What Is Green Plumbing?
When renovating, building new, or upgrading your plumbing, there’s never a better time to consider the sustainability of your systems. Going green can improve your carbon footprint, the longevity of your plumbing systems, and your home environment in general. The following information is all you need to know about green plumbing:
What is green plumbing?
Green plumbing is a term specifically used when talking about the use of eco-friendly systems, in replacement of old wasteful systems. It’s designed to lower the impact your water usage has on the environment by using less water and energy and essentially saving you money on utilities.
There is a range of ways in which green plumbing can be used within your own property – whether it’s your home, rural farm, or business. This includes the installation of solar hot water systems and water-saving taps and fittings, water storage tanks and septic systems, greywater treatment systems, and smart irrigation, as well as connecting up rainwater to your internal plumbing, such as your toilet and washing machine.
Do you need green plumbing?
While you don’t “need” green plumbing, it allows you to do your part for the environment by saving valuable water. It also has other benefits:
- You could be eligible for a government rebate which can save you money in the outset, and in the long-run,
- You can save money – according to the Australian Government, a family of four who replaces a 15L/min showerhead with a 6L/min showerhead can save up to $315 a year,
- It’s better for your health – house filtration systems, such as those used for green plumbing, remove chemicals and contaminants from your water,
- It adds life to your water systems – using water that’s free from chemicals will prolong the lifespan of your pipes and water-based appliances,
- It adds value to your home – eco-friendly plumbing upgrades add instant value to your home, as more people than ever are looking for sustainable homes.
Is green plumbing expensive?
Although modifications to your plumbing will cost you money up-front, in the long term you’ll save money as you’ll be using less water. Low-flow showerheads and toilet systems ensure you’re using less water, and a rainwater tank will reduce natural water wastage (that would normally end up in stormwater drains) and allow you to shower, drink, or water your garden for free.
What modifications can you make?
There are a few things you can do to make your property eco-friendlier when it comes to your plumbing. Your green plumber should be able to provide you with the right advice, but the following are suggestions you might want to take into account:
- Low-flow showerheads: As mentioned earlier, by simply installing low-flow showerheads you could save up to $315 a year for a family of four. These showerheads reduce the flow of water that’s released, either through aerating the water (mixing water with air) or by restricting the flow.
- Tankless water heaters: Use less energy than regular water heaters and last up to 10 years longer. Hot water runs continuously through these tanks and they can be connected to solar as well for more energy saving.
- Dual-flush toilets: Giving the option for a half-flush for liquid or full-flush for solids, dual-flush toilets can save in excess of 50kL of water per year.
- Rainwater harvesting: If you love your garden but you’re concerned about how much water you waste; rainwater is an ideal solution. Setting up tanks in the yard and connecting these to any irrigation allows you to use free, natural water, rather than grid water.
How to find a green plumber?
To be sure the plumbing in your home is energy efficient, you want to hire a qualified green plumber. While any plumbing company can opt to install water-efficient systems, a green plumber that has been trained in sustainable practices will guarantee quality. A fully accredited green plumber will have undergone a training program that provides them with information on the latest technology, energy and cost savings, environmental impacts of plumbing, solar hot water, and much more.
Before you hire a green plumber, do your research. Ask questions and ensure they understand your requirements and can provide the technology you’re looking for. With a few adjustments to your plumbing, you can save water and reduce your impact on the environment.