We just got our quarterly water bill in the mail, and the number had me gasping for air. The town has raised the water rate and added in a lovely capital improvements charge to the tune of about $75 per quarter. Fantastic!
Anyway, seeing the sky-high water bill has me looking for ways to save on my water bill. We already do a pretty good job of using very little water for our family of 5, but I know there’s more ways can cut costs until we are able to move to a more reasonably priced town where the officials realize that water is a basic need and don’t charge an arm, a leg and your first born child for access to it.
Seriously. No water = no life. Why are they charging so damn much?!
Anyway, here are 5 ways to reduce your water bill:
1.) Install water-saving everything. Shower heads, dishwashers, washing machines. Whatever you can get your hands on. Install water-saving devices and you’ll see a drop in your next water bill. Unfortunately, water efficiency isn’t free, so you’ll have an initial investment. This is really only going to save you money after 2 to 4 years when the appliances have paid for themselves in water savings.
2.) Install a rain barrel. I can’t say this enough – if you don’t already have a rain barrel at home, GET ONE. Do it now. You can use the water collected from your roof (which is FREE) to water your garden, wash outdoor items, water chickens or other livestock and more. Make sure you have a mesh top on it so the mosquitos can’t get in and cover it with something solid on high-pollen days. Keep in mind that some towns have a ban on rain barrels because they think the water that falls from the sky is theirs. If you happen to use a rain barrel that doesn’t look like a rain barrel, then hide it with a bush and keep it in your back yard, that’s your prerogative, right?
3.) If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down. This is GROSS, but an easy way to save water, especially if you have little ones that barely pee and then flush the toilet. By using the toilet two or three times before flushing, you’ll save gallons of water every day. By the end of the quarter, you might even shave off 1,000 gallons, which might not sound like much, but may be enough to take your bill down to a less painful level.
4.) Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge or use your fridge water option. Think about what you do when you get a glass of water from the sink. You probably run the tap a while to get it cold, right? If you get water from a pitcher in the fridge or from your fridge’s water dispenser, it’ll already be cold and ready to drink. You’ll get colder water than you would from the tap, plus you’ll save quite a bit of water by not running the tap unnecessarily.
5.) Put a brick in the back of your toilet. If you have a low flow toilet, you can further reduce the damage per flush by putting a brick in the tank. The brick will reduce the amount of water stored in your tank, reducing use with every flush. Combine this with the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” method and you’ll minimize your toilet tax.
Finally, if these methods aren’t good enough, do what we’re trying to do – sell your house and move to a property with a well. You’ll pump you own water and stop cringing every time your kids wash their hands or flush the toilet.