Trying to save water and reduce water bills can be a challenge, but it’s definitely doable. Just consider that much of the water we use goes right down the drain while we shower, prepare meals or brush our teeth.
So if you buy milk by the gallon, picture this: You would need about 250 of those plastic containers to represent how much water your household uses every day. And if you have a faucet that drips at the rate of one splash per second, you could fill 3,000 of those one-gallon containers at the end of a year.
The American Water Works association estimates that even households that are careful about water consumption can spend between $300 and $500 a year on water, depending on the number of people who are turning on the faucets. You can reduce your water bills, not to mention conserve a precious resource, by doing the following:
Installing low-flow faucets and showerheads in your kitchen and bathrooms. While standard flow rates are about 2.5 gallons per minute, new and efficient faucets use as little as .5 gallons per minute while low-flow showerheads use about 1.5 gallons per minute.
Installing low-flow toilets. The most efficient models can require as little as 1.6 gallons per flush. Check the manufacturer’s efficiency ratings carefully; results can vary widely.
Installing an on-demand recirculation pump to quickly move hot water from the water heater to kitchen or bathroom fixtures.
Purchasing a high-efficiency dishwasher and washing machine to reduce the amount of water you use on two of the most common household functions: washing dishes and laundry.
Setting up rain barrels to catch water that runs from your downspouts. When you think about all the water you use to keep your grass, plants, trees and flowers looking their best, using rainwater can save you a small fortune on your water bills. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a rain barrel can catch about 1,300 gallons of water during peak months.