Clean water is the world’s most precious commodity. Even though 70% of the earth is covered in water only 1% is drinkable. Building codes help safeguard this precious resource for future generations by enforcing proper construction and conservation. The International Code Council, along with countless municipalities across the country, work day in and day out to protect our water supply. Because of the work of our inspectors here in Raleigh, you can turn on the tap in your home and draw sufficient, clean water. 

As a homeowner or renter, you need to pay attention to the water supply to your home even if your community offers water and sewage treatment. If there are faulty or no backflow protectors in your home, cross-contamination can happen even while residents are filling their backyard swimming pools, drawing some of the pool’s chlorine into the home.

So, what can you do to ensure our water remains drinkable while also ensuring there is an abundant supply? Try becoming more mindful of your water supply at home. Begin your day by conserving water while brushing your teeth and turn off the water while you brush. Check your toilets, faucets, and pipes for leaks regularly. Although, it may be tempting to spend a super long time in a hot and steamy shower after a hard day of work, it is recommended to help the planet by limiting showers to only five minutes.

Water conservation and efficiency has become increasingly important in recent years due to water scarcity, droughts and water contamination in many areas of the world. Recent events such as the Flint, Michigan water crisis and drought in the western United States are shining the spotlight on a growing global issue.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense Program is a major water efficiency initiative based in the U.S. This important initiative was developed to help consumers identify water efficient products that meet EPA’s criteria for efficiency and performance. Since its creation in 2006, WaterSense has conserved more than 2.7 trillion gallons of water and saved American families $63.8 billion in water and energy bills, according to the EPA.

Here are some additional tips for conserving water at home:

1. Don’t flush trash down the toilet. Five to seven gallons of water is wasted every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash

2. Install water-saving shower heads and low flow faucet aerators

3. Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks

4. Insulate your water pipes

5. Only wash clothes and run the dishwasher when there is a full load

6. Don’t leave the water running when washing dishes by hand

This blog was written by Alicia Thomas. She is a Planner in the Development Services Land Development Division.