Reducing Water Use
There are many ways to reduce the amount of water used inside and outside of a building.
Indoor Water Use
Water fixtures and appliances- Fix leaks, retrofit existing fixtures, and look for low new flow models.
Graywater- Oregon has approved the reuse of wastewater from bathtubs, showers, bathroom sinks and washing machines for flushing toilets.
Rainwater– Rainwater collected from a roof can be used for nonpotable uses like flushing toilets and washing clothes, as well as for drinking water, if treated properly.
Composting toilets- Composting toilets are low-tech, waterless toilets.
- Oregon rules for using composting toilets- See section 918-770-0080. Homes using composting toilets need a way to dispose of the other liquid wastes, through either an approved septic system or a connection to the sanitary sewer.
- National Sanitary Foundation standards - The brand and model must comply with NSF/ANSI Standard 41 listed under composting/incinerating toilets.
Waterless urinals -A waterless urinal uses gravity instead of flushing with water to move liquid into the sewer system.
- Oregon Plumbing Code Section addressing use of waterless urinals – see Section 402.3.1.
Irrigation Yard watering is the highest water use in the home, up to about 60% of total water use.
Water saving landscape design- Choose native, low water use plants, and locate plants with similar water needs together for efficient watering. Minimize lawn areas or consider replacing grass with eco-turf, ground covers, low-water-use plants or mulches.
Smart irrigation- Avoid overwatering. Install efficient irrigation such as drip systems, soaker hoses and smart sprinklers.
Using rainwater– Use rainwater instead of potable water to irrigate.
Using graywater– In August 2011, statewide rules were adopted to allow the use of graywater for irrigation.
- Reusing Graywater in Your Landscape: A Guide for Homeowners (courtesy of Oregon DEQ)