California is right in the middle of a drought. Conserving water is always an important thing to do, but right now it’s crucial to everyone in the state. Green plumbing is a term used to describe a variety of techniques and technologies that allow for more environmentally friendly, water-conserving plumbing. Green plumbing is focused mainly on ways to reduce the water usage of the average home. Two of the most effective ways to reduce the amount of water wasted in your home are to reuse water and to install a recirculation pump.
Through the natural processes of evaporation and precipitation, much of the water we use has already been used for something else by someone else before. We can learn from nature by using water for multiple applications. One of the best ways to conserve water is to use water for multiple things before sending it down the drain. Water that has been used in the shower, sink, or the washing machine can be used again in other applications. Secondary applications are most commonly things like toilet flushing or yard irrigation.
Water that has already been used for something is called “gray water.” Using gray water is an excellent way to have green plumbing. However, using gray water for certain applications may be prohibited where you live. You should always check with local officials before implementing water reuse systems and practices.
Hot Water Recirculation Pump
One thing that many people don’t ever think about is all the water they waste while they wait for the hot water to arrive at the faucet or in the shower. There could be 50 feet of piping (or more) between your water heater and the farthest fixture in your home. Fifty feet of pipe can contain a lot of water. The average household can waste anywhere from 27 to 105 gallons of water per day just from waiting for hot water.
A recirculation pump avoids the need to wait for hot water to arrive. The way a recirculation pump works is by heating the water that’s already in the piping. When the pump detects that the water has become cool, it activates and heats the water in the pipes. Recirculation pumps provide hot water as soon as the hot water tap is turned on. Their downside is that they consume some electricity, though the amount of money you pay annually for the pump will be less than what you were paying for the wasted water. On top of that, you’ll no longer be wasting hundreds and hundreds of gallons of water.
It’s every person’s duty to conserve water to the best of their abilities, especially in a time of crisis like right now. We recommend that you look into green plumbing practices and learn the laws for your local area regarding water reuse.