The Top 8 Ways You’re Wasting Water (& Didn’t Know It)

08 Feb | Scarborough Sanitary District

Imagine the world as a giant water tank. Every day, we all take our share to drink, clean, and maintain our lifestyles. But what if we told you that your daily habits could be draining this tank faster than necessary? 

Water scarcity is an escalating problem, affecting millions globally. Conserving water isn’t just about saving on your utility bill – it’s a critical step in ensuring a sustainable future. Let’s explore some of the most common, yet frequently overlooked, ways we waste water.

1. Leaky Faucets and Plumbing

A drop a second from a leaky faucet might not seem like much, but did you know it can add up to over 3,000 gallons of water wasted each year? It’s not only the obvious leaks that cost us; hidden plumbing issues can also contribute to significant water loss. 

To fix it: Regular checks and timely maintenance can prevent these small drips from becoming a flood of waste.

2. Overwatering the Lawn

The lush green lawn in front of your house might be your pride and joy, but your watering habits could be excessive. Lawns are often overwatered, leading to runoff and evaporation. 

To fix it: By watering early in the morning or late in the evening when temperatures are cooler, you can minimize evaporation. Better still, consider drought-resistant plants that require less hydration to thrive.

3. Long Showers

There’s nothing quite like a long, hot shower, but it comes with a water cost. A ten-minute shower can use anywhere between 25 to 50 gallons of water. 

To fix it: Switching to a low-flow showerhead and aiming for shorter showers can cut your usage without sacrificing enjoyment.

4. Running Water While Brushing Teeth or Washing Dishes

Many of us let the tap run while brushing our teeth or washing dishes. This habit can waste gallons of water in just a few minutes. 

To fix it: By turning off the tap between rinses when brushing or filling a basin for dishwashing, you can significantly cut down on water use.

5. Using the Toilet as a Waste Bin

Every time we flush the toilet for small waste items like tissues or insects, we dispatch around 1.6 to 7 gallons of water down the drain needlessly. 

To fix it: Be mindful of what you flush, and remember the toilet is not a trash can.

6. Pre-Rinsing Dishes Before Using the Dishwasher

Contrary to popular belief, pre-rinsing dishes before placing them in the dishwasher uses more water than necessary. Modern dishwashers can handle the tough stuff. 

To fix it: Scraping leftovers into the trash or compost and letting the dishwasher do its job can yield clean dishes with less water.

7. Not Fixing Water-Intensive Appliances Promptly

Old, malfunctioning appliances such as washing machines and water heaters can be silent culprits of water waste. Leaks or inefficient operation can rack up usage. 

To fix it: Upgrading to newer, water-efficient models can prevent this and save water in the process.

8. Ignoring Seasonal Watering Guidelines for Plants

Each season calls for different plant care routines. Overwatering during rainy seasons or under-watering in dry spells both lead to water misuse. 

To fix it: Tailoring your watering schedule to the season will help conserve water and keep your garden healthy.

From leaky faucets to irrigation practices, the ways we unknowingly wastewater are numerous. Becoming aware of these habits is the first step in conservation. Implementing small changes, like those suggested above, can lead to significant savings and mitigate the strain on our precious water resources. As individuals, our collective actions can lead to impactful results, so let’s turn the tide by starting to save water in our homes today.