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Water conservation tips

Water/Provisions/Cooking/Health/Children/Home Schooling

Water conservation tips

by Auspicious » Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:01 am

I had a brainstorm yesterday and thought I would share it.

No one will ever accuse me of being the best, lowest-water-use dish washer in the world. I do the best I can but I do know for a fact that I'm in the bottom quartile of water conservers in front of the sink.

Yesterday I made kielbasa with sauerkraut. Just before cleaning the pot it occurred to me to lay a piece of paper towel (I use the sort that splits into thirds) across the sink drain to pour the pot over without clogging the drain with kraut. It occurred to me to this approach would work well with anything too liquid to scrape into the trash (or the overboard bowl offshore).

I'd humbly welcome any other ideas for keeping water use down while cleaning up.

I already use salt water offshore, but inshore I stick with fresh water for washing.
dave
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Re: Water conservation tips

by CarolynShearlock » Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:10 pm

A couple more ideas for water conservation:

Use a foot pump and turn the pressure water off. Foot pumps are easier than hand pumps because it leaves both hands free. When you have pressure water on, even if you turn the faucet off between each dish (or brushing teeth or whatever) there's more wasted.

Use a small plant watering can to rinse your dishes, instead of a full blast from the sink. Some people use a spray bottle, but it just didn't do a good enough job of rinsing for me.

Use cooking water (from your veggies or whatever) to soak "gunky" pans -- a double bonus as it's already hot. Just add a squirt of dish soap!

Carolyn
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Re: Water conservation tips

by lshick » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:12 pm

Certainly a foot pump will use less water. If you use pressure water in the galley, get one of the little valve things that screws onto the end of the faucet in place of the thimble-sized fitting with the screen. The valve has a little plastic rod hanging down maybe 2" long that must be pushed to one side to allow the water to flow, and automatically shuts off the water when released. West Marine used to sell them, maybe still does, but I can never find them in their catalog.

Update: found something similar at http://www.instant-off.com
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Re: Water conservation tips

by hirover » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:39 pm

Second Carolyn's reccomendation of using a foot pump only. It cut our water usage down by 90%. Went from filling the tanks every couple of weeks to months once we ditched the pressure water system. Add a saltwater foot pump or even pressure water as you are not worried about usage with saltwater. Use the fresh water for drinking or what will go in your mouth, the salt water for everything else. Wash up using saltwater and then rinse off with a small pot of freshwater. Amazing how little freshwater is needed to get the salt off.
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Re: Water conservation tips

by Auspicious » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:04 pm

I do have pressure water, foot-pump fresh water, and foot-pump salt water at the galley sink. Offshore I only use pressure water for things like filling the coffee pot and filling pots for cooking dinner.

Perhaps I'm doing as well as can be expected and have set too high a standard for myself. *grin*
dave
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Re: Water conservation tips

by CarolynShearlock » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:14 pm

I don't know how much you use per day, but for 2 of us in the Sea of Cortez in the summer (read: hot!), we averaged about 7 gallons per day, occasionally up to 10. Used a tank sprayer on our snorkel gear and ourselves after being in the water, and a 4-gallon Sunshower worked to give us both a shower every couple of days. The rest was for drinking, cooking, toothbrushing, handwashing and dishes.
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Re: Water conservation tips

by SV THIRD DAY » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:26 pm

CarolynShearlock wrote:..in the Sea of Cortez in the summer (read: hot!), we averaged about 7 gallons per day, occasionally up to 10. .


...well that makes me feel not as bad because our family of four has consistently used about 25 gallons per day for the last 3 years of cruising Mexico full time through the summer where few souls dare to float.

A big saver for us was to ban the kids form doing dishes...but come to think of it...they were most likely playing me for a sucker!
Rich Boren
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Re: Water conservation tips

by svnakia » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:36 am

We learned this from Buzz and Maureen on Encore...

Use a squeeze bottle for hand washing and small rinsing. We use a 1 liter bleach bottle with three small holes poked in the lid. Keep the full bottle next to the sink and whenever you want to do a small rinse pick up the bottle, turn it over and squeeze. The amount of water is sufficient for many things but is much less then comes out even when you use the foot pump.

John
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Re: Water conservation tips

by tybee22 » Sun May 05, 2013 8:33 am

I have pressure salt water in galley and wash down in cockpit. Use a 1 gal. insectacide sprayer for fresh H2O rinse. Gives me the best of both worlds.
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Re: Water conservation tips

by wdkester » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:57 am

I have a spay bottle with a mixture of soap and water. The ratio of soap to water can be adjusted to your preference. Too much soap and you will use extra rinse water to get the soap off. I stack the pans and dishes in the sink as I wash them, largest first. Next I plug the drain in the sink. I rinse the items in such a way that the rinse water from the top item falls on the next item(s) and place the rinsed item on the draining tray. WHen done rinsing I use the rinse water to rinse the soap from the dish rag.
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Re: Water conservation tips

by ajchan » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:34 pm

We collect the permeate from our watermaker in 64 oz Cranberry juice bottles until the ppm drops to a steady level. Usually this takes about 30 minutes which gives us about 3 gallons of what we call utility water which is used to flush the heads or for rinsing snorkel gear and washing dishes. Because the bottles are a known quantity, we have a pretty precise guide to our daily water consumption.

Overall we use around 12 gallons per day which our watermaker replaces in about 90 minutes so we do not exercise very strict water conservation. But by measuring our usage in bottles we have been able to achieve an acceptable level of efficiency without resorting to extreme measures. Camping on the water in full survival mode does not make for happy cruisers.

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Re: Water conservation tips

by janice142 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:07 pm

I have both pressure and a hand pump at the galley sink. For me, using pressure water is far more economical -- the hand pump (a Whale) really pumps out a LOT OF WATER whereas my spigot can be turned on to barely run. And yes, I leave the water running the whole time I wash and rinse and use less than a quart of water for most meals. Of course I'm careful but not crazy about water; this life is to be enjoyed and the fanatical adherence to water conservation would not work well for my happiness quotient. Still I rinse all silver into the pan, then swish pan and pour over things -- the usual "reuse" water that we all practice as a matter of due course.

Wasting, I can use 50 gallons per week (long hair, showers and shampoo daily) but with conservation I can make that tank last twice as long: I chose not to. In the head using pressure water, I found one of those fancy ($30) shower heads at a thrift store for 99 cents that has everything from mist to pulse. On mist a dribble comes out which helps lather the hair whilst the pulse works well at rinsing. No, I do not turn the tap on full blast but that takes less than one gallon unless I do a double shampoo.

Although it goes against "common knowledge" and lore, for me, using my pressure system means I use less water than going the conventional hand pump routine. Still, I wouldn't mind a foot pump for salt water in the galley for the pre-wash cycle but a bucket of water works just as well and is free. On my budget, free is good.
Janice aboard Seaweed, living the good life afloat
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Re: Water conservation tips

by alisasnow » Sun May 06, 2018 9:18 pm

For water conservation, you need to wipe off food particle on the dishes before cleaning. Try to use effective dish scrubber and water which has been used for wash vegetable for the first time dishwashing and then wipe the dishes with clean water and clean dish cloth.
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