As summer continues, the continued heat means you’re bathing more, watering plants, watering the grass, washing your cars and making gallons of iced beverages. The purpose of this article is to provide some easy ideas to help you reduce your water bill by following these simple tips.
Tips to Reduce Your Water Bill
Check all your faucets for leaks. A month of drips can add up to anywhere from 200-250 gallons of waste water. Also, be sure to check your toilet. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank and waiting 15 minutes before flushing. If any food coloring appears in the bowl before flushing, you have a leak. Check your toilets as well! Look in the bowl after you flush. Make sure the water in the bowl is not moving. If it’s moving, the water is draining and you’re losing water! This is a relatively easy job for you to fix. Just make sure you fix it. This will help you reduce your water bill! If you need help, we’re here… just give us a call.
Tip: If you decide to invest in a new toilet, look for one with the EPA WaterSense label. They use at least 20% less water than a standard toilet. This will save a family of four $90/yr in reduced water utility bills.
Learn more about WaterSense HETs.
The EPA reports showering saves significant amounts of water. A bath tub can use 30 gallons or more, depending on the water depth. If you DO soak in the tub, use the bath water on your plants. Try to limit your showers to 5 minutes or less. Also, think about getting a water-efficient showerhead to save even more. And, look for those leaking shower heads!
Go Easy on the Dishwasher
Run the dishwasher only when it’s fully loaded and use the economy setting. Newer models run on different cycles, so check your manufacturer’s recommendations for the most efficient setting. Also, scrape dishes rather than rinsing them before placing them in the dishwasher.
Garbage Disposals: Cash Down the Drain
They can use as much as 4 gallons of water per minute! Consider disposing of food waste by composting or by wrapping it and placing it in the trash. Here’s some great tips that can help you keep your garbage disposal operating at peak proficiency. Do you peel potatoes? One of our customers has been peeling potatoes all summer and his drains kept clogging. Do not put the peels in your garbage disposal? And, never put coffee grinds or egg shells in your disposal!
Outdoor Water Use
It’s okay to let the soil dry out between watering your lawn. Water your vegetables and annuals as soon as they start to wilt. Perennials are tougher and only need water when they get droopy. Water during the cooler parts of the day to reduce evaporation. The EPA estimates that more than 50 percent of landscape water is lost due to evaporation, wind, or overwatering. If you water during the hot and humid part of day, as much as 30 percent of the water will be lost to evaporation alone.
Make sure your sprinkler is only watering plants and grass, not your sidewalk. Check hoses for leaks, and collect rainwater in barrels to water plants. The EPA suggests using soaker hoses because they use less water than sprinklers.
Another great idea is to use the water you might have sitting in the kids’ swimming pools. This is the water that you may have accumulated via rain, not the filtered chlorinated water associated with built in swimming pools.
In summary, using these simple tips will help you reduce your water bill. And, keep your eyes posted for other simple techniques. I saw a commercial on television that was both funny and informative. During a nice rainfall, a very intuitive family was using this as an opportunity to wash their cars. So, keep your eyes peeled for other ways to use free rain water to help you save on your water bills. As always, give us a call if you need help with any leaks you might have around your house or if you need any toilets replaced. We always recommend that you prepare a checklist of those little problems, like leaky faucets and toilets, and have our technician fix these problems on one service call. This will also save you money!
For more great tips on water usage and conservation, here’s a great article: Water Watch. Be sure to scroll down to the plumbing sections.