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Ways to Recycle Water Around Your House

By Becky Striepe
3/22/2014 9:14:38 AM

Are your water bills on the rise? Many cities are seeing higher water prices than ever as governments deal with repairing water systems and with water shortages. Check out these ways to recycle water around your house to save money and conserve this precious, non-renewable resource.

Here in Atlanta we have some of the highest water rates in the country. Thanks to some past government corruption, our water and sewage lines are a mess, and now that the city is finally getting around to repairing them, they've had to hike our water prices yet again. Since 2006, I've seen our water bills more than double, and we are not using twice as much water at home.

Atlanta has also had a drought on and off (mostly on) for years, so conserving water at home is extremely important to me.

Credit: Care2

Cutting back water use is critical to conserving water, but on top of things like turning off the tap when you brush your teeth, you can collect and recycle water to save even more. Water recycling can range from very simple methods that don't require anything but a little forethought to complicated systems. Some of the conservation tips here are ones that I've been using for a long time and some are things I've been wanting to do but haven't had the time or cash to implement.

1. Use a Shower Bucket

The shower bucket is probably the simplest way to recycle water at home. When you turn on the tap for your shower, the water that comes out takes some time to heat up to a comfortable temperature. Next time you're warming up the shower, stick a bucket under the running tap until you're ready to get in. You'll be surprised at how much water you collect!

2. Install a Rain Barrel

Skip that whole municipal water system for watering your garden and collect rainwater instead. Rain barrel setups can be super simple or more complicated, depending on how much time you can invest and how handy you are. The best collection method that I've found is setting up the barrel underneath your gutter's downspout, so it collects the most water when it rains. Click here to see how my husband installed our rain barrels!

3. Create a Rain Garden

Rain gardens take advantage of land's natural water runoff to nourish the plants that live there. Unlike a regular garden that needs watering, a rain garden is constructed so that it reuses water that would otherwise run off into the sewage systems. The bonus is that by diverting that water from the storm drain, you're giving your city's overtaxes sewage system a break. Learn more about rain gardens here!

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