Water conservation at home and in the workplace
Deforestation, pollution and periodic droughts in the
Philippines give urgency to the need for water conservation. Today, drinking
water is a precious commodity; everyone must do his/her share in water
conservation, so that more water is available for all.
· Conduct periodic
checks of faucets in your home (especially before retiring for the night), in
the office or in the workplace. (This will also help to reduce your water bill.)
To check if there are leaks in the internal plumbing and fixtures, shut off all
faucets. If the water meter continues to run, the fixtures need repair or there
is a leak in the water supply system.
· Replacing washers of dripping
faucets will help save water. One drip per second can waste 700 gallons of water
each year. If it is hot water, fuel, as well as water, is wasted.
· Look out for faucets which
leak at the base. The whole faucet may have to be replaced, not just the
· Avoid unnecessary
· Check the toilet for leaks,
not just the leaks from the bathroom pipes and faucets but leaks from the water
closet. A normal toilet should not leak water from the water tank into the bowl
until the flush is pulled. To check, put food coloring in the water tank. If the
coloring shows up in the bowl a few minutes later, your tank may be slowly and
invisibly leaking gallons of water away. Repairs are urgently needed.
· Place a brick or a larger
plastic bottle filled with water or adjust the floater to reduce the amount of
water entering the tank. This lessens the amount of water used to flush a
· Recycled water from other
chores can be saved in a bucket and used to flush the toilet.
· Taking a shower
instead of bathing in a tub consumes less water. If done correctly, the balde at
tabo system consumes even less water. When taking a shower, turn off the water
while shampooing and soaping; turn it on when you are ready to rinse.
· Recycle soapy water (except
those with strong detergents) for flushing toilets and cleaning drive ways.
During dry spells, recycled water may even be used to water plants.
· If you have a bath
tub, shut the drain, allow the water to accumulate during the shower and then
scoop it into a bucket for recycling.
· Another way is to bathe within
a wash basin so the water is automatically collected in the basin and can then
be saved for later use.
Washing and shaving
· Shut off the
faucet when not in use. Do not leave the tap running while brushing your teeth.
Instead, use a glass filled with water.
· When washing hands or face,
use a basin to catch splashing water which can be recycled.
· Just as in bathing, you can
save the water used in washing your hands and face or even brushing your teeth
by placing a small bucket in the basin.
Washing and shaving
· Accumulate a large
amount of water swiftly by using wide containers. A shallow plastic basin is
preferable to a deep bucket.
· Catch the water that comes
down from rain gutters on the roof of the house. You can fill an entire barrel
just by catching the water that would normally go down the drain.
· Use collected water for
bathing, cleaning and watering the plants. Between rains, empty the barrel to
keep mosquitoes from breeding.
Households with a non-pipe water system can still follow the
tips given above. They have greater advantages in water conservation provided
they adapt the following suggestions:
· Fill containers
with water and place where they are needed, as in the kitchen, bathroom and
· Provide a tabo to scoop the
water from containers to be used and a basin to catch used water.
· Save recycled water for later
· Water the garden
early in the morning or after sunset. This minimizes the water that is lost due
· Use soaker hoses instead of
sprinklers which let the water soak into the soil.
· Use mulch. Mulch is any
big-degradable material, such as nut shells, straws, pine needles, clipped
leaves and grass which is used to cover the soil. It reduces evaporation and
keeps the roots cool, lessening the need for water.
· Select and use plants that
need less water.
Doing the dishes
· Do not keep the
water running while washing dishes.
· Minimize the use of water
first by rinsing the dishes in warm water to remove grease. Then, fill a bowl
with a mixture of washing liquid and hot water. Dip a brush or scrubber into
this mixture and use it to scrub the dishes. Start with glassware, then cutlery
and plates and, lastly, pots and pans. Set all the scrubbed but unrinsed dishes
aside until they are all done. Then, rinse them all at once in cold running
water and allow them to dry in a dish rack.
· Another way: First, wipe the
greasy dishes with crumpled newspapers. Prepare a basin half-full of tap water.
Dip the cutlery first, then plates and, lastly, pots and pans to easily remove
food residues. Transfer the used water into a bucket. In a bowl, prepare a
mixture of dissolved detergent and a tablespoon of vinegar. Soap the dishes and
kitchen utensills, starting with the nongreasy ones (e.g., glassware are first,
then utensils starting with the nongreasy ones (e.g. glassware first then
cutlery and plates and, lastly, pots and pans). Put clean water into the basin
and rinse the dishes accordingly. Save the used water and rinse the dishes again
until thoroughly clean. Always save used water for future use.
Doing the dishes
Doing the laundry
· Soak very dirty
clothes first to easily remove the dirt.
· Use a basin or washtub.
· Do not let the basin overflow
under a running tap.
· Use the right amount of
detergent so that less rinsing is required.
· Save the rinse water for
flushing the toilet or for cleaning the garage.
How Green is Your Home? A Filipino Primer on Home
Water Saving Tips (MWSS).
Ideas for Action:
A Technology Information Kit, November 23 - 28,