Water is one of the most precious resources on this planet. Without water, nothing can live. Unfortunately, many people waste water or pollute water through activities that could easily be avoided and prevented. With a few lifestyle changes you can help conserve water and preserve the overall quality of water in your area.
One way to conserve water is to alter your behavior when it comes to running water in your home. For example, take a shower instead of bath to save water. If you wash your dishes by hand, turn the water off between rinsing. The same goes for brushing your teeth and shaving. If you use a glass of water to rinse your razor instead of running the tap, you can save up to 3 gallons of water a day, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Water-efficient appliances conserve water. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that if every home in the United States installed water-efficient appliances, as much as 3 trillion gallons of water could be saved yearly. More efficient toilets, washing machines and dishwashers can help in this process. Installing a low-flow shower head also can help you conserve water.
Detergents and Soaps
The types of detergents and soaps you use can have a lasting effect on your local water quality. Products that contain phosphates are especially to blame, with many detergents and some fertilizers containing this nutrient. When you use phosphate-containing products, the wastewater often ends up in nearby water supplies. Phosphates accelerate the growth of plants such as algae, according to the Washington Department of Ecology. As algae takes over water bodies, oxygen is consumed at a higher rate, choking out fish and other wildlife in the water.
Household cleaning products can also have an effect on water quality. Environmentally harmful ingredients in some cleaning products can affect your water when they are either evaporated into the air or rinsed down the drain, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. By using nontoxic and biodegradable cleaning products, you can keep your home clean and protect the water supply at the same time.
- South Carolina Department of Natural Resources: How Many Gallons Can You Save?
- American Water and Energy Savers: Save Water 49 Ways
- Environmental Protection Agency: Greening Your Purchase of Cleaning Products: A Guide For Federal Purchasers
- Washington Department of Ecology: Reducing Phosphorus Pollution to Improve Water Quality
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