- Pay attention to the amount of water your water softener uses for regeneration. Several manufacturers do not provide this information up front due to a long regeneration time that results in heavy water usage. An AquaMaster water softener, at factory setting, will use as little 13.9 gallons to regenerate in as little as 20 minutes. Competitive brands can take up to 2 hours or longer, and commonly use 47 to 80 gallons of water!
- Using a larger capacity softener is likely to be more efficient and use less water over time as it will regenerate less often.
Reverse Osmosis drinking water system
All reverse osmosis (RO) drinking water system reject water. The best ratio is about 3 to 1, meaning 3 litres of water rejected per litre of drinking water produced. Rejection will depend on the temperature of the incoming water, the pressure and the level of total dissolved solids (tds) in the incoming water. Still, RO water produced at your tap is better than the RO water that is bottled in a facility, using plastic bottles, transported to your home and producing green house gas emissions along the way. Here are two tips to improve the efficiency.
- Using a permeate pump with your RO system will ensure you minimize the level of rejected water.
- Collecting the rejected water and using it for other purposes within your home, either to water your plants, or collecting it with a grey water recycling system and flushing the toilet with it.
- If you’re only concerned with the chlorine in the water, a simple carbon filter will remove chlorine and will not reject any water. Some of these carbon filters will also reduce lead that may be present in the water.
In the bathroom
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, washing, or shaving. You’ll save about 7-12 litres per minute.
- Use a showerhead with aerator to reduce the water flow going down the drain.
- Take shorter showers – or turn off the water while your shampooing your hair or lathering your body with soap.
- Take “smaller” baths. Lay down lower.
- Use a low flush toilet and “if it’s yellow, let it mellow”. In most homes 30% of the water used indoor goes to flushing the toilet. Did you realize that? Older toilets use as much as 20 litres per flush. Newer low flush toilets use 6 litres per flush. Dual flush toilet can use as little as 1.6 litres per flush.
- Check for leaks and fix leaky toilets.
- Use grey water to flush your toilet (www.bracsystems.com). This is a novel idea that is being adopted but may not be approved in your city yet. Check with your city’s water services.
In the kitchen
- Operate your dishwasher only when you have a full load.
- Scrape, instead of rinsing, your dishes before loading the dishwasher.
- When buying a dishwasher, choose an energy and water efficient model.
- Store drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the tap run while you wait for the water to get cold.
In the laundry
- Operate your washer with full loads.
- When buying a washer, choose a front load washer that uses less water.
- If it can be set, choose the lowest amount of water to match your load.
- Choose the shortest wash cycle for lightly soiled clothes.
- Collect rain water to irrigate your lawn.
- Water your lawn at night or dawn to minimize evaporation of water in the sun.
- Plant water wise plants that survive well on little water.