How to Reduce Your Water Bill
Photo: © gemenacom - iStockphoto
Water streams from our faucets so easily that we forget it's not free. Despite the fact that three-quarters of the Earth is covered in water, there's not an unlimited supply. Nor is there an endless supply of money in your bank account. So conserving water not only helps the planet but also helps you conserve another valuable resource—cash.
It's shocking to learn how much water we use for the most basic tasks. The average person uses 80-100 gallons of water per day. This number could be cut drastically with some minor behavioral changes and a few home improvements.
Toilet - The biggest water guzzler in the house is the toilet, so if installing low-flush models is an option, great! You'll go from using five to seven gallons to just one or two per flush. If new toilets aren't in your budget, you can fake it by filling a plastic water jug and placing it inside the tank. The jug takes up space, reducing the amount of water needed to refill it.
Showerhead - Consider replacing your showerheads with low-flow versions. They use about half the water, with no reduction in water pressure. Some even have switches to stop the water flow while shampooing your hair. Also, get in the habit of turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving; this alone saves gallons each day.
Faucet - It may surprise you to know that leaky faucets can account for almost 14 percent of indoor water use. If yours has even a slow drip, replace the washer and save thousands of gallons a year. Up the savings by installing aerators in your faucets; they're inexpensive and can cut the water use by 50 percent.
Appliances - Your big appliances, like washers and dishwashers, use a lot of water. Only run full loads of laundry if you can, but if you must do a small load, remember to adjust the load-size setting. Likewise, choose a quick-wash setting on the dishwasher for basic jobs.
Watering - Water conservation extends outdoors as well. If you don't already do so, avoid watering your lawn in the afternoon hours when evaporation is accelerated. Use a sprayer nozzle on your hose when watering plants or washing the car so you can easily stop the flow between tasks.
Rebates - Some utility companies offer a rebate or a coupon toward the purchase of energy- and water-saving appliances and products. Just ask!
There are all sorts of ways to reduce your water consumption and save money in the process. Keep track of the savings and do something fun with all that extra cash.