Great Savings Tip #95 – Cut Your Water Bill

 

Water is a precious resource.
 

Clean, drinkable water is a precious resource.  In the U.S. where most of us can safely drink the water from the tap, we often forget that water is still carried by hand from a well or other water source in some developing nations.  Yet, even in the U.S., occasional flooding or the chemical runoff from industry and farming sometimes threaten our supply of drinkable water.  Cutting down on the use of water is therefore important not just from the obvious cost savings on our monthly water bills, but in protecting our fresh water resources.

 

How can you help cut back on the use of fresh water?  Here are 6 tips:

 

It may be worth changing out old toilets.

Do you have an older toilet? The new ones use much less water.

(1) Cut down on the length or number of showers. Depending on the flow through your shower head, you can figure on using 2 gallons of water every minute you’re in the shower. If you’re average shower runs 5 minutes and you cut just 1 minute off it a day, you could save 730 gallons of water a year.  One easy way to cut water consumption in the shower is by installing an instant shut off valve to the shower head. You can find on in the plumbing department of your local hardware store and they are a snap to install. Ask the sales associate for assistance.

 

(2) Install low flow toilets, faucet aerators and shower heads. If you are living in a home built prior to 1995 the chances are pretty good your toilet uses more water than it should.  According to National Environmental Services Center, “In 1995, the National Energy Policy Act mandated the use of toilets that use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.”  Prior to 1995, standard toilets typically consumed about 3.5 gallons per flush or just over twice the current guideline.  The same applies to faucets.  New “aerators” use about 2 and ½ gallons per minute compared to older models that use 4 to 5 gallons.   As an example of the savings in water consumption: If you flushed the toilet just 3 times a day a newer toilet would save about 2080 gallons of water a year over an older model.

 

Faucet washers are easy to change out.

A small drip can waste 20 gallons a day.

(3) Check for drips or leaks. Even a small drip can end up wasting 20 gallons of water every day.  This makes it important to check all your faucets for worn washers which are easily replaced.  See your handy hardware man if you need help figuring it how to do it yourself.  If you want to be sure your water system isn’t leaking, first turn off all water and then check your water meter.  Now, wait about 2 hours and check it again.  If there is no change in the meter you should be okay.

 

(4) Fill a large bowl or pot to rinse dishes. These days most new dishwashers require little, if any, pre-rinsing.  You can therefore save a lot of water by putting the dishes directly into the washer.  The washers now come with built-in disposers to break up larger food particles.  If you have an older model, you don’t do a lot of dishes, or you let dishes set in the washer or sink for longer periods, then fill up a large bowl or pot with water for pre-rinsing instead of letting the water flow freely down the drain.  You can end up saving gallons of water every time you do dishes this way, which adds up to hundreds or even thousands of gallons per year.

 

You can save water with the flip of a switch.

Adjust for the size of your laundry load. You can literally save gallons every wash.

(5) Run bigger loads. Whether it’s dishes or laundry, the bigger the load the more efficient the use of water.  If you do want to run a smaller laundry load, be sure to change the level of water in your machine.  For other great laundry tips see our Great Savings Tip #44 Use Less Laundry Detergent.  Finally, if you have an older washer consider upgrading.  An energy star rated washer uses up to 37% less energy and 50% less water.

 

(6) Save water outdoors. There are many ways to save water outdoors.  Consider these tips.

 

a) Use drought resistant plants. Lawns, plants and shrubs all require various amounts of water, but the plants natural to your area will typically fair better than those that are imported.  Find out which plants are natural to your area.  Then consider adding more drought resistant plants as you go.  For example, you can over-seed lawns with more drought resistant varieties.  See you local nursery for more ideas.

 

b) Water from a can. A hose dumps water on your plants indiscriminately.  Not all of them require it.  When you can, water by hand with a can or use a “soaker” hose.  Also, if sprinkling do it in the early morning hours.  This helps prevent immediate evaporation and is considered better than evening watering as it prevents the growth of fungus.

 

c) Add a rain barrel collector. Live in a rainy area?  Why not add a rain barrel water retention system.  Some local water companies encourage this with various incentives or rebates.  Check to see if yours does.  For information on making your own rain barrel water collection see this short video.

 

Tips for watering the lawn.

Over-seed old lawns with new drought resistant seed.

d) Water your lawn the right way. Water at longer, more infrequent intervals instead of shorter more frequent ones.  Water long enough to soak the roots of the grass.  You can tell if your grass is ready for watering by pressing down on it.  If it springs back it doesn’t need it.  If it stays flat it does.  Also, don’t cut lawns too short.  Grass does better if it is left at a height of about 3 inches.

 

e) Mulch around trees and shrubs. The addition of a layer of mulch helps prevent evaporation, which means you can reduce the amount of watering.

 

f) Brush or blow the driveway. Don’t waste water on the driveway.  Use a broom or you air blower instead.
 

If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy reading:

Great Savings Tip #100 – Go Green

 

 

Comments are closed.

Categories

Favorite Pages

Comics-2quotes-buttonFood-Recipes-2Recipe-Index-butHome-Project-Tips-2Famous-Ducks-2Personal-Growth-2Great-Savings-Tips-2Investing-Ideas-2

Archives