City of Elk Grove Water Conservation Plumbing Tips for Drought Conditions
It’s almost time, once again, for the annual Elk Grove Greener Gardens Tour, exploring the colors and designs of local gardens throughout the community. The tour allows residents of the City of Elk Grove to showcase gardens that highlight green gardening practices, including quite a few that focus on zero-scaping using lush, drought-resistant native plants. Who says you can’t have a gorgeous garden without guzzling a lot of water?
This tour is the perfect demonstration for would-be gardeners to see how they can grow the garden of their dreams and still help Elk Grove’s water conservation efforts. As a community with a rich farming history, residents understand, at a root deep level, the importance of conserving our water supply as a way of life—and the garden tour is meant to open up a positive dialogue in the city.
Zero-scaping and planting drought-resistant plants are a great start to reducing your family’s water usage, but there are other ways to up your water conservation skills as well, both inside and outside your Elk Grove home. Some great plumbing tips include having a licensed plumber take a look at your pipes, installing high-efficiency toilet and faucet fixtures, and checking your shower for proper pressure and flow rates. After all, until this last winter, the city knew all too well how important Elk Grove’s water conservation efforts (and these plumbing tips and FAQs) were when under persistent drought conditions. And we aren’t fully out of the well, er, the woods, just yet.
How Professional Plumbers Improve Elk Grove Water Conservation Efforts
Like most things in life, getting advice from an experienced professional is the best way to accomplish a new goal. That’s why the first step to indoor water conservation efforts in your Elk Grove home should be to have a licensed plumber take a look at your entire piping and plumbing system. A local expert can recommend cost-effective ways to fix and replace failing pipes and decrease your water usage. Some of the things your plumber will look at are:
- Indoor pipes: A good plumber will check out the piping connections that are exposed near your fixtures, like kitchen and bathroom sinks and toilets, but will also investigate plumbing inside your walls. One real indicator of leaky, hidden piping are those ugly stains on walls and ceilings, as well as low pressure at faucets. These types of leaks are often the secret reason why you’re consuming so much water in your home.
- Outdoor piping: Often, we don’t realize we have a leak until after something like a hard freeze or excavation that finally bursts a cracked pipe, but outdoor piping can slowly begin to leak over time from corrosion or stress from common things like tree roots and wastewater. These types of leaks are hard to find for a homeowner because they’re usually hidden underground; that’s why it’s important to have an experienced professional plumber fully check out and diagnose your system from time to time.
- Plumbing fixtures: Broken fixtures obviously need to be replaced, but a professional plumber can advise you on which ones are potentially using the most amount of water. They can also recommend high-efficiency fixtures that will conserve water and lower your water bill.
Why Elk Grove Water Conservation Should Include High-Efficiency Fixtures
One of the easiest ways to reduce the amount of water you use in your home is to change out your old water guzzling fixtures with low-flow ones. New high-efficiency fixtures reduce the flow rates of water in your home, which will help you conserve water and lower your utility bill each month. Some easy and cost-effective ways to implement an Elk Grove water conservation plan in your home are:
- Install low-flow toilets: We use a lot of water when we use the restroom, which is why the U.S. Green Building Council now recommends that homeowners install or upgrade to high-efficiency toilets. These low-flow toilets typically use only 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) as opposed to the old standard flush rate of 2.2 gpf
- Recycle grey water: Grey water systems allow you to reuse the water from your sink to flush the toilet by storing the water from the sink drain in a tank to then be used the next time you flush. It can also be filtered and disinfected to use for irrigation, as well. If you’re looking to make this kind of plumbing investment in your home, you’ll definitely want to consultant an experienced plumber.
- Install low-flow sinks: You don’t have to change out your entire sink to reduce its water usage. This is one of the most cost-effective ways to save water in your home: change out the old aerator (the small round metal part where the water comes out of the faucet) for a new low-flow one.
How Shower Water Pressure Affects a Home’s Water Conservation
After spending a day in your Elk Grove garden out in the dirt and the sun, you’ll want nothing more than to take a nice hot, long shower. And while showers are often a major culprit of water usage in your home, it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy them. With a little attention to your fixtures, piping, and time, you won’t even realize that your relaxing shower is saving you money and conserving water. Some methods for using your shower to increase your home’s water conservation efforts are:
- Install low-flow shower heads: Just like high-efficiency toilets, shower heads also have low-flow alternatives that can reduce the amount of water you use per shower. Shower head flow rates are measured in gallons per minute so, if you do the math, changing your old 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) shower head to a low-flow 1.5 gpm one can save 10 gallons of water if you take a 10-minute shower.
- Adjust your water pressure: Adjusting the water pressure can also help conserve water. Low-flow fixtures help reduce water pressure, thus reducing the amount of water per minute. If you’re serious about conserving water in your home, you should have a plumber take a look at your piping to make sure the pressure isn’t exceeding the recommended residential limit of 80 psi.
- Take slightly shorter showers: Certainly, the simplest and most inexpensive way to reduce water usage in your home is by taking shorter showers. Whether you use a low-flow fixture or not, reducing even a minute from your shower can save gallons of water each week.
Strolling through the gardens of Elk Grove is a great way to see the results that a little hard work and creative design can produce. Whether you’re interested in zero-scaping for low maintenance or you’re in growing native plants that can survive on little water, the garden tour has it all. It’s also a good time to get out and get to know your neighbors and your community, as well as learn about ways to conserve water in your own Elk Grove home.
The key is to consult with a professional to address any existing leaks or problems in your plumbing system, install low-flow fixtures, and reduce water pressure.
When it comes to indoor water usage, you can use the same principles you apply to outdoor use. The key is to consult with a professional to address any existing leaks or problems in your plumbing system, install low-flow fixtures, and reduce water pressure. There are lots of simple ways to conserve water in your home yourself, but to really make an impact, you need to consult with an experienced, licensed plumber and address hidden pipe problems that are blocking the flow of your family’s Elk Grove water conservation efforts.
Start saving water—and money— today with low-flow fixtures. Consult the plumbing experts at Bell Brothers to have your plumbing system inspected and upgraded.
Image courtesy Unsplash user Kelly Sikkema