On average, each US consumer uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water each day. Flushing toilets account for the largest portion of that water consumption.
Next up on the list is showering. On average, each US household consumes about 40 gallons per day for this activity alone.
If you're like the majority of Americans who are staying at home, then your water use has likely doubled. It won't be a surprise if your water bills cost twice or more now compared to the previous months.
It's even worse if you have a leaky faucet. A single leaky tap with a drip rate of one drop per second wastes more than 3,000 gallons in a year.
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to conserve water, especially at a crucial time like this. We'll count the ways and show you how to lower your water bill below, so be sure to read on!
1. Shower the “Navy” Way
Also referred to as "military shower", a navy shower can use as little as three gallons of water per shower. Whereas a 10-minute shower uses about 20 gallons -- if you have the newer type of low-flow showerheads. If you have an older showerhead installed, then you're likely using more than 20 gallons.
Military showers save water because they're shorter -- usually two minutes or less. This method of showering also involves closing the faucet while soaping up.
Now, you don't have to restrict yourself to two-minute showers every time. However, every minute that you cut from your usual shower can already save between 2 to 5 gallons of water. If you now take two showers every day, then that’s a saving of 4 to 10 gallons!
Closing the tap while lathering or shampooing also conserves a lot of water. Plus, without the constant flow of water, your soaps will dissolve slower. As such, you get to save both on water and bathing supplies.
Now’s also the best time to swap your older showerheads with low-flow ones. These modern shower fixtures are key to lowering your water bill both in the short and the long run.
2. Get Those Leaks Sealed and Fixed
This drip calculator shows that a single leaky tap with a 5-drop count per minute wastes 0.72 gallons per day. That's already 2.7 liters of water -- more than enough to satisfy your daily water intake needs!
Just imagine how much more you could be wasting if you have multiple leaky taps and pipes. That's the case for many households, with the average home having leaks that waste 10,000 gallons a year.
That said, one of the most important tips to lowering your water bill is to get all those leaks fixed up. Besides, now that you guys are using more water, having leaks also mean that you'll run out of hot water sooner.
You can repair minor leaks in taps or showerheads, so long as you have the tools and supplies. Not all leaks are visible though, so it's best to invest in leak detection and repair services.
3. Limit Water Flow With Better Faucet Aerators
Aerators are the small mesh screens at the very tip of faucet mouths. They break up the water into tiny streams while also incorporating air in between. The air acts as a sort of diluter, which then reduces the volume of water that flows out of the faucet.
In this way, these tiny screens help you save water, which then helps you lower your water bills.
Older taps usually don't have these water-saving components though. Yours may have them, but if they're already old and rusty, they may no longer be doing a proper job. Corroded parts of the mesh may no longer be dividing the flow into smaller streams.
Either way, you should get new aerators for all your taps, as they're inexpensive anyway. It's best to stick to aerators that have a maximum flow rate of 1.0 gallons per minute (gpm). These are the most water-efficient types in the market today.
4. Washing By Hand vs Using the Dishwasher
This depends on the number of pots, pans, plates, glasses, and utensils you use on a daily basis.
If you live alone and you don't use a lot of dining ware, then you may be able to save water by hand washing. For an average-sized family, however, you're more likely to use less water if you run the dishwasher. Be sure though to run the dishwasher on full loads though, to maximize water conservation.
Speaking of which, you should also consider hand-washing vs machine-washing your clothes.
As with dishwashing, fewer clothes may be best dealt with using the hand method. There are also some types of fabrics, like silk, lace, wool, that require washing by hand.
For more clothes, switch to using the clothes washer, and be sure to do full loads too. Just be careful with the colors -- some fabrics may leach out the dye and stain lighter-colored clothes.
5. Invest in More Water-Efficient Fixtures and Appliances
Aside from aerators and low-flow showerheads, there are now also low-flush toilets. These toilets use a lot less water, which is why the EPAct 1992 made them mandatory for all new toilets.
However, many owner-occupied homes in the US are older than this law. Half of them have been around prior to 1980.
Either way, if you live in a home built before 1994, then your toilets likely don't have the low-flush feature. These older toilets use about 3.5 gallons per flush (gpf). Whereas toilets manufactured after the passing of the EPAct 1992 use only 1.6 gpf.
In this case, you should consider getting new, more water-efficient toilets. If you do have these already, be sure that you replace the toilet flapper valve as soon as it wears out. Worn flapper valves are the primary reason for continuously flushing toilets.
Follow These Tips Now to Lower Your Water Bills Cost
There you have it, five of the best ways to lower your water bills cost now and in the many years to come. It's best to follow these ASAP, especially since you and the fam are keeping safe at home and using more water. This way, you can maintain good hygiene practices without skyrocketing water bills.
If you have serious water leaks, however, please know that we here at Mr. Rooter Austin are ready to help. Give us a call now or request a job estimate and we'll get back to you as soon as we can!