First published: July 22, 2010 in Household HintsLast Updated: July 22, 2010 10:57 am Tough to read? Print this! Email This
Depending on where you live in the United States or Cananada water bills can range from $60 per month all the way up to an astounding $180 per month!
You can save quite a bit of money on your monthly water bill and put a bit more money back in your pocket through some very simple day to day actions.
For the record, we all have a responsibility to put forward our best efforts to conserve water. It’s a wonderful natural resource we need not only to survive but for our own health and the health of our kids – that should be everyone’s responsibility and focus.
- Use Your Dishwasher – Contrary to popular belief, it takes more water to hand-wash dishes than it takes to wash them in your dishwasher.
- Don’t Pre-Rinse Dishes – Scrape food from plates, and let your dishwasher do the rest.
- Only Run the Dishwasher When Full – You’ll use the same amount of water whether you run a full load or a partial load.
- Install a Faucet Aerator – It screws onto the bottom of your faucet to reduce water flow, without reducing water pressure. There are models available on the market that swivel to allow you to direct the water where you need it. Note: If you have a newer faucet, it may already have one built-in.
- Keep Drinking Water in the Fridge – Then, you won’t waste water while you wait for the tap to get cold. Another option: Fill a cup with tap water, and drop in a couple ice cubes to chill it.
- Install a Point-of-Use Hot Water Heater – If you regularly need hot water for pots, dishwashing and hot drinks, consider installing a point-of-use hot water heater (also known as an instant hot water system) under the kitchen sink. It’ll supply you with hot water as soon as you turn on the tap, and only costs a couple hundred dollars
- Don’t Use the Disposal – Compost food waste or throw it in the trash. Both are water-free options.
- Switch to a Low-Flow Shower Head – if you switch to a low-flow shower head, you will use about 2.5 gallons per minute less – and that will represent significant savings on your water bill
- Take Shorter Showers – a five minute shower should be sufficient – and that will represent a saving of 12.5 gallons of water or less, when compared to 37.5 gallons for a 15-minute shower.
- Shower Instead of Taking Baths – it takes an average of 35 gallons of water to fill a bathtub. If you switch to a five minute shower with a low-flow showerhead, you will be saving 22.5 gallons of water each time you wash
- Repair Faucet Leaks – Leaky faucets can be a real money waster – one leaky faucet can waste 1000 – 2000 gallons of water a year.
- Install a Faucet Aerator – It screws onto the bottom of your faucet to reduce water flow, without reducing water pressure. Note: If you have a newer faucet, it may already have one built-in.
- Turn the Water Off While You Brush/ Shave – Less flow time equals less water used.
- Check Toilets for Leaks – leaky toilet can waste as much as 500 gallons of water each day. Try this test to make sure your toilet tank is not leaking water. Place a dye tablet in the toilet tank, and watch to see if the dye seeps into the bowl. If it does, you have a leak that needs to be taken care of.
- Replace Your Toilet Flapper Once a Year – Toilet flappers break down quickly, and should be replaced once a year – even if they still look OK . A couple dollars spent on a replacement flapper will save you much more on your water bill.
- Install an Adjustable Flapper – Some manufacturers offer flappers that you can adjust to desired flush volume. That kind of an adjustment can save several gallon of water per flush.
- Place a Bottle in the Toilet Tank – You can save quite a bit of water by placing bottle filled with water into your tank. The amount of water you will save will be equal to the size of the bottle – so 20 oz. bottle will save you 20 oz. of water for each flush.
- Switch to a Low-Flow Toilet – When you decide that it is time to replace your toilet, replace it with a low-flow model that uses 1.6 gallons per flush, compared to a traditional toilet, which use 3.6 gallons.
- Only Wash Full Loads – You’ll not only save water, you will also save wear and tear on your machine.
- Wear Clothes More than Once – Don’t put every piece of clothing into your hamper just because you wore it once – pants and outwear usually don’t get very dirty. Wear them twice before washing, and you’ll cut down on your water use and your housework.
- Upgrade to a High-Efficiency Washer – When it is time to replace your washer, look for a high-efficiency appliance. It can be as much as three times as efficient as a regular washer. Upgrade dies and enjoy the savings.
Around Your House
- Utilize Greywater – that means unused drinking water, catching water while you’re waiting for your shower water to heat up or saving cooking water – you can use it all to do things like water your plants.
- Insulate Pipes – covering your hot water pipes will prevent heat loss. Your water will heat up faster and you will have less water waste.
- Place Your Hot Water Heater Close to Where You Use It – The shorter the distance the water has to travel, the faster you’ll have hot water.
- Collect Rain Water for Plants – Rain barrels are a great idea! Attach one to the end of your gutter spout and then use the water to water your garden.
- When you are choosing your rain barrel, think about how much water you hope or expect to capture. Most rain barrels are 60 gallons but if you think you will get more, look for one with a larger capacity.
- Regardless of the size you choose, make sure to get one with mesh screen at the top – that will help filter out debris and prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your rain water.
- Look for a built in spigot on the site, so that you can attach a hose or fill up watering cans and buckets.
- You can use rainwater to water your garden, indoor and outdoor plants or even to wash your car. If you are not sure whether or not you should go for a rain barrel, consider these facts:
- One inch of rainfall on a 1000 square foot roof generates 623 gallons of runoff water
- In the summer months, 40% of typical household water goes to watering gardens and lawns
- Water with Soaker Hose – The advantage of watering with a soaker hose is that it will give you precise control of where the water goes and where it doesn’t. And that will translate to avoiding wasted water and saving money.
- Look for an old garden hose that you are no longer using – it could be the leaky one that you have never got around to fix
- Drill holes along the length of the hose
- Screw hose cap onto one end of the hose
- Place the hose in the area that you want to water
- Attach the open end of your new soaker hose to a garden hose, turn on the water and give your plants a good soaking.
- If you bury your soaker hose under a few inches of mulch to prevent evaporation
- Turn the water on just enough so that the water seeps from the holes
- Remove the end cap once in a while and flush the hose to remove any debris and clogs.
- To get the most effectiveness from your soaker hose, turn the water on for 30 minutes twice a week – adjust depending on weather conditions
More Garden Water Saving Tips
- Use a Wading Pool Instead of a Sprinkler – Kids love to run through the sprinkler on a hot summer day – but having sprinkler run for a long periods of time will take a lot of water and be quite expensive. Fill a wading pool for the kids instead – they can splash for hours without having continuous flow of water.
- Choose Drought-Resistant Plants – check before you purchase plants – it is easy to avoid those that need constant watering.
- Mulch Your Garden – adding mulch to your garden will reduce evaporation, ensuring that your plants get the full benefit of rain and your watering efforts.
- Sweep Sidewalks and Driveways off Instead of Spraying – you see that often enough – people washing off their sidewalks and driveways, using large amounts of water. If it is really dry and dusty outside, mist the area you need to sweep lightly – one part at a time – and sweep slowly.
- Wash Your Car Less Often – it takes up to 100 gallons of water to wash a car. And it can take more for trucks and SUV’s. That is a lot of water and an expensive way to get your car clean. Take your car to a car wash – you will eliminate 100 gallons of your own water each time you do it. Majority of car washes also recycle water, so you will really be helping the environment as well.