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Do Your Utility Bills Make Your Jaw Drop? Part 2

leakfaucetPart 2 in a 2 part series. Anytime is a great time to put in place some water saving remedies to keep your bills from drying up your bank account.

10 Free/Cheap Ways to Save on Water
(this list is compiled from various utility companies and conservation websites)

Take Me to the Water.

  1. Turn it off. Washing dishes by hand? Put soapy water in a bowl or sink basin to wash the dishes(wash the greasy ones last), and fill another basin with clean water to rinse.   Taking a shower? Turn the water off while you lather up. Brushing your teeth? Turn off the faucet while you brush.
  2. Fill it up. Does your toilet use more than 1.6 gallons per flush? Fill up a half gallon jug (you can use water, sand, anything heavy) or a brick and put it in the tank on the back of the toilet. It’s easiest to do it right after you flush the toilet. Make sure the object  is steady and won’t fall over – this might damage the flushing mechanism. Close the tank back up and you’re done. The toilet will use less water to flush.
  3. Thaw it out. Defrost your food overnight in the fridge instead of using running water.
  4. Get a bucket. Does it take a while for water to heat up in the tub? Put a bucket under the faucet while it warms up and use the water to water plants or clean the house.
  5. Time it. Use a timer while you shower, water your lawn, etc… to save on water costs.
  6. Put the hose away. When cleaning your sidewalks/driveway, get out the broom. When washing your car/bike, use a couple of buckets. One for soapy and one for clean water.
  7. Take a shower. Taking a bath uses more water than taking a shower.
  8. Get handy. Replacing washers in your leaky faucets and showerheads, and cleaning out faucet filters is a pretty simple task and can save you a lot of money. Not sure where to start? Ask at your local hardware store.
  9. Be a detective. Put a couple of drops of food coloring in the toilet tank water. Wait 30 minutes. If the toilet bowl water changes color, you have a leak that needs to be fixed. Flush immediately after the test to prevent staining.
  10. Get water for free. Do you have a house? Rainwater is free and has many uses: gardening, watering the lawn, and washing cars. You can collect it in a basin from your gutter run off.
  11. Don’t pull the plug. Giving the kids a bath? Leave the water in the tub afterward and after you put them to bed, you can use the bath water to clean the tub. If you want to go one step further you can use a small hose(~5 ft) to drain the water from the tub into a bucket after that and use that as grey water, to do things like water outside or flush toilets.

Here are a few links to more tips on ways to save on your water bills:

  1. 11 Ways to be Water Smart (Orange County Utilities)
  2. Water Usage Calculator (Orange County Utilities)
  3. Saving Water Indoors and Outdoors (St. Johns River)
  4. Games to teach your kids to conserve water (Water Use It Wisely)
  5. Moving? Renter Tips: Things to Look for Before and What to do After Move In (MGE)

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What water saving strategies do you use?

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