Your top 3 opportunities to reduce water use at home


by Peter Speckner, Communications Coordinator

Do you dread opening your water bill when it arrives? Maybe you just want to reduce the amount of water you use? Either way, there are plenty of options available to you to lower your water consumption.

Are you eligible for a home consultation?wet challenge logo

A good start is to determine how much water you are using each day. The Region of Waterloo has created an online self-audit that calculates just that. It’s called the WET Challenge. It is part of an effort to lower the average amount of water used per person to 165 litres each day from about 200 litres.

Depending on the result, you may be eligible for a free home consultation on how to reduce your water usage. Just follow the instructions following the audit to request that the Region send one of REEP Green Solutions water conservation experts to help you.

Common advice on how to conserve water

We have met with hundreds of homeowners and here’s some common advice that all us can put into practice every day to conserve water.

Average water usage in the home can be divided into 3 main categories: showers, baths and toilets, and everything else. We’ll look at the most common ways to reduce usage within each category. This post focuses on showers, baths and toilets.

measuring water efficiency of showerheadHow to use less water when taking a shower or bath

Who doesn’t love a long, hot, relaxing shower or bath?

Well, that might be part of the problem. Between the energy used to heat the water, and the amount of water used, you could be dinging yourself twice with higher costs.

The easiest way to start saving is to shorten the time you spend showering or lessen the amount of water used in baths. Showers generally use less water than baths, and using warm water instead of hot will use less energy.

If you want to test the efficiency of your shower heads and taps, get a flow meter bag. They measure the volume of water used and will show how efficient your hardware is. Here’s a video of a demonstration using our shower head display at the REEP House for Sustainable Living.

We have flow meter bags that we’ll give you free of charge. Just come to REEP House and ask!

Newer toilets use less water

Toilets may not have many fans, but everybody needs them.

Extremely efficient toilets run 3L per flush, with dual flush toilets running 3L or 6L per flush. Compared to the 13L per flush or more that older toilets can use, new toilets can offer quite the savings.

If replacing toilets isn’t in your budget, then ensuring there are no leaks in the ones you do have is a good alternative.

Test your toilet for leaksblue water

Testing for leaks is easy:

  • Place a few drops of colouring into the back tank.
  • Wait 30 min.
  • Check the bowl.
  • If there’s colouring in the bowl, you have a leak.

New seals are an easy fix, will close the leak, and don’t cost a lot. If you’d like to retrofit your old toilet to save even more water, here are some simple and inexpensive ideas.

Next: Everything else

In our next post, we’ll cover the third category: Everything Else. Equipment in this category includes dishwashers, washing machines, water softeners, attached humidifiers, pools & spas, and sprinkler systems.

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