Between flushing toilets, running the dishwasher, doing loads of laundry, and taking showers, the average American household uses a lot of water. Did you know that the average water use of a typical single-family home is over 70 gallons per person per day? That means that the average family of four uses 102,200 gallons of water each and every year – the equivalent of almost two Olympic-size swimming pools.
Cutting down on your level of water use isn’t just good news for the environment. It is also good news for your septic system. That’s because the less water your home uses, the less that enters into your septic system. That reduces the overall burden on your septic tank, improving the system’s operation and significantly reducing the risk of failure.
How can you maximize water efficiency in your home to ensure your septic system stays in tip-top shape? Be sure to take a look at the following tips and tricks.
Invest in High-Efficiency Toilets
If your household’s water use is out of control, your toilets may be to blame. Overall, toilet use accounts for about one-quarter of household water use. But a toilet that isn’t efficient can substantially drive that up. In fact, a leaky toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water each day! To ensure maximum water efficiency in your house, one of the best things you can do is invest in high-efficiency toilets. Older homes will typically have toilets that hold up to 5 gallons in their reservoirs, while newer, high-efficiency toilets use just 1.6 gallons. Every time you flush, you will be using considerably less water.
Install Faucet Aerators and High-Efficiency Showerheads
Running the kitchen sink to do dishes or taking long showers can easily drive up your water usage. That’s why faucet aerators and high-efficiency showerheads are a wise investment, helping restrict water flow and reduce water use.
Pay Attention to Washing Machine Load Sizes
Washing machines are another main culprit of water use, so it’s important to be cognizant of how you’re doing laundry and where you can save on water. For example, don’t wash a few items of clothing on a large-load cycle. Doing so wastes water (as well as energy). If you aren’t able to select a laundry load size, then make sure you only do full loads in order to minimize waste. Of course, you may also want to consider investing in a high-efficiency washer. A new Energy Star washer can actually slash water use by 50 percent while also using 35 percent less energy.
Make Sure Your Fixtures Aren’t Leaking
Leaky water fixtures can waste quite a lot of water over time. Even just a small drip from a faucet can easily add up to gallons in water waste over the course of a day. If you notice a dripping faucet or a leaking toilet reservoir in your home, don’t wait to replace it. And if you sense your toilet reservoir might be leaking but aren’t entirely sure, test it out. An easy trick is to add a few drops of food coloring into the reservoir of the toilet before you head to bed one night. If you wake up in the morning and there is dye in the bowl, it means the reservoir is leaking.
The bottom line is that when it comes to prolonging the life of your septic system and keeping things in good shape, a bit of water conservation can go a long way.