Although most of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, only about 1% of it is freshwater that is suitable for drinking and domestic consumption. Most of the remaining water is saltwater, or it is frozen to the polar ice caps and glaciers. That means that conserving freshwater is essential, and with most households in the United States using an average of 300 gallons per day according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, there is much room for improvement. Even minor changes like replacing dripping faucets, taking shorter showers, or shutting off the faucet while brushing your teeth can make a huge difference in your water usage, and with water bills increasing at a dramatic rate, especially around Baltimore and the DC area, conserving water can also help you save money. With Five Star Plumbing, the #1 plumbers in Harford County, we will put together the top 10 ways you’re wasting water.

Top 10 Ways You’re Wasting Water

1) Using your toilet as a trash can. Representing almost a third of a household’s total indoor consumption, toilets are the biggest source of water used in your home. Every time you flush a facial tissue or feminine product, you waste five to seven gallons of water. Not to mention flushing something other than human waste and toilet paper is bad for your pipes and drains!

2) Taking baths and long showers. Think of it this way: The average American shower uses 17.2 gallons of water and lasts up to 8 minutes–that’s a lot of water.

3) Conventional showerheads. You should switch to a low-flow showerhead, which uses about 2 gallons of water per minute.

4) Leaky pipes. The US News reports that an average household can leak over 10,000 gallons of water per year. It’s important to keep an eye out for leaks around your toilet, faucets, hose bibbs, and any other plumbing fixture you use often. Repair or replace leaking water lines as soon as possible, and monitor your water bill month to month to spot hidden leaks.

5) Laundry loads that are only half full. Ensure that each load of laundry you do is pretty full. This will be more cost effective in the long run.

6) Running a dishwasher that’s not completely full. Make sure your dishwasher is completely full before you run it. In fact, consider running it on a “light” cycle if a “normal cycle” isn’t necessary.

7) Washing dishes with running water. Instead, fill up your sink with soap and water and let the dishes soak. After a few minutes, wash them off!

8) Conventional toilets. If you have an older toilet, it could use up to 2 gallons more water than a newer low-flush or high-efficiency toilet.

9) Over watering your lawn. During the summer, it’s best to water your lawn in the morning (5-10am) because the air is cooler and water evaporates more slowly. It’s really only necessary to water twice a week.

10) Running the water while brushing your teeth. If you have the habit of running the water when you’re brushing your teeth, simply remind yourself to turn it off. If you think about it, there is no reason the water needs to be running.

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    Five Star Plumbing Services is locally owned and operated, being in business since 1991. Our core values include responsiveness, honesty, and integrity. Our technician will provide you with a flat rate fee up front so you know exactly what to expect. No hidden fees. We service residents in both Harford County and Baltimore County.