Module 4: Katie Greiner

My hometown is a small suburb outside of Philadelphia called Harleysville, PA. In my hometown, my family gets our water from the North Penn Water Authority (NPWA). The water that supplies my house comes from the Deleware River, to the North Branch Neshamity Creek, and into Lake Galena. The water is then taken from Lake Galena and then processed in the Forest Park Water Treatment Plant located in Chalfont, PA. From the Forest Park Water Treatment Plant, the processed water moves into large distribution mains. The water is stored inside of the mains in order to help make sure that there is a constant water supply. From these distribution mains, the water then flows through miles of NPWA water main till it reaches a curb stop. After the curb stop, the water is then transported to a basement cutaway where the water is stored as needed. At the water service connection is where the water gets to my tap at home.

Water Consumption Tracker

  • Teeth Brushing = 3
  • Hand/Face Washing = 2
  • Leg shaving = 1
  • Shower = 1
    • Length = 20 minutes
  • Toilet flushes = 7
  • Water drank (8 oz) = 6 glasses
  • Dishwasher loads = 1
  • Dishwashing by hand = 2
  • Clothes washing = 1

ESTIMATED AMOUNT = 207.36 gallons per day

For the experiment, I wanted to prioritize my use of water for cooking, drinking, and hygiene. I also knew that I would have to use water for toileting and washing dishes, but I tried my best to conserve as much as I could. I used a few strategies to cut down on my water usage, but the first one I started with was toileting. I decided that for the purpose of this experiment, that “if it’s yellow, it’s mellow” would have to be my policy for the day. My roommate was not particularly happy about that, but I knew toileting was one of my biggest wastes of water throughout the day. Another strategy that I used to cut back on water was that I used a drain stopper while I was hand washing dishes. This definitely cut back on my water usage since I usually just let the water run when I’m only cleaning a few dishes. The strategy that I used for showering was that I wanted to cut my showering time at least in half, if not more. The final strategy that I used was using face wipes instead of running water for washing my face in the morning. While showering, I decided not to wash my hair in order to conserve water. I failed miserably at only using 2 gallons of water in one day. I by far used way more than two gallons, but I went from using over 200 gallons to about 50.36 gallons of water in one day. I personally feel that by cutting my water usage by nearly 150 gallons is still something to be proud of, even though it was much higher than 2 gallons. Growing up in America for my entire life I can definitely say that I am spoiled with the amount of water I consume daily. When I went abroad to China for a few weeks, I was able to truly appreciate the water that we have in the United States. It was a huge adjustment to using a toilet that was pretty much a hole in the ground and having to boil my drinking water. This experiment, plus my experiences overseas has really helped me to appreciate where I grew up and how truly blessed I am.

3 thoughts on “Module 4: Katie Greiner

  1. Hey Katie! Im Kaitlyn!

    While both of us failed at using only 2 gallons of water, I thought that you came up with a lot of smart strategies for cutting back. While I tried to limit myself to only 3 water using activities, you were able to go about your day fairly normally while only making small changes that made a big difference. Great job!

    Here is a link to my blog if you want to check it out!

  2. Hi Katie, here is a link to my blog post:

    The drain stopper was a great idea for saving water when washing dishes. At home my family doesn’t have one (that I’m aware of) so it was never something I thought about. We definitely have a big difference in overall water use since I didn’t have to do dishes or laundry the day I did my initial “study.” It is definitely hard to cut water use when it’s something we are so used to.

  3. Hey Katie! My name is Shanda. Here’s a link to my blog!

    I ran into the same problem that you did. I failed miserably at 2 gallons a day. I didn’t wash my hair either the day that I tried to cut down on water usage. Instead, I used dry shampoo. I really think it’s unbelievable that you were able to cut down on over 150 gallons of water in a day. I only was able to cut roughly 100 gallons and I don’t know where I could have conserved more. I’ve never been to China, but when I was in Spain, I saw a decrease in water usage when you were in places that were outside of the city. It seemed like the water usage would get lesser and lesser as you moved away from the attraction. I wonder if it is like that in the USA.!!!

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