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BrookeChaplan posted a blog entry in Brooke Chaplan's Green BlogWhen you think about green home living, things, like reducing energy consumption, recycling and conserving water, may come to mind. However, you cannot overlook the importance of your impact on wastewater as well. While wastewater can be treated, the treatment capabilities in different areas varies. In many cases, phosphorous, nitrates and other pollutants may remain in the treated water in small amounts. This means that the fresh water that enters your home may not be as pure and clean as you may think. By understanding and adjusting your own impact on wastewater, you may be able to do your part to reduce pollution and to lead a greener life at home. Pollution from Runoff The two primary impacts that may affect pollution in sewage systems from residential runoff are the amount of runoff that flows off of your property and the chemicals that are in that water. Therefore, avoiding the use of chemicals on your property is essential. This may be accomplished by using natural fertilizers rather than chemical fertilizers. You can also use natural pest control methods rather than harsh chemical products. In addition to avoiding the use of chemical products on your property, you can also use rain collection methods to harvest rainwater and use it beneficially rather than to allow it to run off of your property in large quantities. Pollution from In-Home Waste In-home wastewater from flushing the toilet and using the shower, tub and sink drains also should be a focal point. Wastewater treatment plants are designed to treat typical waste from these features, but some people put other things down their pipes and drains that may be more difficult for treatment plants to remove. For example, some people flush unused prescription medications down the toilet or use chemical drain cleaning products. These and other unintended uses of the wastewater system can have a harsh impact on the quality of treated water that re-enters your home later. Disposing of all waste properly and calling a plumber for assistance with clogged drains are helpful steps to improve your green lifestyle at home. Now that you understand more about the impact that your current lifestyle may be having on the environment through wastewater, you can take proactive steps to improve in these areas. When in doubt about the impact that a certain activity may have on the public water supply, research the activity online. This can help you to make informed decisions that ultimately may promote the health of the environment.
According to the UN News Center, one of the world's most pressing issues is meeting water needs. Without changes in water consumption and conservation, the world will find it challenging to meet the water needs of the world's 2050 projected population of 9.6 billion. With extreme drought threatening areas including metropolitan California and southern Somalia, conserving water and reusing water will make what we have go further. Try these tips to make a difference. Use a Shower Bucket Collect the water that flows before the water heater gets the shower spray ready. You'll end up with plenty of clean, fresh water for another use, like filling your pets' water bowls. Cooking Water After cooking pasta, place a bowl under the colander and drain the pasta. After it cools, the pasta water you'd usually pour down the drain is perfect for watering indoor plants. The same goes for the water used to wash vegetables. If you find a partially drunk glass of water while gathering the dirty dishes, feed it to a plant. Take Baths Between 7 to 10 gallons of water goes down the drain in a shower. So, put your feet up in a relaxing bath instead. Reuse your bath water to wash the car, clean bathroom tiles, mop the floor, etc. You can have a plumber install a drain to an indoor or outdoor recycling system. Rethink Your Water System Reuse your sewage-free waste water to water the lawn, garden or crops. Gray water refers to reusable waste water from bathroom sinks, bath/shower drains and washing machine drains. It's commonly used for landscape irrigation. These systems simply divert your gray water using submersible pumps and pipes, such as those developed by PFC Equipment, Inc. The same systems used on construction sites and at mining operations can help your home or farm save water. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there have been no documented cases of human health issues from properly treated recycled water. Car Wash Park your vehicle near the lawn and shrubs when you wash it. Use soap and water to wash the car, then let the rinse water run onto the lawn. You'll accomplish two tasks at once and the soapy water won't hurt your lawn. Let these five simple ways to make your water go further kick start your conservation efforts. Not only will you help the environment, you'll likely see your water bill decrease. These tips may seem small, but if everybody in the world implemented these practices, imagine how much water and money could be saved.