Granite Bay residents are no strangers to water conservation. Thankfully, the Stage 4 restrictions were moved back to Stage 2 last April thanks to improved amounts of precipitation—and the efforts of local citizens. While this is great news for Granite Bay, it doesn’t mean we should all go out and refill our swimming pools or water our lawns all day.
Since the restrictions have been lifted, we have once again raised our consumption rates, with September seeing higher water usage compared to September of last year. Water is precious and vital to life and, unfortunately, not an unlimited resource. That’s why it’s important for us all to stay diligent in our efforts to conserve it where we can.
One of the best ways to conserve water in your own home is to install low flow water fixtures. There are all types for your kitchen and bathrooms that can save gallons of water each month, which means more money in your pocket and more water left for the environment—it isn’t only good for Granite Bay’s community effort to conserve water, but good for your personal household bottom line.
How High-Efficiency Low Flow Fixtures Save You Money
Back when we were under the Stage 4 restrictions, using too much water meant potential fines and penalties, required for the San Juan Water District to help reduce water usage by 36% overall. Those restrictions have been reduced now, and residents are under a voluntary 10% reduction, but if we aren’t careful, we’ll end up going back to the restrictions that not only come with penalties, but eliminate a lot of the incentives for voluntarily reducing our water usage. Here’s how low flow fixtures can help:
- Reduce water usage: Shower heads and sink faucets account for roughly 23% of all water used in the average home. Just by installing low flow shower heads and faucets alone, you can save up to a quarter of your water bill each month.
- Save on heating bills: Heating the water in your home also requires energy, which affects your electric bill. By reducing the water consumed, you reduce the amount that needs to be heated.
So, if you need motivation other than helping to conserve our local water supply, you’ll find it right there on your monthly utility bill. High-efficiency, low flow fixtures are arguably the most practical environmentally-friendly change you can make in your home.
High-Efficiency Water Fixtures Perfect for Your Granite Bay Home
Installing high-efficiency low flow fixtures in your home doesn’t require a large overhaul of your plumbing system, nor is it a huge investment—even small changes to your fixtures can make a difference. The plumbing fixtures you should consider changing to low flow are:
- Faucets: Faucet heads have a small device where the water comes out called an aerator. You can see the gallons per minute (GPM) written on the side of it. If it’s over 2.75 GPM, you should replace it with a low flow fixture that is 2.5 GPM or less. This can be as easy as unscrewing the aerator from the faucet head and replacing it with another inexpensive low flow aerator found at any home improvement store.
- Toilets: On average, 75% of indoor water is used in the bathroom, and 25% of that water use is from flushing your toilet. The average toilet uses 4 gallons per flush (GPF), so by replacing your toilet with a low flow toilet, you can cut that water usage in half. Speaking from experience, this is best done by a plumbing professional to avoid any costly mistakes.
- Showerheads: If you have family members that like to take long showers, this could easily be the biggest culprit of water use in your home. The average 8-minute shower, for example, can use up to 17 gallons of water. Similar to faucets, showerheads should also be 2.5 GPM or less to be considered low flow, but consider trading yours out with one that is 1.5 GPM or less to see big savings.
Additional Ways to Save Water at Home
It’s difficult to discuss water conserving fixtures without also talking about other water conserving equipment and methods that go hand-in-hand with the ones mentioned above. After all, in Granite Bay, we’re still being asked to make some big changes when it comes to our water use. Other ways to cut down on your water use include installing the following:
- Tankless water heaters: These heaters are great for conserving water and energy by only heating water when a faucet is turned on and calling for it. These are a great pairing with low flow aerators and shower heads.
- Rain collectors: Rain barrels are a great way to water your lawn without using any water from the San Juan Water District. Just depend on Mother Nature to supply about 34” of rain a year in Granite Bay—collect it from your gutters by piping them down to a large rain collection barrel. This water can then be used to water outdoor plants and grasses during periods of little to no precipitation. The best part is, you can receive up to $500 in rebates to pay for the entire system thanks to the WELL Program.
- High-efficiency clothes washers: New high-efficiency washers can save water and energy by using less water in each cycle for a load of laundry. They also have faster spin cycles that remove excess water, reducing the dry time as well. Consult a plumbing professional about the requirements for hooking up a new high-efficiency washer in your home.
Any of the above equipment, combined with low flow plumbing fixtures, can work to save a lot of water, and money, at a time when all of us in Granite Bay are looking to do exactly that. Other conservation efforts such as zero landscaping, drought-resistant plants, or simply turning off faucets and hoses when not in use can go a long way to saving our water supply.
We may not be under extreme water restrictions like we were just a year or two ago, but if we want to keep the stress off our local utility and conserve the water in Granite Bay, it’s up to us to continue to find methods for better conservation. The best place to start is in our own homes. With just a few changes to our plumbing fixtures, and maybe some help from local professionals, we can save not only water, but money as well.
Call the plumbing experts at Bell Brothers to learn more about high-efficiency, low flow plumbing fixtures—and the best way to implement them for your home.