Informational Guide

Eco-friendly & Sustainable Green Plumbing

Learn all about eco-friendly green plumbing and sustainability when it comes to water, waste and your home.

by Dmitri Kara

People adopted green and eco-friendly plumbing techniques for decades.

But what is it?

Eco-friendly and sustainable plumbing refers to methods, techniques, and gear used to reduce water consumption by investing in eco-friendly plumbing modifications. Sustainable green plumbing allows households to decrease destructive disruption of the environment.

At PlumbingLab.com we know that by using less water, you save energy because of the lower amount of water taken out of the grid and into domestic and commercial properties. It helps curb pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and fossil fuel use, which in turn, reduces the rate of climate change and prevents a potential global catastrophe.

If you want to go green but don’t know where to begin - local councils provide essential information, tips, and workshops to help you become eco-friendly.

shower

Water is a valuable resource (although most people take it for granted) that you need to use carefully.

With a growing population and global warming, water is becoming a profitable commodity as water usage and servicing costs grow. If you wish to put a hold on these effects and contribute to the zero waste movement, the one sure way is to embrace eco-friendly plumbing techniques.

By consuming less water, you conserve natural sources and wetlands so entire urban areas on the other end of land can get enough water for daily necessities. Going green will not cost you more in the long-term and will not affect your daily routines.

Advantages of sustainable green plumbing:

  • Reduced waste;
  • Decreased environmental impact;
  • Reduced water shortages;
  • Extended appliance usage.
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Is Green Plumbing Expensive?

Green plumbing modifications will cost you in the short-term.

If you get a rebate from the government (federal, state, or local) that will help decrease the initial costs. Either way, going green is a worthwhile investment. By implementing eco-friendly methods and techniques, you will consume less water and thus reduce expenses. In addition, if your water system requires gas or electricity, you will pay less for those utilities as well.

However, do not salt away money by making DIY modifications. According to professionals My Plumber, you’re best off having an expert laying pipes so that your green system meets plumbing standards and works efficiently.


Water Waste Facts

  • US citizens use 3.9 (~15 l) trillion gallons of water monthly.
  • The average American family of four consumes about 127,400 gallons (~482,262 l) of water annually.
  • Roughly 5 gallons (~19 l) of water pour down the drain per year from water left running while brushing your teeth.
  • US citizens use 27% of a household’s water for showering and bathing.
  • On average, we waste 10 gallons (~38 l) of water to leaks per day.
  • A dripping faucet will cause a loss of 928 million gallons (3513 million l) of water a day.
  • Roughly 3 gallons (11.36 l) of water usage come from you flushing the toilet.
  • Around 20 gallons (~76 l) of water go to hand wash dishes.
  • A new, efficient dishwasher uses 4 gallons (~15 l) per wash cycle.
  • A disregarded sprinkler can waste 246 gallons (1000 l) of water per hour

These water wasting facts substantially indicate the water hole we’re digging ourselves into. The solution is for each and every one of us to avert the coming global crisis!

toilet

Green Plumbing Technologies And What They Do

Low-Flow Toilets

Toilets are the primary culprits in water usage at home.

Average consumption accounts for around 30% of a household’s water consumption. A low-flow, high-efficient toilet reduces the amount of water each flush uses. Some use as low as 1.28 gallons (4.85 l) per flush while granting the same level of performance.

The average household can save 13,000 gallons (~49210 l) of water and roughly $130 off their water bill annually, by investing in efficient, eco-friendly models, be it elongated, regular, or even commercial.

Waterless Urinals

A single unit can add up to over 35,000 gallons (~133, 000 l) of wasted water.

Low-Flow Showerheads

If you go green and replace outdated units for the finest showerheads with efficient low-flow fixtures, you may save up to $70 in water and electricity bills and help conserve over 2,700 gallons (~10,220 l) of water per year. Other options include pressure shower heads for low pressure properties, the popular rain fixtures, integrated panel tower systems, and even products tailored to showering kids.

Water-saving Taps and Faucets

Average taps dispense between 2.5 gallons (~10 l) and 5 gallons (~20 l) and that’s way more than required. Also, a standard bathroom faucet runs water at a rate of roughly 2.2 gallons (8.33 l) per minute, as opposed to efficiency taps which put out as low as 1.5 gallons per minute, reducing domestic water consumption between 30% and 80%.

An American family of 4 can save $250 in water and electricity costs by replacing older faucets with green, efficient ones, especially with installing a good kitchen faucet such as touchless kitchen fixtures.

A single tap could save up to 5944 gallons (~22,500 l) per year. Learn more about pull down vs pull out faucets and bathroom or laundry fixtures.

Commercial Pre-Rinse Spray Valves

These fixtures are widely helpful at commercial or institutional kitchens. Pre-rinse valves rinse food leftovers to aid dishwashers.

By using a high-efficiency pre-rinse spray valve, business can lower power and water bills up to $100.

Greywater Plumbing Systems

This eco-friendly installation conserves water already used for various washing. You could repurpose it to compliment fertilizers via an irrigation system, or macerating toilets ant composting WC systems.

Composting Toilets

Flushing toilets add up to a vast amount of water waste of around 30% of daily household water usage. Composting and waterless WC units are an innovative, eco-friendly and sustainable technology that produces a fertilizer instead of pure waste.

Rainwater Harvesting

To harvest rainwater means to gather rainfall in tanks to reuse. Usually, that happens via well-designed gutter systems such as Valor or Raptor.

Rainwater Toilets & Washing Machines

A regular dishwasher uses 9 gallons (~35 l) per cycle and systems that reuse rainwater can cut water consumption up to 40%.

How Water Tanks Work

Rainwater tanks collect water that falls onto your roof, goes into your gutters, through your downpipes and into the tank placed either to the side of the building or underneath it.

Rainwater tanks serve as a water supply for your garden, irrigation system, laundry, toilet, and more, just as pressure tank installations work if you have a well.

Smart Irrigation Systems

Contrary to conventional irrigation controllers that follow preset timers and programs, smart irrigation systems monitor weather conditions, soil specs, the rate of water evaporation and water usage of greenery to optimize watering and cut waste. A good water pressure pump can help further improve lawn care, too.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters, also known as instantaneous water heaters, help reduce both water and energy consumption.

A standard water heater keeps hot water in the tank at all times, even if no one is using it. A tankless water heater, on the other hand, heats water as someone turns on the hot water tap.

Tankless heaters are eco-friendly as they can reduce water and energy consumption in an average American household by 24% to 34%. Either electric or gas, tankless water heaters also have a longer lifespan compared to standard water heaters - up to 20 years or more. These units are great for RVs, too, as they reduce that chances of RV fungi infestations.

Are Solar Hot Water Systems Effective?

These green systems operate by heating water in tanks via solar technology. This is a popular and effective property modification because hot water system parts may be expensive from both a water and energy consumption aspect.

Fact is, a solar hot water system can help you reduce your electricity, gas, and water bill.

Wastewater Treatments

The end goal of the process is to filter solid debris before effluent water goes back in the open. This is needed because organic decay uses oxygen that could deplete plantlife and animals.


How Many Plumbing Modifications Should One Make?

There is no rule on the number of adjustments you should make to your plumbing system. Unless it legally binds you to make plumbing repairs to your property, you are free to do as many pipe and fixture modifications as you want.

Contact us to learn about other green plumbing modifications that will not make you break the bank in the short term!


Water-Saving Tips

  • Turn off taps tightly to prevent dripping;
  • When hand-washing dishes try not to run water continuously;
  • Repair leaking pipes, fixtures, and seals;
  • When brushing your teeth, turn the water off. This saves up to 80% of water usage;
  • Invest in low-flow showerheads or flow-reducer adjustments for your showerheads;
  • Wash only when your washing machine or dishwasher is at full capacity;
  • Invest in copper piping. It is the natural option for sustainable green plumbing because it is long-lasting and requires no maintenance;
  • Install smart irrigation products that measure the water in the soil and adjust the watering time to suit the need of the soil;
  • Install a solar water heating system;
  • Clear plumbing issues with toxic-free detergents;
  • Install rainwater capture and filter systems;
  • Install greywater treatment systems.

Conclusion

Water conservation stands for using our limited water supply wisely and maintaining it properly. Since human life depends on this sustainable resource, it is our duty to educate ourselves about water conservation.

It is up to us to keep the natural water sources pure and safe for generations to come. Conservation provides economic benefits as well, as energy and electricity are also preserved as a direct consequence of water-saving efforts.

Started as a jack of all trades back in early 2012, Dmitri Kara is currently a recognized expert in a wide range of domestic and commercial trades. Dmitri has appeared for quite a few reputable outlets such as Today.com, Telegraph.co.uk, ReadersDigest.com, Quote.com, Reviews.com, IkeaHackers.net, and many more. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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