Water Conservation for a Tiny House
One of the best aspects of a Cozy Home or a tiny house is the ability to save more water and hence, more money, on your utility bill. Water conservation also prevents wear and tear on your septic system and excess water pollution of local lakes, rivers and watersheds. About 3/4 of all indoor water is used in the bathroom. A smaller home will have less bathrooms than a traditional home, and a smaller home will also accommodate a smaller washer and dryer. Most smaller homes also may not have enough room for a dishwasher, so your hand-washed dish water can be used for indoor or outdoor plants.
Here are 10 additional ways you can conserve water in your Cozy Home:
1. Install a composting toilet
A flush toilet accounts for about 30 percent of the water used in a typical home and each flush uses about 3-7 gallons of water. If your local building codes allow them, install a composting toilet like a Sun-Mar or an Envirolet toilet. The up-front cost is more expensive, but it will save a lot of your household water.
2. Install a rain catchment system
Use natural rainwater for your yard and garden. A roof area of only 1,000 sq. ft. can provide approx. 600 gallons of water during a one inch rainfall.
3. Don’t install a garbage disposal unit in your kitchen
Garbage disposals require lots of water to operate property. Collect your vegetable kitchen scraps and put them in a composter for your garden.
4. Install a gray water system
If you are building your own home and the permits allow for it, install a gray water system to water your land or garden. Gray water is water from your sinks, showers and washers…but not from the toilet.
5. Use a front load washer
A front loading washer uses about one-third the amount of water than a top loading washer. They can be more expensive, but they are used widely in Europe and can be installed in smaller spaces.
6. Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants
Skip the lawn and plant drought-resistant ground cover, plants and shrubs that are native to your area. Use the principles of xeriscaping for a garden with low water usage.
7. Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants
Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth. Adding 2-4 inches of organic material such as compost or bark mulch will increase the ability of the soil to retain moisture. Press the mulch down around the dripline of each plant to form a slight depression which will prevent or minimize water runoff.
8. Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks
9. Check for leaks in all your indoor and outdoor pipes and faucets.
A small drip can waste about 20 gallons of water per day.
10.Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators
Inexpensive water-saving low-flow shower heads or restrictors and aerators for faucets are easy to install. A low-flow head will use less than 2.5 gallons per minute.
Photo by Sustainable sanitation/Flickr