There are many ways you can reduce water usage, inside and outside your home or business. Doing so not only helps protect the Earth’s most precious resource, but it also can help you save on your monthly water bill. Click through the sections to learn how.
Ways to Save Inside the Home
Know your habits
The first step in managing water use is understanding how your household is using water. Use this water usage calculator from USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) Water Science School to find out how much water your family is using each month and to learn specific ways you can save. And if you notice significant changes in your water usage, call us. Many of our customers now have radio-read meters, which store a comprehensive water usage data log. We can share this data with you to help you determine if something is amiss.
Build a Better Bathroom: Look for the WaterSense Label
Bathrooms are one of the biggest sources of water loss in a home thanks to older fixtures and commodes.
Replace Old Fixtures
WaterSense-labeled fixtures use substantially less water and energy, which can lead to savings for homeowners. In fact, in just one year, a WaterSense labeled showerhead can save the average family the amount of water it takes to wash more than 70 loads of laundry and the amount of electricity used to power its home for 13 days!
Like all WaterSense labeled products, showerhead models that earn the WaterSense label are independently certified to meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criteria for water savings and performance. Replacing a showerhead with a WaterSense labeled model can help the average family shower better by reducing its energy and water costs by more than $70 and saving 2,900 gallons of water annually. Plus, you’ll get the same level of spray force and water coverage you’ve come to expect, which means you really will shower better.
Replace the Aerator on Your Faucets
When you think about how many times a day you use the faucet in your bathroom sink – washing your hands, brushing your teeth, etc. – its a lot. Installing a WaterSense-labeled aerator can help save water every time you turn on the faucet. This video shows you how to replace an aerator.
Swap Our Your Commode
Older commodes can use up to 7 gallons of water every time you flush, while a new, water efficient commode uses less than 2 gallons per flush.
We know that may not sound like much, but if you do the math, an older commode can easily use 25 more gallons per day (that’s with just 5 flushes a day), which is 750 gallons a month. Over the course of a year, that’s roughly 9,000 gallons of water, which is more than our average household uses in a single month!
At $7.50 per thousand gallons, you’d save $67 or more the first year with your new WaterSense commode. You’d likely recover the cost of the new commode within 2 years. And every year after that, the savings just keep adding.
For more information about WaterSense labeled showerheads, visit the WaterSense website, or use this calculator to determine how much water you could save by installing WaterSense products. Click the image for 3 quick tips for a Better Bathroom.
Listen for leaks
A running commode can waste up to 200 gallons of water each day. If left unfixed, that could mean up to 6,000 gallons/month, or $44.88. The flapper is a common culprit of a leaking commode. This video shows you how to change one.
Dripping faucets and showerheads can also be costly. A drip rate of just one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year, which is a little more than $22.
Clean Up With Savings
Bathtubs typically hold 70 gallons of water, while a 5 – 10 minute shower requires just 10 to 25 gallons.
Turning off the tap while you brush your teeth can save 8 gallons of water per day, per person. For a family of four, that’s almost 1,000 gallons of water per month.
Run appliances at full capacity
Whether it’s the dishwasher or washing machine, be sure you are running your appliances with full loads, and using an energy smart brand. If you need to wash a light load of clothes or dishes, make sure you properly adjust the settings on your appliances so they do not use an unnecessary amount of water.
Use cold water to wash dark colored clothing
When washing dark clothes, opt for a cold water cycle. This will save you money on your energy bill and help preserve the color of your darker clothes.
Ways to Save Outside the Home
Just 30 minutes of watering each day (using a 4-sprinkler head system) can use up to 12,000 gallons of water each month, which equals $89.76. An 8-sprinkler head system can drive usage to 25,000 gallons per month or $187.
Whether it’s filling up a swimming pool, washing your car or letting your kids splash around on a hot summer day, garden hoses can flow up to 20 gallons of water a minute. If you use the hose once a day for 30 minutes, in just one week it could add up to 4,200 gallons of water, which is what some households use in a month. Using a WaterSense nozzle can help you manage outdoor water usage.
Explore ways to reuse
For example, try washing your pet in the grass (with environmentally friendly soap) or collecting rain water to water house plants.
Ways for Businesses to Save
Become leak detectors for your business
There are four steps business owners can take to cut down on water waste:
Track water and energy use. Compile water and energy bills for the last 12 months. Look for trends or inconsistencies.
Don’t wait for the bill to see if you have a problem. Perform routine checks of your water meter to proactively look for leaks by taking a reading in non-peak hours.
Set up alerts. Install leak detection sensors or failure abatement devices on major water-using equipment (cooling towers, boiler systems, etc.). These devices can alert staff if an issue is detected or even automatically turn off the water to prevent serious damage to your property.
Add leak detection to daily facility rounds. Listen and look for unexpected water use – inside and outside. Unexplained water or wet spots could be a sign of a problem.