We live in a time when protecting and preserving our natural resources is of utmost importance, including finding effective, efficient ways to conserve our water supply. The heavily populated Central PA region is a large consumer of water — for instance, the borough of Carlisle alone must produce approximately 2.5 million gallons of water each day to meet the needs of its residents!
What Are the Benefits of Conserving Water?
Fortunately, Pennsylvania is a water-rich state — we typically receive more than enough precipitation each year to keep our rivers, lakes and streams filled and flowing. Although the Central PA region isn’t known for prolonged droughts, we do experience water shortages on occasion due to issues such as water treatment plant mishaps and similar events. Conservation efforts ensure we have enough water on hand to see us through these emergency situations.
Making water conservation a part of our daily activities can also help us save money. As any of us who has ever received a water bill understands, we must pay — and often, more than we’d like — to have water service in our homes. Less water consumption results in lower monthly water bills. Heating water also generates an additional household expense. According to Energy.gov, heating water accounts for approximately 17 percent of the average homeowner’s energy costs.
Additionally, using less water reduces the demand placed on water and sewage treatment plants, home septic systems, water heaters and other water processing equipment. This results in reduced maintenance costs and prolongs the lifespan of the equipment while lengthening the time between replacements.
Steps You Can Take to Reduce Water Consumption This Summer
While water conservation is essential throughout the year, it presents a bigger challenge during the summer months when demand is at its highest. We use more water during the hotter months for purposes such as irrigating our lawns, washing our cars and quenching our thirst after spending time in the heat and humidity that is our constant companion throughout the scorching Central PA summer.
Ways you can contribute to the water conservation effort this summer include:
- Take your vehicle to a car wash – Most of us wash our cars more frequently in summer. Taking your vehicle to a car wash that recycles water instead of washing it by hand at home is a great way to conserve water — and keep it looking great all summer long.
- Water plants early – Watering your plants first thing in the morning instead of waiting until afternoon or evening enables you to use less water, as the cooler morning temperatures will reduce water evaporation.
- Collect water in rain barrels – A rain barrel can serve as an excellent water recycling tool. You can use the rainwater for your plants and flowers instead of relying on your garden hose. Rain barrel workshops and programs are available throughout Cumberland County and Harrisburg.
- Stop leaks – A leaky hose connection is a big water-waster. Check all outdoor hose connections for drips, and repair leaky spigots. If you operate an automated irrigation system, inspect the valves on a regular basis for signs of leaks.
- Water-saving plumbing accessories – Many plumbing devices make saving water easy. Upgraded toilets are standard 1.6 gallons per flush instead of 2 gallons on older models. A circulator can be installed to provide instant hot water throughout a house which eliminates the need to run water until turns hot. Pressure reducing valve (PRV) is not necessarily intended to be a water saving device but the ability to turn water pressure down to alleviate flow to water dependent equipment – ultimately saving water.
- Plumbing Maintenance – An annual plumbing planned maintenance is designed to locate and catch hidden leaks and drips before they become a bigger problem. This service also provides homeowners with detailed information about their homes plumbing system.
Following these steps can save hundreds of gallons of water — and you’ll probably notice a big difference in the form of lower water and energy bills.
Contact Zimmerman Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning today for more helpful water conservation tips you can use in and around your Central PA home this summer.