.
- When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing .. Double basin? Fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water .. Single-basin? Gather washed dishes on a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a pan of hot water.
- Use your dishwasher only for full loads and don’t bother with pre-rinsing, which is not necessary and wastes water.
- Minimize use of garburators, otherwise known at kitchen sink garbage disposals.
- Consider joining Park Tower residents who are freezing food scraps for composting purposes. (See the story on page ___.)
Consider that when washing clothes, the permanent press cycle adds 5 gallons for the extra rinse.
See www.gao.gov/products/GAO-14-430 for additional information regarding the chart.