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How to Save Money on Water and Sewer Bill
Okay we’ll admit it, waking up thinking about how to save money on water and sewer bill is probably not at the top of your list of priorities if it made the list at all. However, for the those of you who would rather spend your hard earned money on kids or go shopping these tips are for you.
Even if you don’t put all these tips into practice just doing a few of them will help you save money on your water bill. Not only that but you can also so help preserve our water’s resources as well as make your house more eco-friendly in the process.
Install low flow faucet aerators and shower heads. For the shower heads we like the Water Sense brand because they put out 1.5 to 1.8 gallons per minute. These are bit more expensive than other low flow shower heads upfront but when you think about the savings on a yearly basis they end up being cheaper.
By using less water to take a shower you can expect to enjoy a savings up to several hundred dollars per year with a water saving shower head.
A faucet aerator is found at the end of your faucet. Check your faucet to see if you already have an aerator installed. If you do, take a look at the aerator to see what the rated flow of gallons per minute is (gpm). Standard is 2.75 gpm or higher. If the gpm listed exceeds 2.75 replace with a low flow water saving aerator. Look for one that with a rated flow of 1.0 gpm.
Only run your dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
A typical washing machine cycle, depending on the machine, can use up to 40 gallons of water per cycle. Many of the new models use 27 gallons and low-flow energy efficient use about 14 gallons per cycle. When you run your washing machine or dishwasher with a half load of clothes or dishes you lose out because the units are operating with less efficiency.
Although washing machines today have the option for small load setting the machine is still not using the water most efficiently. If you have it within your budget you may consider investing in both a low-flow dishwasher and washing machine. Sure they cost more upfront but they quickly pay for themselves with the water savings that you’ll enjoy overtime.
Don’t run the water when you’re brushing your teeth or shaving. Running water while brushing and shaving is a bad habit for most of us and will be a little bit hard to break, at least in the beginning. Not only do adults do this but kids do as well so this will be new training for the entire household.
If you’re able to master turning off the water during these activities you can save 3-5 gallons of water or more every time. One of easiest ways to break this habit is just to be mindful that the water is continuously running and when you notice turn it off. Be gentle with yourself if you’re not able to quit cold turkey because we all struggle with this one.
Check for leaks and dripping faucets. How much water does a leaking faucet waste? This number may surprise you. According to United States Department Geological (USDG) Survey’s drip calculator if you have one faucet that drips 10 times per minute this is what it equals:
- 14,400 drips per day
- 1 gallon of water per day/ 462 gallons per year
- 9 baths per year
I don’t know about you but that’s a lot of wasted water per year. USDG also estimates that there are more than 1 million homes with leaky faucets. Also, inspect your shower heads and toilets to make sure they are not leaking or running.
Some toilets have what is known as a “phantom flush” which is where your toilet seems to have a mind of its own and it flushes all by itself. Not only is this and easy fix, usually just replacing the flapper, but it also will save you from wasting water.
Conserve water when doing dishes by hand. A lot of people think the need more water when they’re washing dishes by hand. One of the biggest mistakes that people make, we’ve been guilty of this as well, is keeping the water running the entire time. It would probably shock you to see how much water you really use when you keep the water running continuously while doing the dishes.
If you have just a small pile of dishes you should wash all the dishes first and then wait to rinse them all at the same time. Another thing you can do is give your dishes a bubble bath. Fill up your sink with warm soapy water and allow them to soak for awhile before washing.
Next, wash all the dishes at once and then turn on the water to rinse them in a contained fashion. If you are fortunate to have a double sink then you can fill one side up with soapy water and the other with clean rinse water. Wash in the one sink and rinse in the other and this way you use almost no water because you don’t have to even turn the water on while rinsing.
Use your dishwasher less. A normal dishwasher will use around 6 gallons of water per cycle, energy efficient models a few gallons less. Either way you should only run your dishwasher when you have a full load not just a few dishes. You’ll use the same amount of water and energy whether you’re washing just a few utensils and random plate as you would if it were fully loaded.
If you rinse them off well before placing them in the dishwasher they will be just fine until you’ve got a full load. Depending on the size of your household you may be able to get by running your dishwasher 3 or 4 times per week which translates into a ton of water saving.
Install a HC660 HydroClean Water-Saving Toilet Fill Valve with Cleaning Tube. Right now as it stands your toilet is probably using too much water when flushing.So this just may be the best $10 you will spend. Not only is it easy to install, cleans your tank but it also calibrates to adjust how much water your toilet needs to refill the tank which drastically cuts down on your water usage.
Convert your existing toilet into a dual flush toilet. A dual flush buttons has two buttons on top that gives you the option of a half or full flush. A full flush is 1.6 gallons per flush while a half flush only uses .8 gallons of water per flush.
You can keep your existing toilet but convert the inside of the tank to a modern dual flush by installing a dual-flush valve for converting a toilet to a dual flush. Installing this device is a lot cheaper than buying an entirely new dual flush toilet. You will also need to change out the fill valve as well like we discussed in tip #7.
With these 8 tips, if you put them into practice, I promise you definitely save money on water and sewer bill every single month. Not only that but you can help make for a better environment in the process.
Technology is continuing to improve making even better energy efficient shower heads and toilets so we’ll try to keep you up to date on the latest. Be sure to let us know some of your favorite water saving tips in the comment section below.