By Kathryn Weber
Low-flow faucets, water-saving showerheads and toilets are smart ways homeowners can be water-wise. As these fixtures come a wide array of styles, your decor can be luxurious and environmentally sound
Rarely, when we turn on our faucets, do we stop to ask whether the water coming out is safe to drink. We simply assume it is, and that it will always be there, even though the news is full of stories about shortages, contamination and other problems with drinking water. High quality water is a precious resource that we shouldn't take for granted. In fact, if you're interested in doing your part to conserve this resource, there are ways you can reduce the amount of water your household uses -- while making your water taste better and keeping your home cleaner, too.
Waste not, want not
The first step every homeowner should take is to minimize water waste. Water-saving toilets and low-flow showerheads are easy to install, and they increase savings on your water bill. If you have an old, water-guzzling toilet, consider replacing it or using a water dam in the tank to minimize the amount of water used with each flush. Replacing a toilet is a relatively simple procedure that any handy homeowner can do. Some communities will even give rebates to homeowners who replace water-wasting toilets.
Improve your water quality
The second step many homeowners should consider is improving water quality with filters. Many communities have old water lines that bring sediment and discoloration. A whole house water filter is a terrific, budget-friendly investment. Depending on the quality of water in your area, may only need filter replacement once or twice a year. For even better quality water, consider adding a filtered water line at the sink and a filter on the icemaker. Both will keep water extra clean and clear; they will remove smells and sediment from your water, and you'll find the new, high-quality water makes particularly good coffee or ice.
Get your house in order
The right water can also help you keep your house cleaner. Installing a water softener inhibits mildew from growing and helps keep your bathroom cleaner longer. This makes keeping a clean bathroom much easier. Softened water also enables you to clean using less soap and detergent. You can use as little as one-quarter or half the recommended amount of cleaner when doing laundry or running a load of dishes in the dishwasher.
Another source of waste is leaking water. Keep pipes and taps in good working order and keep leaks in check. According to feng shui, the Chinese art of placement, water leaks and dripping water means losing money. It certainly does -- and it's not environmentally responsible, either. Keeping your water clean and using it responsibly is a good goal for your living space. Be a good citizen and replace water guzzlers. And, while you're at it, make some water changes around your house that help you enjoy your water more.
© Living Space by Kathryn Weber