As temperatures drop below freezing, many people are dripping their faucets.
If you’re not familiar with that process, it’s where you leave one faucet running slightly in order to relieve the pressure that builds up in the pipes during frigid weather, preventing them from bursting when the ice begins to thaw.
Obviously, wasting water isn’t something anyone wants to do. But the water isn’t wasted if it prevents your pipes from exploding.
Still, that doesn’t mean the water that comes out of the dripping faucets has to just go down the drain, as one recent Reddit thread shows us.
Posting to the r/Frugal subreddit, the original poster asks a simple question: What is everyone doing with the water from their dripping faucets?
“Water is stupid expensive here, but also very clean and drinkable from the tap,” they wrote. “I’ve been catching it in empty 2-liters, but I’m running out and can’t drink it fast enough.”
Other Redditors were quick to chime in with their tips and tricks.
“I have a five-gallon bucket in the tub to catch the dripping water to keep the pipes from freezing,” writes one commenter. “I use the water to flush the toilet.”
“When I had a dripping sink I used the excess to water my plants,” writes another.
The practice of intentionally dripping faucets is most common in the Southern United States, where homes, and the accompanying plumbing, were not originally built with frigid temperatures in mind. However, as extreme weather conditions become more prevalent due to dirty energy sources and planet-warming gases released by food waste, cold snaps throughout the South are, unfortunately, becoming the norm.
Luckily, the posters on r/Frugal have plenty of ideas for what to do with that water. One of them lays out a comprehensive list, writing:
“Get a 5 gal bucket, fill it up, and use it when you flush your toilet.”
“Fill up all your pots and pans and use them for cooking later.”
“Heat it up to take a sponge bath with [it].”
“Heat it up to put moisture in the air to warm up your house.”
“Use it to mop your floors.”
“Water your plants.”
“Water your pets.”
“If you have enough 5 gal buckets use them to fill up your [washing machine].”
“If you need more, ask me,” they conclude. “My wife is as frugal as it gets.”