Conservation

Published on October 4th, 2013 | by Scott Cooney

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Green Product Review: 1.0 gallon per minute faucet aerator from Niagara Conservation

Saving water makes financial sense and obviously helps the environment. Did you know that most people pay for their water twice? First, when it comes in through their pipes, and then second, when it leaves through their drain. Wasting water may seem less toxic than wasting energy, since energy mostly comes from coal– coal has a plethora of environmental and health catastrophes– but wasting water has pretty big consequences, too. For example, about five percent of Hawaii’s total energy is burned just moving water around. First it has to be moved from streams to treatment facilities, then it has a bunch of chemicals added to it; next it’s moved to a retention device, like a water tower. And then, it’s moved to your house into your sink, where it briefly touches your hands or toothbrush (or nothing, if you’re not great about conservation habits), eventually moving down the drain. Next it’s moved to a wastewater treatment facility, where more fresh water is used to dilute the pollutants, and finally, it’s moved back into a stream (if possible).

Clearly, water conservation is important for a lot of reasons!

Niagara Conservation has been doing water and energy efficiency since before it was cool, and recently I tested out their 0.5 gallon per minute and 1.0 gallon per minute faucet aerators. (They also have a whole home water conservation kit, which I also recently wrote about).

Faucet aerators add air to the water coming through the pipe–they’re not all good for conservation. Look for aerators of 1.0 or 0.5 gallon per minute.

I first tried the 0.5 gallon per minute aerator, and I really liked it. Washing dishes and washing hands, it almost felt like it was like the faucet was “showering” my hands, since the aerator makes the single stream of water turn into many individual, highly pressurized streams. It almost has a spa-like quality to it, gentle yet massaging. Hard to describe, but suffice to say, I liked it.

I didn’t even notice that I was using 1.7 gallons less per minute than the previous 2.2 gallon per minute aerator until I tried to fill up the jar I use to water my plants. It was only then that I realized it was taking a looong time to fill!

I then switched out the aerator to the 1.0 gallon per minute, and I have to say, I liked the 0.5 GPM much better for my purposes. The way the water spray is so pressurized, there’s actually a little splash that happens when you’re washing dishes, making it a little messier around the sink area. My girlfriend and I agreed that a 0.75 GPM would be best for our house, so for now, we’re sticking to the 1.0 GPM, and just not turning it on full blast while washing dishes.

Have you tried out other water conservation devices? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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About the Author

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on



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