With much of Texas being in drought conditions, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service wants to help remind everyone of the importance of water conservation. Everyone can make a few small changes that will help save much of the water being used today. Many of our homes have two or more bathrooms. Studies have shown that bathroom account for more than 50 percent of the water use inside most homes. But changing behaviors and upgrading fixtures to Water Sense products, a family can reduce water use by 3,400 gallons during a year. To calculate your water savings, go to “WaterSense” at epa.gov.
Old toilets (prior to 1994) likely use 3-7 gallons of water for each flush. Newer toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush or less. If you calculate the number of times you flush your toilets each day, you can see the potential water savings. Shower heads made since 1992, deliver 2.5 gallons per minute of use. If you want to reduce your water use even further, switch to a Water Sense labeled showerhead that delivers 2 gallons per minute.
Even if you decide not to replace plumbing fixtures, you can make substantial savings by simply changing some behaviors. Limit the length of your shower to 5 minutes or less. A 10-minute shower will use 25 gallons while a 5 minute shower will use 12.5 gallons. Reducing showering time by 1 minute can save 1,000 gallons of water a year. By installing a shut-off valve on the shower, family members can reduce the water flow to a trickle while shampooing hair or shaving. By turning water off while brushing teeth, each person can use 8 to 16 ounces of water rather than 1-2 gallons of water. Teach children and adults to collect a large cup of water, wet tooth brush in the water, brush the teeth, rinse mouth, rinse again, and then rinse tooth brush. Use remaining water to wash out sink. If you do the math, you can see that over time, these simple habit changes will add up in water savings.
Contact Sherri Halsell, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Clay County agent at 538-5042, for more information on conserving water.