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Monitor and Reduce Water Usage

In the Community
September 18, 2016

Conserving household water doesn’t have to be hard. You can fix that drippy faucet, create some new water-saving habits, or go big, such as putting in a graywater system. Here are some ideas to take action!

Take a Look at Your Water Bill

Examining your water bill is one of the best ways to monitor how much H2O you use. Not all water bills will look the same, of course, but most measure water usage in gallons or hundred cubic feet, which equals 748 gallons. They also indicate how your usage changes year over year or from month to month. Challenge yourself and your family to save each month.

Need help understanding your bill? The Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense website explains usage trends, billing structures, and more.

Calculate Potential Savings

Try the Water Sense calculator to see how much water and money you'll save if you replace an old toilet or install high-efficiency faucets or showerheads. For example, if you have a family of four and replace your pre-1980 toilets, you could save up to 27,000 gallons of water (that's 670 loads of laundry) and $230 on your water bill annually.

Fix Household Leaks

Who hasn't heard a toilet tank that keeps filling up on its own? A faulty flapper valve might be the culprit, or perhaps a leaky faucet. That could waste as much as 3,000 gallons annually! If you suspect you might have a leak, look at your water meter when no water is running and take a reading. Check back in two hours. If the reading has changed, you've probably got a leak. Go to the WaterSense website to get more information on finding and fixing leaks.

Assess Your Landscaping

Gardens require a lot of water; up to 70 percent of a household's water in some regions of the country. So changing up your landscaping can make a huge difference.

For example, grass is a big water guzzler. You could replace it with a less thirsty variety of turf, artificial turf, or drought-tolerant landscaping. Or you could water it less frequently, only doing so one to two times a week rather than five, and save up 840 gallons of water per week.

Other ways to cut water usage include:

  • Installing a drip system
  • Watering in the morning or the evening, saving 25 gallons of water each time
  • Installing a graywater system to irrigate your yard with recycled laundry or shower water

Focus on the Indoors

Small things go a long way. You can shorten your showers to five minutes and save 1,000 gallons a month. Sound impossible? Start even smaller by turning off the water while washing your hair or lathering up. Or, when it comes to doing laundry or running the dishwasher, run only full loads. That will save you up to 50 gallons each time.

So, are you ready to save water? Discover what else you can do to save water around the home.

Sources used:
Be Water Wise:http://www.bewaterwise.com/
Water Use It Wisely: http://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/
Save Our Water: http://saveourwater.com/
EPA WaterSense: https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/
EarthEcho World Water Monitoring Challenge: http://www.monitorwater.org/