If you are already taking all the usual steps to conserve water you may be wondering what else you can do to decrease the environmental impact of your water usage. I was first introduced to the next logical step during a conversation I had with someone at the Allegheny County Green Innovation Festival in September: be conscious of when you use water.
In many parts of the country, aging sewage systems paired with a growing population and urbanization is resulting in more sewage overflow because waste water treatment facilities can’t handle the demands put on them. These facilities are most stressed when it rains and when snow is melting because runoff is going into the storm drains. It’s during those times that it’s more likely overflow – including human and industrial waste, oil, pesticides and litter – will end up in your local water ways.
When Mother Nature adds to the pressures on the sewage system, there are several steps you can take to help decrease human demands on the system. Start by not doing the laundry, running the dishwasher or taking a shower when it’s raining. Of course, these things must get done at some point, so a little planning can go a long way to help your best intentions get realized.
For example, if you usually do laundry on Saturdays, but the forecast predicts rain all weekend try to wash one load with the things you need immediately and wait until Monday to do the rest. Or, even if it’s been raining for days, you still need to shower, so encourage yourself to keep it short with a shower coach.
It may be inconvenient, but when everyone sacrifices a little it adds up. So share this article with your friends, family, neighbors and local businesses to immediately see a positive impact on your local environment.