Are you surprised by how much your water bill costs each month? Do you feel like you might be wasting water or using too much? We hear your SOS.
You might be surprised to see how much water the average person uses at home per day. The United States Geological Survey set its daily estimate at 80-100 gallons1 but these numbers will clearly vary by person. No matter what kind of lifestyle you lead, you can probably make upgrades to your fixtures and personal habits to cut down on water usage.
Here are a few ways you can reduce your water footprint and save some money on your water bill:
Inspect and upgrade your fixtures
Over time, the smallest drip from a leaking pipe can waste significant amounts of water and money. Old showerheads and faucets can also use more water than you require resulting in waste you never intended on causing. Here are some tips to help avoid over using and over spending on water:
Check for drips, leaks and cracks - The easiest fixtures to check for issues are faucets and toilets. Start by turning all of your faucets on and off to check for drips. If a faucet drips water with the handle firmly in the “off” position, you may need to replace your faucet hardware. Next, inspect the tank and bowl of all your toilets for cracks and leaks. Flush each toilet a few times and wait to see if water appears anywhere outside of the bowl. If you spot water on the toilet base or on the floor, you might need to replace the gasket, seal or the entire toilet itself. It is also possible to have leaking pipes in your walls. If you feel like your water bill is too high based on your usage and you have no leaking hardware, it could be worthwhile to consult a professional plumber. The cost of a site examination can be a lot less than the potential damage caused by a hidden leak.
Go low-flow - Low-flow water fixtures, such as showerheads, faucets and toilets, have become a simple way for people to lower their water usage with little effort. As the name suggests, low-flow fixtures slow down the water flow to disperse water at a lower rate, but no need to panic. Most low-flow devices deliver high water pressure and some even allow you to choose the intensity2. Another way to go low-flow is to add aerators to your faucets. A simple metal tip that screws onto a faucet head, aerators are designed to separate one single flow of water into many tiny streams using small filters or metal screens. This process introduces air into the water and the decreased space for the water to flow makes the flow more forceful and direct to reduce splashing. In the end you could be gaining performance and saving money.
Improve personal habits
Repairing old fixtures or buying low-flow hardware is only half the equation - the rest lies upon you. Try adding some of the following water-saving suggestions to your way of life:
- Take shorter showers - In addition to timing yourself or making a point to take faster showers, you could take it one step further. The “Navy shower” or “combat shower” consists of turning off the water while you lather up. By doing so, you could effectively save ⅓ of the water you would otherwise use while lathering during a typical shower.
- Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth or shave - When brushing your teeth, only run the faucet when you need to wet your brush and rinse your mouth (similar to a Navy shower). When shaving, fill a reusable cup with hot water to rinse your razor between swipes if you can’t pool water in your sink.
- Make your toilet flush less water - A toilet tank only fills to a certain point after every flush. If you place a solid object inside the tank, such as a brick, the tank will require less water to fill. If you choose to use this technique, be sure to put the object inside a plastic bag.
- Only wash full loads of laundry and dishes - Most clothes washers and dishwashers use the same amount of water for every load, big or small. Try your best to make sure each load you start is full to capacity.
- Don't let the hose run - When managing your lawn or garden, or washing your car at home, hose nozzles are a simple way to save water. Nozzles don’t only stop the flow when you don’t need water. Some models also offer a variety of spray patterns and pressure.
- Collect rainwater for plants - Rain barrels are a popular way to lower water usage and give your plants clean, fresh rainwater. Look for one at your local home improvement store or use this link to make your own rain barrel.
Save on your bottom line
Saving money on your water bill is simple - the less you use, the less you pay. Even if you only implement one of these suggestions, you will be using less water than you did before. Quench your thirst for saving money by cutting down on your water usage today!