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How to reduce the water bill...

Last post Thu, Mar 26 2009 11:51 AM by Deborahmichelle. 10 replies.
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  • Sat, Mar 21 2009 10:03 PM

    How to reduce the water bill...

    I am going threw a somewhat of a debate at home here is there a tip or so to reduce the water bill I thought I have having a hissy fit when I looked at the bill so is there any ideals looming around or websites to look at first before we all call the billing company to find out whats happening useally the bill is 39.00 to 45.00 now at 49.00 I fainted at the bill wow what a price jump...

    Thanks cindy O..


  • Sat, Mar 21 2009 10:33 PM In reply to

    Re: How to reduce the water bill...

    I've heard that you can discover if your toilet is leaking by putting some food coloring drops in the tank and then watching to see if it shows up in the bowl (without flushing, of course).  If the color shows in the bowl, then you have a leak. 

    You can also add a 1/2 gallon container to your toilet tank to keep it from filling up with so much water.  This means it uses less to flush, but a lot of older model toilets use a lot more water than necessary.  Newer model toilets are designed to use much less water, which means sometimes (after a thorough cost analysis) it could pay to have a new toilet put in.

    You could also try timing your showers.  First time them and see how long everyone takes.  Then try to shave a couple minutes off each person's shower.  That would be several gallons of water every day or every other day.  I've heard a rumor that teenagers take very long showers.  LOL  I don't know if you have teenagers or if they take very long showers... just something I've heard from several parents.

    If you wash dishes by hand make sure everyone who does that is washing some and then rinsing some without leaving the water running the entire time dishes are being done.  If you have a dishwasher, they often have a "water saver" cycle which washes without using as much water.

    If you water a garden, you could start saving gray water to do that -- the run off from showers and doing dishes and whatnot.  I'm not a gardener, so get the opinion of someone who does water to see how they feel about this.

    Those are all things you can do for little to no $.  One other thing -- some places will offer a free assessment (or very cheap).  That means someone from the water company would come to your house and see how you use water and give you tips on how to do things more efficiently.  They would also examine your toilet, washing machine, etc. to make sure there are no leaks causing the problem.

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in the General forum
  • Sun, Mar 22 2009 8:33 AM In reply to

    Re: How to reduce the water bill...

    Dear Cheap Chic, Enter "saving water" in the search engine on the home page, & you'll find LOTS of posts about "saving water."  At random, here's one:  Dixie on Tuesday Feb 19 '08, in the Livign Green forum in a thread called "Frugal Water Usage -- Your Favorite Ways."  You can "bump up" one of those old threads by simply replying to it.  Good luck!  Love in Him, Deb

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Government & Charity Assistance

    Proud guardian of Heart, a black female Miniature Poodle, a Psychiatric Service Dog

    Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise; give thanks to Him, bless His Name. (Psalm 100)

    Yours in thrift, Deborah

  • Sun, Mar 22 2009 3:28 PM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: How to reduce the water bill...

     In addition to searching the forums as Deb suggested, here are some articles from the Dollar Stretcher: 

    Saving Water

    Conserving Water 

    Water Worries 

    Recycling Gray Water 

    Here's part of an article I wrote some time back:

        * Wash your car quickly with a bucket and a rag, then a quick rinse with the hose. (A step ladder will help reach the center of the top.)
        * Fill the kiddie pool, but when it's time to empty it, use the water for flowers or garden, or a dry spot on the lawn. Or wash the dog in it.
        * Never water lawn or garden in the afternoon heat. Much of the water will just evaporate instead of soaking in.
        * Drip irrigation is much more efficient for vegetable or flower gardens. Least efficient is sprinklers that spray far into the air.
        * Catch rain water to use for watering things later, or for cleaning. If you live in the country, you can use rain water to wash your hair or face. In the city, soot and air pollution may not allow this.

    Inside, water can easily be wasted any time, but when the weather is hot, the demand for water increases quickly. To help combat that (remember that even small amounts are helpful), get frugal with the water.

        * Use less to mop and clean with. Not only will you save on water, you'll save on soaps and detergents because it will take less to treat less water. Even if you decrease the amount by a quart, it will add up to several gallons over a month.
        * Limit shower time, but choose a shower over a bath any time it's possible.
        * If you wash dishes by hand, pay attention to how much water you use to wash, and how much you use to rinse. As a general rule, it takes less to rinse dishes in a container of water than in running water, but it can be done for less by rinsing a full sink of dishes at one time. Remember the ones underneath get rinsed without extra water!
        * Only wash full loads, whether that means dishes or laundry. A 'half' load of either uses more than half as much water. Besides that you'll save electricity (or gas).
        * Get in the habit of being stingy with it. For instance, use the water left in a glass after ice cubes have melted to water house plants. Use your own glass of leftover water to microwave for a cup of tea. Think twice before disposing of any water.
        * Keep a bowl or container in the kitchen sink to catch water that would otherwise go down the drain. This can be used to wash dishes, mop the floor or clean otherwise, or to water plants. You'll be surprised how much water goes unused down the drain.
        * Low flow showerheads and low water use commodes will both contribute to a lower water bill.
        * Fix any leaking faucets as soon as you can. If you must put up with one for a day or two, put a container under it and use the water for any household purpose.

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  • Mon, Mar 23 2009 9:39 PM In reply to

    Re: How to reduce the water bill...

    Hey thanks you all,Im calling them all up tomorrow and we are going to try all this specially my saying ahhh 49 dallers is nothing well I think it is and we are going to do this or else and sunshine rummer has it they the teenagers yes they 15 minites in the shower guess they are primping on them selves to look good for all the other teens in school huh????   lol

    Thanks-cindy O.

  • Wed, Mar 25 2009 5:54 PM In reply to

    • rolo
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 4 2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,932

    Re: How to reduce the water bill...


    The link above is to the Dollar Stretcher site and the archicved articles on water conservation. 



    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

  • Wed, Mar 25 2009 5:55 PM In reply to

    • rolo
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 4 2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,932

    Re: How to reduce the water bill...

     ^^oh!  I bet that is what Pat linked too...Confused


    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

  • Wed, Mar 25 2009 6:21 PM In reply to

    Re: How to reduce the water bill...

     I would start by looking at the units used rather than the dollars due.  Compare your units for the past year. It should be fairly consistent unless you have a swamp cooler, hand water a yard, have a pool or the like.

     If indeed your units are going up and you have not changed any of your habits, I would have someone come and look for a leak.  Ours jumped one month.  We did that and a little joint in our irrigation system had blown underground.  It was not obvious on the surface.

    You teach people how to treat you -- Dr Phil
  • Wed, Mar 25 2009 6:30 PM In reply to

    Re: How to reduce the water bill...

     Sometimes the meter reader is lazy and guestimates at the usage. I would go read the meter & see if it is close to matching what is on the bill. Once, a meter reader put an extra 100 units on my gas bill...OUCH! It was so much over, that even after getting the bill and discovering the error, my meter still had not caught up to that usage amount!

    A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Wed, Mar 25 2009 9:38 PM In reply to

    • misscas
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Jul 23 2007
    • Kansas
    • Posts 233

    Re: How to reduce the water bill...

    Train all the kids and adults to take a "navy shower".  Turn on water to wet down, turn off.  Soap up and shampoo.  Turn water on and rinse.  All in one shampoo/conditioner helps too.  If you want to shave legs, put plug in tub at beginning and let water collect. 

     There is no point to growing a garden if you pay for water.  You can put 55 gal drums under down spounts to collect roof run off.  You need to put window screening over the top or a lid to keep the moisquitos from breeding there.  In warmer climates, catcus and succulents make nice drought tolerant landscaping.  Bulbs come up in the spring without extra watering too.    

     A bermuda lawn does fine without being watered.  Fescue will die.  It will turn yellow during dry season so you don't have to mow as much.  It will green up nicely after a rain. 

     Pull the car onto the lawn to wash.  Don't skimp here...salt from ice/winter storms can cause rust if left on a car.  A quick trip through the $2 car wash paying special attention to the wheel wells and underside can make a car last much longer.  It's really hard to get the undercarriage of a car washing it at home with the hose.

     I pay $49 for 1 person for water/sewer without watering the lawn.  This is the minimum rate actually.  Littler towns have more expensive water.

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