Do you ever get your water bill and wonder how on Earth you and your family can use so much water in just one month? Many families don’t realize that leaky faucets and toilets or water-gobbling habits can cost them a lot of money each year. The good news? Many common water wasters can be fixed quickly and inexpensively. Here’s what to look out for:
Little leaks. A dripping faucet can send gallons of water down the drain every day. It’s estimated that 10% of all homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day! Make sure your faucets don’t drip.
Inefficient shower heads. Installing new, water-saving shower heads can have a big impact on your water usage and your bill.
Taking long showers. Speaking of showers, reducing your shower time by just a few minutes each day can save hundreds of gallons per month. So can NOT running the water the entire time you’re brushing your teeth.
Problem toilets. Older toilets can use a lot more water than newer models. Toilets manufactured prior to 1993 can use two to six gallons more for each flush than do toilets being manufactured today! Most toilets being made today use only 1.6 gallons per flush. Leaks can be another issue. Take a few minutes to inspect each toilet in your home; you can typically hear and see evidence of leaks. Speaking of toilets, don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket. That wastes up to 5 gallons per flush.
Using your hose as a broom. Using the garden hose to wash down sidewalks, instead of using a broom, can use more than 10 gallons of water each minute!
Hand washing dishes. You can use up to 27 gallons of water per load when you wash dishes by hand versus as little as four gallons of water with a newer dishwasher. That’s because most people wash dishes with running water. If you are washing dishes by hand, fill your sink with water and dish soap and wash your dishes. Run the faucet only to briefly rinse the dishes.
Landscaping with plants and trees that use a lot of water. One-third of residential water use goes toward watering the lawn and garden. Native plants and drought-resistant lawn varieties require less water.