Water conservation – the why and how for homeowners
In renovating a home, why should homeowners conserve water and how do they go about it?
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The Environmental Protection Agency is also trying to make water conservation a priority in the construction industry. In December it released its guidelines for its Water Sense home certification process. Like the EPA’s Energy Star program, Water Sense provides builders and homeowners with specific things that can be done to reduce overall water usage. It says:Skip to next paragraph
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The new homes will feature WaterSense labeled plumbing fixtures, Energy Star qualified appliances (if installed), water-efficient landscaping, and hot water delivery systems that deliver hot water faster, so homeowners don’t waste water—or energy—waiting at the tap
By investing in WaterSense labeled homes, American home buyers can reduce their water usage by more than 10,000 gallons per year—enough to fill a backyard swimming pool—and save enough energy annually to power a television for four years. If the approximately 1.27 million new homes built in the United States each year were WaterSense labeled, it would save more than 12 billion gallons of water.
“These homes will save homeowners as much as $200 a year on utility bills compared to their current homes,” says Peter S. Silva, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water.
The EPA also has a handy site to direct you to products like toilets, sinks, shower heads, and other plumbing fixtures that have the EPA’s stamp of approval with a “Water Sense” label.
The site also has some fun facts, such as did you know that you could save 11,000 gallons of water yearly by updating your bathroom with a WaterSense-labeled toilet?
Well, I just have to let Martin know that, and then begin work on convincing him that the two old pedestal sinks he’s already collected from antique shops to put into Sheep Dog Hollow may not make the WaterSense cut.
Once again, we’re faced with pitting historical accuracy against good green building practice. I’m sure there are plenty of reproduction sinks and toilets that will fit the “green” water conservation requirements, I’m just not sure Martin will be happy with them. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Editor’s note: Alexandra Marks blogs on Tuesdays and Thursdays about her green and budget-friendly restoration of a 1902 farmhouse in Connecticut.