Many human activities affect the environment in damaging and irreversible ways. Sustainable plumbing gives us efficient and convenient plumbing with limited effects on the environment. Below are some elements of sustainable plumbing.
Efficient and Durable Design and Installation
Sustainable plumbing efforts begin at the design and installation stage. The goal is to use:
- Environmentally safe materials
- An energy- and water-efficient design
- Energy- and water-efficient appliances and fixtures
For example, you should:
- Aim for low-flush toilets and water-saving showerheads that use as little water as possible
- Energy-efficient water heaters, such as tankless systems, which don't heat unnecessary water
- Recyclable plumbing materials, such as PVC pipes
Talk to your plumber about your sustainability goals. They will incorporate the relevant measures in the plumbing design.
After installation, maintain the system so it doesn't lose its efficiency over time. A good maintenance program incorporates both DIY and professional maintenance. Inspect your plumbing regularly to spot issues that need professional intervention. Below are some ways you can use maintenance to enhance sustainability:
- Maintain your drainage system to keep the waste flowing to prevent backups or leakages that might contaminate the environment.
- Maintain the tank-system water heater by regularly flushing it to remove sediments to maintain energy efficiency.
- Prevent pipe bursts, especially during winter, which might waste water.
Active maintenance ensures you deal with environmental damage and resource wastage before they occur. Of course, unexpected damages can still occur. For example, underground tree roots can damage your pipes and cause leaks. Repair such malfunctions as soon as they occur to minimize their effects.
How you use the plumbing system also affects its sustainability. For example, poor usage habits can pollute the environment, waste energy, and water. Use these specific tips for protecting the environment while using your plumbing installations:
- Don't run the shower or taps while not using them to save electricity and water.
- Don't flush unnecessary things down the toilet to avoid water wastage.
- Don't pour dangerous chemicals, such as fuel, down the drain since they may contaminate nearby lands, plants, and underground water.
- Wash full-load clothes and utensils to minimize water and electricity usage.
These tips work best if the entire household understands and practices them.
Limited Chemical Use
Some people use drain-cleaning chemicals to unblock drains. Others add chemicals to septic systems to encourage decomposition. Such chemicals do not always work. Worse, using chemicals in your plumbing system is dangerous for the environment.
First, some of the chemicals will damage your plumbing system. For example, corrosive drain cleaners can damage plumbing pipes and force you to replace them. The replaced parts might end up in landfills. Secondly, some chemicals may end up in the underground water or contaminate nearby ecosystems.
Avoid chemicals as much as possible since conventional plumbing maintenance works just fine. For example, use plungers and drain snakes to unclog drains. Let a professional plumber help if the DIY methods fail. Watch what goes into the septic system and pump the tank regularly, and you won't have to resort to additives.
Water Reuse and Recycling
Lastly, consider reusing or recycling water to minimize overall consumption. For example, you can recycle greywater for non-sensitive functions such as lawn watering, dust control, toilet flushing, and cleaning. If you decide to go this route, install a recycling system that simplifies the process.
Talk to your plumbing contractor about your environmental concern, and they will help you deploy sustainable plumbing. PlumbRite has over 20 years of experience in the plumbing industry. We understand and have what it takes to deploy environmentally safe plumbing practices. Contact us with all your plumbing requests and enjoy our quality services.
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