Water Conservation

Photo by J. Kiley.
Photo by J. Kiley.

Why Conserve Water In A Wet Environment?

Wasting water can contribute to lake pollution. Sewage treatment facilities remove phosphorus pollution from the water that leaves our homes. However, the efficiency of pollution removal at the sewage treatment facility decreases when sewage is diluted by leaked tap water. Furthermore, municipal drinking water systems often add a phosphorus containing compound to drinking water to prevent lead from leaching from old pipes. This compound must then be removed from wastewater before it enters Lake Champlain. Of course, removal is not 100 percent efficient, so waste of water leads to additional phosphorus pollution.

Wasted water equals wasted energy

Photo by morguefile.com.
Photo by morguefile.com.

Wasted water also means wasted energy, and this factor is probably even more significant than the extra phosphorus added to the lake. Water must be pumped from its source, often Lake Champlain, to its end use in houses, apartments, businesses, and institutions. Moving water to where it will be used is a highly energy intensive process. Letting a faucet run for five minutes uses about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 14 hours.

Learn more about how you can save water in your home or business

Water Efficiency

Water efficiency saves money, saves energy, and helps protect Lake Champlain. The Lake Champlain Committee is partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency to promote the WaterSense Program. WaterSense works with consumers, retailers, water utilities and governments, and product manufacturers to:

  • decrease indoor and outdoor water use through the adoption of more efficient products and practices,
  • help consumers make water-efficient choices and adopt simple daily activities that reduce water use,
  • encourage innovation in manufacturing,
  • establish and standardize rigorous certification criteria that ensure product efficiency, performance, and quality.

The WaterSense label on plumbing fixtures, including toilets, faucets and aerators, gives you assurance that you’re buying efficient products. What commonly is a forgotten practice, fixing leaks throughout your household offers another simple and effective way to reduce your monthly water bill and conserve water. Leaks come in all shapes, sizes and places. A pin-hole size leak can cost home owners 4000 gallons a month, that’s enough to take a shower every day for a year. Leaks also can come through your toilet flapper; an inexpensive fix that helps you save on the monthly water bill.

To find out more about the WaterSense Label, water conservation tips and tips to fix leaks, visit the EPA’s WaterSense website.

On-going Projects

  • LCC is promoting the WaterSense label, through a partnership with the EPA, to local communities advocating water efficiency.
  • LCC is implementing a multi-pronged outreach program focused on water conservation to reduce phosphorus inputs to waste water treatment facilities.