With increasing drought concerns and expanding water conservation efforts, we recognize and appreciate why many Toronto homeowners are doing their part to cut back on water consumption. However, there are many more low hassle, small steps you can take to limit water use that you may not realize.
Let this article serve as a full list of the many steps you can take to conserve water in and around your Toronto home.
Outdoor Water Consumption Tips
- Consider insulating hot water pipes, and prepare for temperature drops that may cause pipes to burst or leak
- Fit pools and water features with recirculating pumps, and check regularly for potential leaks
- Keep a cover on your pool when not in use, to limit evaporation
- When washing your car, keep a nozzle on your hose to limit waste when not directly in use. Better yet, consider finding a local car wash that recycles its water
- Shut off your sprinklers during rainy seasons, or install a rain sensor to have your irrigation system do this automatically. Also, learn where shut-off valves are located in case of a malfunction
- Avoid over-watering plants, which is actually worse for plants than under-watering
- Let lawn clippings sit on your lawn after mowing, as they help lawns retain moisture that would otherwise evaporate
- Leave irrigation system repair and installation to licensed plumbing professionals. Any mistakes or faulty installations could result in hundreds of gallons of wasted water.
- Regularly weed your lawn, since troublesome weeds steal moisture and soil nutrients from grass and other plants
- Keep fertilizer to a minimum, if at all possible. More fertilizer calls for more watering, despite the increased plant growth it brings
- Try to only water your lawn on calm days, where wind and hastened evaporation won’t waste the water used
- Avoid children’s toys or activities that require continuous water use
Indoor Water Consumption Tips
- When cooking, limit the amount of water you use, or even consider using smaller pans or pots, which facilitate the use of less water
- Try collecting any “waste” water (water used to rinse vegetables or fruits, dirty ice cubes, etc.), and use this to water plants throughout your home and lawn
- Only run dishwashers and laundry loads when full
- It’s hard to believe for some, but dishwashers use significantly less water than washing dishes by hand. If you do have to wash dishes by hand for whatever reason, consider filling sinks or tubs with wash water and rinse water
- Always correctly set washers and dryers for the size of the load you’re running
- You may want to consider having a plumber route laundry greywater to plants or irrigation systems
- Regularly check your plumbing fixtures, toilets especially, for running leaks. A running toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water every month it flies under your plumbing radar. Toilets account for roughly 26% of indoor water use nationwide
- Always shut off the faucet when brushing your teeth or shaving; leaving it running can waste well over 100 gallons of water per month
- Consider upgrading to higher efficiency shower heads throughout your home, which can save as much as two gallons of water for every minute of use
- Equip your sink and bathroom faucets with water-conserving aerators
- Consider installing a high efficiency, solar or tankless water heater in your home, and replace your older units. Also, modernize your other fixtures (toilets, showers and sinks) with high efficiency models
- Keep a close eye on your home water bill, and note any sudden spikes in water consumption. This is a reliable indicator of pipe or fixture leakage somewhere on your property
Leaking toilets, showers and pipes can waste exorbitant amounts of water in no time; always take a proactive approach to plumbing repair.