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Economizing Water

Posted March. 26, 2008 03:03,   


When Shin Eung-bae, a former graduate school dean at Hanyang University, takes a shower, he adjusts the pressure and temperature of water according to the weather.

He thinks it’s a waste of money if the water pressure is too high.

Since 1982, he and his family have kept a written account of the water used. He checks how much water he uses in a day. If the amount is more than usual, he tries to find out where the water is leaking.

Thanks to these efforts, his family consumes 30 percent less water than other households. He said, “Once you get used to saving water, it’s not difficult. Saving it lies with your habit.”

On Mar. 25, there are 10 people shaving or brushing their teeth, with the tap turned on in a public bath located in downtown Seoul.

An employee of the spa said, “Although we installed a water tap which turns the water off automatically every 30 seconds, many still keep pushing the button while brushing their teeth.

Whether it`s a house or a spa, at least six to eight liters of water is used in 30 seconds; however, if people used a cup to rinse, one liter would be enough.

People washing dishes with the tap turned on need at least 110 liters of water. However, if water is placed in a bucket in advance, 36 liters is enough. If all Korean households do this, more than 40 billion won could be saved annually.

The place where water is most consumed is in the bathroom. When we flush, 15 liters is consumed on average. Average water consumption for a four-member household is 300 liters a day. If a brick or bottled water is put inside the toilet tank, around 35 liters would be saved a day.

There is an easy way to find a water leak.

Kim In-ju, a 40-year-old female teacher, used more than double the amount of water due to a leakage in the toilet tank.

“If you drop a few drops of dye, you can easily find out where it leaks. If the color of water in your toilet tank changes in 15 minutes, the water is definitely leaking,” said a seller of toilets.

If all households saved tap water by 10 percent a day, more than 1.56 million tons of water could be saved. Considering production cost (704 won per ton) reaches 1.1 billion won a day, 402.4 billion won can be saved annually.

Kim Du-hwan, head of the Environment Ministry`s Water Supply and Sewerage Policy Division, said, “Reducing tap water usage by 10 percent nationwide would secure enough water to supply Busan and Gwangju at the same time.”