Sunday, November 25, 2007

Conserve Clean Water


The above bathroom sink is where I shave each morning. The handle on the left supplies hot water. I measured the water volume and learned that 3/4 of a gallon of cold water flows before detectable warm water reaches the spout. I filled the blue cup several times and transferred the water into the half-gallon jar to make this determination.

This wait for warm water happens because of the 20 feet distance between the spout and the electric water heater.

I've allowed clean, potable, and cold water to flow into the drain and septic system each morning for over a quarter-century as I waited for warm water to arrive at the tap to begin washing my face. I recently decided that allowing this cold water flow down the drain was wasteful and changed my behavior to start collecting it for use in watering house plants. I can also use it for tea, coffee, or any other household need for clean water.

I now use the blue plastic cup and a plastic bucket to save this cold water. This behavior change will reduce the flow of clean water entering the septic system by slightly less than a gallon per day. This will also reduce the daily need for clean water at my house and reduce demand at our King Water Treatment Plant in King, North Carolina. Every little savings will help conserve this precious resource.

The picture below shows plants stored in our basement for protection from the winter cold.

Have a good week!

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