The CantonRep
Real Estate
- Page 2
Simple steps for smart water use
By Doug Dentler
President Building Industry
Association of Stark & East Central Ohio

Americans use fresh water for basics of everyday living, which means we are constantly using one of earth’s most precious resources. In fact, less than 1% of the earth’s water is available for human use. So we have a big responsibility to use water wisely. Consider these relatively easy steps to cut back on how much water you use without requiring big expense or lifestyle changes.

Fix Hidden Leaks
Hidden leaks are one of the main culprits of water waste. The average family of four in our country uses 400 gallons of water each day. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, up to 10% of homes have easy-to-fix leaks that waste at least 90 gallons a day. In fact, a toilet leak could be wasting about 200 gallons of water daily. A simple fix with a few tools and parts from the hardware store could solve the problem.

A degraded toilet flapper can use the same water as leaving a faucet running at a constant stream. To check for a leaky flapper, put a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank and wait 10 minutes. If the color shows up in the bowl, you’ve got a leak that is easily fixed with a new flapper.

Your water meter can tell you a lot about whether you’ve got a leak. Find a time when no one will be using water for at least a couple of hours — maybe before you leave for work or a family outing — and note the water meter reading. When you return, see if it has changed. If it has, you’ve got a leak somewhere.

Cut Back on Running Water
When you’re brushing your teeth or shaving, flip off the tap while you scrub or use the razor. Leaving the water running lets as much as eight gallons of unused water run down the drain (and run up your water bill) each day. Teaching your kids this habit will multiply the savings. If you have one, use the dish washer to wash dishes — and make sure it’s fully loaded before you run it. Washing just a few dishes and pans under running water soon uses the same amount of water as an entire load in the dishwasher. If you wash by hand, use a tub of soapy water and a tub of plain water for at least a preliminary rinse.

Outdoor Watering Done Right
Your outdoor watering techniques could be another area for improvement. Outdoor water use makes up about 30% of the average water bill — and most of that is used for maintaining landscapes. Yet up to half of the water that home owners use outside is wasted because of inefficient watering methods and systems.

If you’re using hoses and sprinklers, aim the sprays to make sure water lands where it will soak into the earth, not pool on sidewalks, driveways and patios. Set water sprays as low to the ground as possible to give wind and sun less chance to evaporate the droplets. It’s typically best to water early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid peak sunshine.

To learn more about ways to save water or improve your home’s overall efficiency, visit epa.gov/watersense or contact the BIA at 330-494-5700.

News & Notes

The Annual Spring Circuit of New Homes Begins Tomorrow!

This free consumer event is scattered throughout Stark & Summit counties and features 15 new homes for sale in all sizes and price ranges. Look for our full page ad promoting the show in this publication. You can also view every home and print a locator map by visiting our website biastarkeco.com. Interest rates remain at all-time lows and deals may be available. Be sure to visit the homes and talk to the builders about special incentives being offered!