Conserving Water Use in Your Home Can Save You Dollars

By
Real Estate Agent with Weichert Realtors, 3816 International Dr, Silver Spring, MD

Conserving Water Use in Your Home Can Save You Dollars

Tips for Saving Water in Your Home

Here are some tips on conserving water in your home to help keep your water bill within the average amount...

WAYS TO SAVE WATER INSIDE YOUR HOME

How To Save Water in the Bathroom

The bathroom is where most of the home's water is used -- so, it is the place where you can save the most.

Toilet

 

  • Flush only when necessary. Don't use your toilet for a garbage disposal and/or trash can. Consider installing a low-flow toilet (required for replacements and new installations).

 

  • Install a water-saving displacement device. For older toilets, buy or make a device that won't harm your plumbing such as a toilet dam or weighted plastic jug full of water. Be sure that installation does not interfere with operating parts. DO NOT use a brick -- it may disintegrate and cause problems.

 

  • Check overflow pipes to be sure that water isn't draining. Request a leak detector kit from the WSSC Office of Communications or simply add dark food coloring to TANK water. DON'T FLUSH! Check water in TOILET BOWL 15-20 minutes later. Color in the toilet bowl means you have a leak.

Sinks

 

  • Fill bowl with water instead of letting water run when you wash, brush teeth or shave.

 

  • Repair leaks, attend to drips promptly.

 

  • Install water saving devices. Try a faucet aerator to reduce amount of water used.

Tub or Shower

 

  • Take shallow baths and plug the drain before you run water. Keep showers short with pressure at low force. Re-use bath water to water your lawn or shrubs or for heavy cleaning jobs like floors or cars.

 

  • Install water-saving devices. Use a low-flow shower head, flow restrictor or cut off valve (lets you shut off water at shower head while soaping up and shampooing without changing the faucet setting)

How To Save Water in the Kitchen

The kitchen is an excellent place for conservation. Be especially conscious of running water and use it sparingly.

Dishwasher

 

  • Economize. Do only full loads. Avoid using extra cycles. Choose a water-saving model.

 

  • Repair leaks. Inspect all connections to make sure they are tight and dry.

Handwashing Dishes

 

  • Scrape dishes, but don't prerinse. Soak pots and pans before washing. Instead of running water continuously, fill wash and rinse basins with water. Use minimum amount of detergent.

Garbage Disposal

 

  • Use sink disposal unit sparingly,(but never use without running water) or use a garbage can or compost heap instead.

Food Preparation

 

  • Use a brush and bowl full of water to wash vegetables. Thaw frozen food in your refrigerator, not under running water. Cook vegetables with a minimum amount of water and save cooking water for soup stock.

Drinking Water

 

  • Instead of cooling water by running, keep a container of cold water in the refrigerator. Make only the amount of coffee, tea, etc. you expect to consume.

 

How To Save Water in the Laundry

More than 10% of all water used at home is used in the washing machine, so even small investments of time and money can pay off in the long run.

Clothes Washer

 

  • Use the load selector to match water level to size of load. ( If no selector then only do full loads.) Presoak heavily soiled items. Always use minimum amount of detergent.

 

  • Check faucets and hose connections for leaks. Repair or replace when necessary. Inspect pipes for pinhole leaks or leaking joints.

 

  • If buying a new washer, purchase one with conservation features. Choose a washer with load size selector or variable water level control.

 

WAYS TO SAVE WATER OUTSIDE YOUR HOME

How To Save Water Outside the Home

The rate of consumption for water-saving devices or products varies significantly. Please check the packaging on the plumbing fixture or product you purchase to determine the water efficiency of your merchandise.Warm weather means more outdoor activities -- and more outdoor water use. Be as careful and efficient outdoors as you are inside the home.

** AVERAGE CONSUMPTION PER DAY PER PERSON = 70 GALLONS 

Hoses

 

  • Check hose and connectors. Repair or replace leaky parts or sections.

 

  • Use a nozzle which can be shut off or adjusted to fine spray. When finished, shut off at the house instead of at nozzle to avoid leaks. Consider a water-saving drip irrigation system which provides a slow steady supply of water to garden and shrubbery.

Lawn & Garden

 

  • Water slowly and thoroughly during cool, windless hours, as infrequently as possible. Let grass grow taller in hot weather. Use mulch in the garden and around shrubs to save moisture. Plant native and other shrubs that don't need a lot of watering. Consider alternatives to big thirsty lawns.

 

  • Re-using water is a good idea. Some cleaning water and pool water is fine for watering lawn and garden.

Car

 

  • Rinse car once, wash from bucket of soapy water, rinse quickly again.

 

  • Used water is fine for chrome, hub caps, wheels.

Driveways & Walkways

 

  • Use a broom or rake instead of water to remove leaves, clippings, debris.

Pool

 

  • Keep level low to minimize splashing. Use a cover to slow evaporation (keeps water cleaner, too).

 

  • Check walls, filtration systems, inlets; repair where needed.

  

  

AVERAGE WATER USE BASED ON ACTIVITY

WATER ACTIVITIES:

INSIDE  ACTIVITY

GALLONS   USED
(conventional)

GALLONS  USED
(water saving*)

Toilet Flushing

5 - 7 gallons 
per flush

1½ - 3½ gallons 
per flush

Shower (water running)

7 - 10 gallons 
per minute

2 - 4 gallons 
per minute

Bath (Full tub)

36 - 50 gallons 
(conventional)

30 - 40 gallons(conventional) 

40 - 80 gallons(whirlpool)

Laundry Machine (full load)

60 gallons top loader

42 gallons top loader

Dishwasher

15 gallons normal load

7½ - 10 gallons normal load

Dish washing by hand

30 gallons tap running

10 - 20 gallons tap running

Shaving

20 gallons tap running

2 - 5 gallons tap running

Brushing Teeth

10 gallons tap running

2 - 3 gallons tap running

Washing Hands

2 gallons tap running

1 - 2 gallons tap running

 

*

The rate of consumption for water-saving devices or products varies significantly. Please check the packaging on the plumbing fixture or product you purchase to determine the water efficiency of your merchandise.

**

AVERAGE CONSUMPTION PER DAY PER PERSON = 70 GALLONS

INSIDE WATER USE

During hot, dry conditions, general water consumption for bathing, laundry, and overall water usage increases.

ACTIVITY / PER PERSON ONE TIME EACH DAY

GALLONS USED
(no water saving devices)

COMMENTS

BATH

30 - 50 GAL.

 

SHOWER
(WATER RUNNING)

7 - 10 GAL. PER MINUTE

·

THE AVER. SHOWER = 12 TO 15 MIN.

·

A 15 MIN SHOWER = APPROX. 150 GAL.

·

MANY PEOPLE TAKE LONGER THAN 15 MINUTE SHOWERS.

·

OFTEN, DURING THE HOT WEATHER WE SHOWER MORE THAN ONE TIME PER DAY.

 

 OUTSIDE WATER USE

During dry conditions, customers generally water lawns and gardens more frequently. Also, usage due to washing cars, home maintenance, pools or playing in sprinklers, and general outside activities increases. The Commission rate (per thousand gallons of water used) increases as the number of gallons used per day increases, i.e. the Average Daily Consumption (ADC). The ADC, and therefore the cost per thousand gallons of water, often increases due to dry conditions and seasonal water usage.

HOSE SIZE

LBS. PRESSURE
PER SQ INCH

TIME

GALLONS
USED

1/2 INCH

60

1 HOUR

630

5/8 INCH

60

1 HOUR

1,020

3/4 INCH

60

1 HOUR

1,860

 

Tips for Resolving a Dispute with your local Water Utility Company

  1. Call early in the morning as soon as they open, to avoid a long phone wait to speak with a customer service rep.
  2. When you finally get through to a real person, ask for their name and position immediately and make a note of the date, time and person's name. 
  3. Explain your problem as succinctly as you can without interjecting a lot of emotion.  If you act excited about the $800 Water Bill you just received, for example, they will reprimand you for being rude or angry.  At that point, the focus of the conversation will take a different direction.
  4. Question their response to your problem - They most likely will not accept any responsibility for the problem and will deflect it back to you.
  5. Ask for an adjustment even when they tell you it's not their problem.
  6. Be agreeable to whatever suggestions or steps they require of you while you continue to ask for an adjustment.
  7. Call back everyday until the problem is resolved.
  8. Ask for the meter to be inspected and/or replaced even when they deny that as the possible problem.
  9. When you finally connect with a customer service rep who is helpful and polite on the phone, ask for their direct phone number and extension.
  10. If you do not get any satisfaction, ask to speak to the manager.

 

For more information on WSSC go to their webpage at:

http://www.wssc.dst.md.us/service/index.cfm

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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Maryland Montgomery County
Groups:
Going Green!
Posts to Localism
Tags:
water conservation

Comments 2 New Comment

Rainmaker
565,876
David Popoff
Realtor & Property Manager, Fairfield County, Ct.
DMK Real Estate & Property Mgmt

Barbara, what a great fully detailed list on water saving for the homeowner, thanks and bookmarked.

May 19, 2012 12:24 PM
Rainmaker
534,053
Diane Daley
Caron's Gateway Real Estate

Wow, lots of detailed water saving information on your blog. Thanks for sahring, we can all find ways to save a little more with these tips.

May 30, 2012 04:08 PM
Rainmaker
729,386

Barbara Michaluk

Top Producing REALTOR Montgomery County, Maryland
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