The cost of water in Southern California never seems to stop going up and if you are like most families, you are probably looking for as many ways as possible to keep your water bill under control. If you aren’t already taking every possible step to reduce the amount of water your family uses, you should be. Not only will this help to keep your bill at a more manageable level, you will be doing your part to help the environment. Here are a few quick and easy tips you can use to help reduce your family’s water consumption.
Okay so most of us don’t pay much attention to how much water the toilet uses when we flush it, but the average older toilet (one installed before 1992) uses a full 3.5 to seven gallons per flush. By replacing your old toilet with an HET (high-efficiency toilet) you can cut this down to 1.28 gallons per flush. If you flush your toilet ten times daily, you would cut your water usage from 35 gallons per day to only 12.8 gallons.
Do you run small loads or is your washing machine full each time you use it? Many of us have gotten into the habit of running smaller loads as they are more convenient. Washing machines manufactured prior to 2011 use approximately 40 gallons of water per load, today’s high-efficiency models may only use 15 gallons per load. Be sure to adjust the water level to meet the size of your load and try to wash full loads as often as possible. If you have an older top loading machine, consider replacing it with a newer high-efficiency model.
There are a couple of ways to cut down on water usage when doing the dishes. First, if you still wash by hand, use a sink of rinse water and change it out as needed rather than leaving the water running. Second, if you are using a dishwasher, run full loads only. Modern dishwashers are designed to operate on less water if yours is an older model you should consider replacing it.
We all know you can reduce the amount of water you use in the shower by simply spending less time standing under the hot water. But, at the same time, you can still enjoy a nice long shower by simply getting rid of that old showerhead. Older showerheads can use more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Today’s high pressure/low flow showerheads give you a much better shower and use 2.0 gallons or less per minute, saving you a bundle every time someone in your house takes shower.
There are many other ways to cut back on your water consumption, including composting vegetable and fruit waste instead of using the garbage disposal, using a cover on your pool to keep water evaporation to a minimum, and keeping a close eye on your water bill for any signs of sudden spikes that might indicate a water leak.