Sunday, May 20, 2012

How to save on your water bill

When we first moved in, our bill was the minimum, which is $17/month as long as we used less than 1000 gallons of water. Lately, though the Bushman's water bill has been on the rise. I've taken several steps to reduce our bill and I'd thought I'd share some of them with you! Here are some money saving ideas you can apply to your own household water usage.

  • Fix any leaks. We have a leak in the bathtub that we weren't aware of until recently. We're in the process of fixing it. No doubt this will lower our water bill. During the time we had the leak, we were catching it in a bucket and using it to water the garden and do laundry.
Our current leak which is costing us big time!
  •  Use less water in the toilet. To do this put a brick, bottle, or something heavy in the toilet tank. (If you use a bottle, you must fill it with water or rocks.)

  •  Consider replacing your toilet. In our old house we bought a dual flush toilet when our toilet broke. The local utility company gave us a 50% rebate on its cost! In this house, we wanted to take water saving to the next level so we recently bought this waterless toilet. We got ours used for $300. It needs some work as it was sitting outside for a while. 
Our rough-looking used waterless toilet

  • Use less water for bathing. My grandmother drew a line in her bathtub with a magic marker and we grandkids were not allowed to fill the bath any fuller than that line.
  • Time yourself in the shower, purchase a low flow shower head, or both.
  • Use less water for washing dishes. Fill one side of your sink for washing and one for rinsing. Basically, don't let the water run down the drain without something there to catch it!
  • Put a bucket under your shower or reuse bath water for laundry, mopping, or watering plants. To reuse water for your laundry you simply set your washer dial to the point where it would be AFTER it filled up with its own water. You might even want to make a special mark on your washer so you know where this notch is. Warning: it is hard work to carry bucketfuls of water to the washer. However, it will give you a good appreciation for how much water goes into one load of laundry.
  • Bathe less often. Daily bathing is the habit of most Americans. Usually, though it isn't necessary to bathe daily. Spot cleaning/sponge bathing with a wash cloth will often do just as good a job.
  •  Install rain barrels. Why let all that free water run off your roof without catching it? Use rain water to water your plants. They will thrive on it!
  • Don't wash clothes unless they are really dirty. Many people wash clothes out of habit. They take them off, and throw them in the hamper or washer without thinking. If something is still clean, hang it back up! Don't wash already clean clothes.
How is your water bill? Have you tried any of these water and money saving tactics? Do you have any water conversation techniques of your own?

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