Return to ASDWA's Newsroom

Water Conservation Efforts Still Ring True Nearly 100 Years Later

Mike McGuire, author of The Chlorine Revolution, also manages a blog with daily posts about “This Day in Water History.”  On Monday, he posted a story about New York’s efforts in 1918 to reduce water use as a means to support the energy needs of the war effort (World War I).  Titled Save Water and Win the War, the recommendations still ring true as we work to enhance our own efforts at water conservation today…nearly 100 years from when these were first published.  Good ideas still make good sense!

  • Have all leaky pipes and fixtures repaired immediately, and keep them in good order.
  • When closing your house for any period of time, see that the water is turned off to insure against a leak occurring during your absence.
  • Do not neglect leaking toilets and faucets. Large amounts of water are wasted through small leaks which you may think too insignificant to warrant attention. A leak 1/32 of an inch in diameter wastes 8 gallons an hour or over 5,000 gallons a month.
  • If care is exercised, when installing piping, to keep the hot and cold water pipes at least a foot apart, it will be unnecessary to “let the faucet run to get a cold drink.”
  • Don’t let water run to get it cold. Use ice, or draw some water off into a receptacle and put in a cool place.
  • Do not allow roof tanks to overflow. Eliminate this waste by providing tanks with ball cocks.
  • Don’t leave faucets open on cold nights this winter to prevent freezing of water pipes. Start now to have your pipes properly protected.
  • A stream 1/4 of an inch in diameter will waste 514 gallons an hour or over 370,000 gallons a month.
  • To determine the presence of hidden leaks, consumers whose services are metered should occasionally close all outlets and observe the meter to see if it registers or not.
  • Don’t keep the faucet open while you are washing or bathing. Draw off as much as you need and then turn off the faucet.
  • It costs just as much for coal, oil and equipment to pump and filter water that is wasted as it does to furnish water for useful purposes.
  • A gallon of water saved just now will help Uncle Sam to win the war.”

You can read more about and subscribe to this blog at safedrinkingwaterdotcom.