Summers in Charleston are HOT! It's early July and already we're seeing temperatures in the upper 90s. When it gets this hot, we Charlestonians feel very fortunate to be surrounded by water. Despite our abundant water supply, water conservation is still an important goal for this necessary and finite resource. Conservation is relatively easy to do and it saves you money in the long run.
There are a number of different steps you can take to conserve water. Let’s start with an easy one:
1) Turn Off The Water. When brushing your teeth or washing dishes, try to always turn off the water when you are not directly using it.
2) Limit Irrigation. Only water your lawn and plants when it is required. Try to use native species that can withstand the climate and do not require much water.
3) Choose Low-Flow Fixtures. Most manufacturers now carry low-flow shower heads and faucets. There isn't an appreciable difference in the performance of the fixtures – but you will see savings in water and money over time.
4) Low-Flow Toilets. These are becoming more common in today’s residential market. There are two flushing options: one for liquids and one for solids – each using a different quantity of water.
5) Showers vs. Tubs. It is common these days to only have a shower in at least the master bathroom. Many customers point out that they rarely use a tub due to time constraints. When planning your project, consider a shower only design option. You will save in the cost of a tub and its installation and you will save a lot of water – showers use considerably less water than tubs.
6) Recirculation Pumps with Tankless Water Heaters. Should you choose to install a tankless water heater and it is feasible, consider using a recirculation pump with small backup electric tank to keep a continuous stream of heated water flowing through the house. While there is more cost and additional electricity use in this option, a considerable amount of water is saved by not having to run all of the cold water out of the pipes waiting on the heated water to arrive.