Land of 10,000 Lakes

     As a lifetime resident of Minnesota water shortages aren’t something I have ever really dealt with.  There is plenty of fresh water in our lakes and rivers and digging a well with a good water source isn’t usually too difficult.  We get our water for Voyageur right from the Seagull River and then it is treated with a high tech filtration and chlorination system.  Saving water has never been in the forefront of my mind but I know it is an issue for some people.  The reason I am concerned with how much water I use is because of my septic system.  The more water dumped into the system, the harder the system has to work, and if it has to work too hard, it just might quit.  So, I have attempted to limit the amount of water that makes it’s way into our septic system.

     There are a few water saving ideas I will try and then there are a few I refuse to do in spite of the impact it may have on my mound septic system.   One adjustment that was easy for me but hard on my checkbook was purchasing two new washing machines this year.  They are the "high tech" kind that only use as much water as is needed for the amount of clothing or articles in the load.  These machines supposedly use way less water than a standard machine that may use up to 60 gallons during one wash.  I wasn’t brought up using a dishwasher that can use up to 15 gallons of water, but I do have one now.  The good thing about my dishwasher is that half of the water of any load is dumped out onto my kitchen floor, sparing my septic system.(Needless to say, it is somewhat broken).   My kids are great about not running the water while they are brushing their teeth(2 gallons), but I do insist they keep it running for the entire ABC Song or 26 seconds while washing their hands(2 gallons).  

     Our biggest water consumption comes from our bathroom habits.  We’re guilty of taking baths in a big tub, but usually both kids and the dog get thrown in at the same time, so I figure we’re saving on some water there.  I also like to have clean water in the toilet bowl, so if someone uses it, we flush it, and if it’s brown it better be down!  When we shower, we leave the water running the entire time.  A good way to save water is to get wet, lather up, then turn on the water to rinse.  I know Mike fills the sink with water when he is going to shave, because there are little hairs all over the sink when he is done.  I guess if he left the water running while shaving then those hairs would go down the drain.  So, instead of being angry at him for making a mess, I should be thankful he is saving water and our septic system. 


     There are many ways to save water in the average household and it doesn’t hurt to try a few.  I do want to let my sister know that it is ok to use as much water as is needed today to put the candles on her birthday cake out.  I wouldn’t want her to be responsible for starting a forest fire, they are way too expensive to fight!  Have a great birthday Angela, I love you!