Myths and Facts about Water Consumption and the EnvironmentMyths and Facts about Water Consumption and the Environment


Many homeowners are increasingly concerned with improving their environmental footprint or impact.  There is so much contradictory information out there however, that it can be easy to be a overwhelmed or confused as to what is real and what is not.

Here are a few facts worth knowing…

What Water Crisis?  Myth or Fact?  FACT.

There are many who believe that the media is often exaggerating about climate change or that there is any form of water crisis and that H2O is perfectly abundant.  Although we do have water in Nebraska, here are the broad facts: While the two thirds of the planet is indeed covered in it, less than 1% is suitable for human or potable consumption. This means that there is a great need for improved global management of our water resources as the population of the planet explodes.  The truth is, there is just not enough to go around.

Research has shown, in fact, that one in six people around the planet does not have access to sustainable clean water. This works out to over one billion people. However, this problem is not limited to some third world country overseas.  The United States is also suffering from severe water shortages. Some states are particularly vulnerable to droughts especially in the West, South West and the South.  The west coast in fact is in the worst water shortage in recorded history.

Store Bought Bottled Water is Better Than Tap Water- Myth or Fact? IT DEPENDS.

Many consumers who are worried about the quality of their tap water, are now turning  to store bought bottled water under the assumption that it is better or safer.  The truth is that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) standards are the same for bottled water as they are for tap water.  In fact much of the store bought bottled water is simply municipal water filtered using industrial reverse osmosis, a technology readily available for your own home.  Another consideration to bear in mind is that store bought bottled water requires far more resources (which increase your environmental footprint.  A better option is an under sink R.O. unitor commercially delivered bottled water.

 You Can Save Water By Putting a Brick in the Toilet- MYTH!

There is a popular myth out there that by putting a brick in the toilet, you can avoid wasting water. In actual fact, this could damage your plumbing fixtures as the brick begins to disintegrate into the water. A better solution would be purchasing a LOW-FLOW toilet which is designed and engineered to use MUCH less water than your father’s old fashioned commode.

Toilet Leaks Are Rare- MYTH!

A leaking toilet can waste between 5 and 40 gallons of water every hour!  Leaking toilets are NOT a rare phenomenon at all. In fact, it is believed that 25% of ALL toilet fixtures in the U.S. have some form of leak. This means that it is a good idea to have your toilet checked to ensure that there are no leaks and you are not inadvertently wasting hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water every year.  A simple way to check if your toilet is leaking is to add a few drops of food coloring to the tank, and if the water in the bowl changes colors without flushing, you probably have a leak.

While many consumers are concerned about saving electricity, to reduce their carbon footprint, a great number overlook the potential impact of inefficient water use caused by not treating their water. Ensuring that your water is not hard for example will dramatically increase the efficient flow of water in your dishwasher, washing machine and water heater.

Also, softened water means using less detergents and soaps which mean less pollution.  Making sure that on each cycle you have a full load (dishes or laundry), will also make a significant impact on your water usage and efficiency. Although you may be concerned about using appliances which require water, a dishwasher is a good example, these devices have been actually engineered to be both energy and water efficient, making them more effective and efficient than even hand washing your dishes.

Everyone should be concerned about the environment and their water usage, no matter how abundant they may think there supply is, because it really is not.  You can start by doing your part and ensuring that your home has no leaks, dripping faucets and running toilets are fixed, and that you are not using hard water which will render your appliances water inefficient. A simple water hardness test will determine whether you have a problem or not. This will ensure that you are not wasting water, making your home not only more eco friendly but offering saving on your water bills.

About The Author, Terry Reeh, EcoWater Systems of Nebraska:

With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative.  EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state, Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices.

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