Simple water saving tips can have a BIG impact on your wallet
The average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bill, but by making just a few simple changes to use water more efficiently, you could save approximately $170 per year and help the environment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
From replacing inefficient appliances, to taking small steps at home to eliminate water waste, you can make a huge dent in your water usage and save some cash. Here are some easy tips to follow:
Did you know toilets are the single largest water-user in a home? A leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day, and it is estimated that nearly 20 percent of all toilets leak, reports the EPA. Slow leaks can go undetected for years, but there is an easy way to check yours at home.
Start by adding a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If you have a leak, you’ll start to see that color come through in the bowl within 15 minutes. Flush immediately after you’re done so you don’t stain the porcelain. If you can’t fix the leak, consider purchasing a high-efficient toilet that carries EPA WaterSense seal of approval.
High efficiency toilets use one-third less water than the traditional toilet on the market, and they generally perform better. There is an even a newer toilet out that is EPA WaterSense approved call the “Stealth” that uses one-half the amount of water relative to the typical toilet on the market today and it performs very well.
Have a leaky faucet in your kitchen? According to the EPA, a drip rate of just one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year. So even if it seems like a small leak, it could be costing you big time. Many faucets can be easily tightened and fixed to eliminate leaks – otherwise, consider installing a faucet aerator to reduce your usage, but not its effectiveness.
Dishwashers can be efficient, but remember to only run loads when the dishwasher is full, or invest in a dishwasher with a half-load cycle option, like most of the new Bosch dishwashers. Use this cycle or the express wash when washing small, lightly soiled loads. The auto wash programs use sensors to dramatically reduce energy and water consumption every time.
Consider replacing your lawn if it no longer serving a functional purpose (i.e. is needed for the kids). There is now a variety of available water-wise plants that are much more interesting than lawn and they need significantly less water. In the Santa Cruz region, about 25 percent of a single-family home’s water use is for the landscape. Replacing lawn with water-wise plants can reduce your outdoor usage by 75 percent.
If you want an efficient home, consider some smart-watering techniques. Start by only watering your lawn or garden during cool morning hours to reduce evaporation. If you use a sprinkler, make sure it’s positioned correctly and not watering the street or driveway. Changing from spray irrigation to drip is another way to save a lot of water.
If Soquel Creek Water District provides your water, then call them for a free home or business water survey. Let the professionals give you a personal visit and inform you of all your viable options. Call 831 475-8500 and ask for the free survey.