Environmental Science Lab
ENV 116 - Online – Fall 2011
Water Conservation in the Home (page 1- 8)
This assignment is due November 6
It can be submitted for late credit through November 13
A photo of your project must be included with your
assignment to receive full credit for this exercise.
Providing adequate water supplies for domestic use, industry, irrigation, fish and wildlife habitat and navigation is one of many key environmental issues facing the world today. Water is a renewable resource but supplies can be polluted by careless practices or depleted by wasteful practices. There is actually enough fresh water on Earth to meet all of our needs. The distribution of fresh water, however, varies tremendously on Earth. For example, freshwater resources are abundant in Canada and scarce in the Middle East. The rate of water consumption is a major concern with this valuable resource. The United States has the highest rate of per capita water consumption in the world. According to the United Nations, per capita use in the United States is 151 gallons per day. This figure includes domestic, municipal, industrial and agricultural uses of water. The per capita use in France is 76 gallons per day and in Bangladesh, 12 gallons per day. The objective of this exercise to examine household water use patterns. Practices that waste water and strategies to conserve water will be emphasized.
Flow Rates in Household Water Fixtures
The Federal Energy Policy Act requires that all faucet fixtures and showerheads manufactured in the United States restrict maximum water flow to 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) or less at 80 pounds per square inch (psi) of water pressure. This ensures that faucet products available to the consumer will offer at least minimal water efficiency benefits. Old faucet fixtures and showerheads delivered 4 to 7 gpm. There are two main types of low-flow faucets and showerheads. These include aerating (the most popular) and non-aerating systems. Aerating fixtures mix air into the water stream. This maintains steady pressure so the flow has an even, full shower spray. Because air is mixed in with the water, the water temperature cools down a bit towards the floor of the shower. Non-aerating fixtures add a pulse to the water stream; maintaining temperature and delivering a strong spray. Most companies sell fixtures that deliver flow rates less than 2.5 gpm. Some companies offer eco-friendly showerheads that deliver 1.6 to 0.6 gpm. Reducing hot water use saves energy because your hot water heater has less water to heat. Approximately 73% of the water used in a typical shower is hot water. Inexpensive and simple-to-install, low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators can reduce home water consumption and water heating costs by as much as 50%. Faucet aerators replace the faucet head screen, lowering the flow by adding air to the spray. Low-flow showerheads either draw in air, or have it forced into the water stream by using compressed air. The air-water mixture under pressure creates a high velocity spray, which makes it seem like more water is coming out than there actually is. Procedures
Part I – Flow Rates
Use one-gallon containers to measure water that you collect from your kitchen faucet and showerhead. The gallon milk carton works great for this exercise. 1. Run your kitchen faucet wide open for 30 seconds into your water collection container. How much water did you collect in your container? Did you collect 0.25 gallons, 0.5 gallons, 0.75 gallons or more? An estimate of the water you collected is fine for this exercise. Multiply the amount of water collected in 30 seconds by two in order to determine the water delivery rate in gallons per minute (gpm). [pic]
2. Run your showerhead wide open for 30 seconds into a pail. Carefully transfer this water into gallon containers in order to measure how much water was released in 30 seconds....
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