Author Topic: How much water do you use?  (Read 11533 times)

Thegoblinchief

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How much water do you use?
« on: June 13, 2014, 08:38:43 AM »
Installed a low-flow shower head, fixed some long lingering plumbing leaks, and switched my plants over to soaker hoses.

My water bill still seems pretty high, but obviously rates vary a lot.

My actual water usage is 12 Ccf (1200 cubic feet) per month for a family of 5. Does this sound okay, low, high?

CommonCents

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2014, 08:42:21 AM »
Ours was 5 ccf for a 3 month winter time frame for 2 people, however - we weren't living at the house for the first month, so it's a bit artificially low.  Sewer was another 5.

Nate R

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2014, 08:55:22 AM »
Installed a low-flow shower head, fixed some long lingering plumbing leaks, and switched my plants over to soaker hoses.

My water bill still seems pretty high, but obviously rates vary a lot.

My actual water usage is 12 Ccf (1200 cubic feet) per month for a family of 5. Does this sound okay, low, high?

In my duplex in the last year, we've had from 4 to 7 people living in it, total. Average usage has been 6.7CCF/Month TOTAL for both units. Some plant/grass watering, kiddie pools in summer, etc.

At my old single family house, I'd see 10 CCF for 2 people for 3 months on average. So 3.33 CCF/Month, or 1.67 CCF per person per month, which is 1249 gallons, or about 41 gallons per person per day.

So you're at just under 59 gallons per person per day, I'd say that's definitely not bad, but probably could be improved further. But there's always other variables of how often those 5 are AT home, (Do you all work and/or go to school or not, etc), so maybe you're at your limit without getting extreme.

nordlead

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2014, 12:42:45 PM »
I typically average 5,650 gallons per month, but my last bill was 7,000 gallons per month (we are billed every 3 months). My quarterly bill is typically ~$45, but this time it was $60.

We are a family of 5 (2 adults, 4yo, 2yo, 7mo), but my sister-in-law has been staying with us while she goes to college.

So, Google says that is 755-935 cubic ft/month.

I consider us on the "low" water usage level compared to the average American, buy by no means an aggressive water saver. I pretty much never water the lawn/flowers, rarely wash my car (a couple times/year, not weekly), and I have a large capacity front loading washer and an energy star dishwasher that doesn't require pre-rinsing the dishes.

Rural

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2014, 01:45:34 PM »
Ours has averaged 4438g or 5.93ccf over the last three months. Low flow showerhead, extremely efficient dishwasher that uses under 3 gallons per load, but 35 year old toilet (I should put a brick in that thing). No outside watering at all, though if we ever get another day without rain, I'll water my container tomatoes.

zataks

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2014, 01:50:59 PM »
1200cf is >9000gallons.  For a month given the amount of people and that you are watering plants, that sounds pretty good.  I'm sure you could trim that down (in typical mustachian fashion) but the average American household is typically 75-100 gallons/person/day.  So you're already better than average!

sirdoug007

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2014, 01:52:06 PM »
I usually use 1000-2000 gallons/month (134-267 cubic feet/month).

I do about two loads of laundry a week (reuse shirts if not stained, undershirts get washed) and do not have a dishwasher so everything is done by hand.

People focus a lot on showers but I think dishwashing and laundry are some of the biggest users.  If you have a sprinkler system your water bill goes through the roof!

geekette

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2014, 01:55:53 PM »
We use 55-60 gallons per person, per day (3300-3600 gallons per month for the two of us). Little outside watering here.


greaper007

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2014, 11:15:52 PM »
We have a 2700sq ft house and we're a family of four in the Denver area.   We consistently use 3,000 gallons a month.    It used to be higher, but I simply stopped watering our lawn.   I also switched the shower heads out to 1.5gpm and put a dual flush retrofit on our last pre low flow toilet.   It works great and was only about $25 at big orange.

I'm not sure how to do the math on CCF calculations.   I've only had bills in gallon amounts.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2014, 05:47:46 AM »
Okay, so we're high but not obscenely high for having at least 4 home every day.

Spudd

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2014, 08:16:10 AM »
Family of 2 adults (no kids) in a 1200 sq ft house (+ basement). We used about 220 cu ft of water per month according to our last water bill (covered 2 months). On the bill before that, it was 265 cu ft per month (covered 4 months).

We had a rain barrel we used for watering the outside plants. (I speak in past tense because we recently sold that house and moved to a rental.)

We did have a dishwasher and a top-loading (not high efficiency) washing machine. Our main toilet was dual-flush so it used less water for liquid occasions.

Blackadder

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2014, 11:10:05 AM »
We're at around 147 cubic feet (1057 gallons) per person per month (three adults).

Note that all of us are working in our daytime jobs 4-5 days a week, which results in some 210 or so fewer toilet flushes each month, which should save something around 250 gallons per person per month. So, to be comparable with stay-at-home-households, around 1300 gallons per person per month should be about right.

We use 3 big rain barrels for our watering needs.

We're using the dishwasher a lot (around 3 times a week), and wash 3-4 loads of clothes a week.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 11:19:18 AM by Blackadder »

Caoineag

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2014, 11:33:14 AM »
Less than 3000 gallons or 401 cubic feet per month for 2. Was billed for 3000 gallons when I had 3 people here and was billed 2000 gallons last winter so I suspect we are just a little over 2000 gallons in actual use. We have a little pond that we fill ourselves but a xeriscaped flower garden that is only watered once or twice per week during the hot dry section of summer. Dishwasher makes hand washing look like a water waster, low flow shower, HE washer but still haven't replaced the toilets (need to replace the plumbing first).

Nords

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2014, 08:34:59 PM »
Back in the 1980s, the Navy submarine standard was 22 gallons per day per person.  That included everything but the engineering plant:  drinking, bathing, cooking, laundry, and cleaning equipment.  (Submarine toilets are flushed with sea water.  No quotas there!)  The idea was to minimize run hours on the steam-fired evaporator (and its miserably weak sibling, the electric still) to allow for maintenance & repairs. 

Today, our neighborhood has been having issues with copper water pipes leaking underground (or in the walls) due to acidic corrosion or shifting concrete foundations.  We've wondered whether we have an undetected leak so we've actually done the quantitative analysis on our consumption of drinking water, dishwasher, washing machine, low-flow shower heads, and toilets.  We came up with 1500 gallons per month, which matches our water bill.  It also works out to about 25 gallons per day per person, which spouse regards as "frugal" while I feel like a water buffalo-- or, for you submariners, like a sonar tech.

To reward our frugality, the Board of Water supply charges $81.07 per month-- and nearly $70 of that is sewage fees!

alsoknownasDean

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2014, 10:12:30 PM »
I know a while back here the recommended water consumption level was 155L per person, per day. Not sure what that means in the old scales. I think we tend to use about that here or a bit less.

An old fashioned trick to reduce water use with toilets was to put a house brick in the cistern. Newer, more efficient appliances should help there too.

greaper007

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2014, 10:09:53 PM »
...but still haven't replaced the toilets (need to replace the plumbing first).

Take a look at the big box hardware stores.   They have some dual flush toilet retro-fits that work great on conventional toilets and they're only about $25.    I have this one http://www.homedepot.com/p/HydroKit-Toilet-Repair-with-Dual-Flush-Converter-HYR451T/202762847

Definitely worth the money as toilets generally fall into the top 3-5 water consumers in a home.

dsiee

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2014, 02:44:47 AM »
Around 20 million liters a summer, 1 for the winter (which is short). This is not including drinking water (which continently falls from the sky and is thus free). We live on a 10 acer hobby farm.

Just thought I would add a completely different perspective.

Nords

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2014, 08:46:35 PM »
Here's a Business Week article on wintering over at McMurdo Station, where technically they're surrounded by water:
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-06-11/a-guide-to-wintering-in-the-south-pole#r=hpt-tout

Quote
Everyone is allowed two two-minute showers a week. Finley says they use less than 30 gallons of water per person every day; the average American uses three times that much.
Two showers per week?!?  Wimps.

greaper007

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2014, 09:31:29 PM »
How long until we get that water world contraption that lets us drink our pee?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2014, 06:27:51 AM »
How long until we get that water world contraption that lets us drink our pee?

There's all sorts of filtration systems for camping or for survival gear that let you do that if you really want to. Some filters claim you can input black water/raw sewage and get potable water.

soccerluvof4

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2014, 06:50:22 AM »
How long until we get that water world contraption that lets us drink our pee?

There's all sorts of filtration systems for camping or for survival gear that let you do that if you really want to. Some filters claim you can input black water/raw sewage and get potable water.


I will pass!

hybrid

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2014, 07:43:07 AM »
Water is usually plentiful and cheap in Virginia, so I don't worry much about how much we use. We don't water the lawn or take 15 minute showers, so we aren't being deliberately or unnecessarily wasteful. Hot water on the other hand is a little more pricey so I've changed my showering habits (by turning off the water when I am lathering and using only to wet and rinse, not the frequency of showers) some in the cooler months to compensate.

I would imagine its a very different story in the Colorado river basin or California. If I lived there I would have a very different view about water.

Nords

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2014, 10:48:38 AM »
How long until we get that water world contraption that lets us drink our pee?

There's all sorts of filtration systems for camping or for survival gear that let you do that if you really want to. Some filters claim you can input black water/raw sewage and get potable water.
I will pass!
That medical humor might be a little too subtle for this crowd...

As for toilet-to-tap, our local sewage plant (Honouliuli) takes the treated effluent (which would normally be pumped out to sea), runs it through a reverse osmosis filter and a killer bank of UV lights, and then uses it for golf course irrigation.  Irrigation is probably the highest use of treated sewage that we're likely to see for the next 20 years.

I encourage everyone to tour your local water plant to see what's trapped in the filters (or growing in the storage tanks/reservoirs).  Or maybe you don't want to have a cherished illusion shattered by cold-hearted engineering reality... 


zataks

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2014, 01:18:28 PM »
How long until we get that water world contraption that lets us drink our pee?

There's all sorts of filtration systems for camping or for survival gear that let you do that if you really want to. Some filters claim you can input black water/raw sewage and get potable water.
I will pass!
That medical humor might be a little too subtle for this crowd...

As for toilet-to-tap, our local sewage plant (Honouliuli) takes the treated effluent (which would normally be pumped out to sea), runs it through a reverse osmosis filter and a killer bank of UV lights, and then uses it for golf course irrigation.  Irrigation is probably the highest use of treated sewage that we're likely to see for the next 20 years.

I encourage everyone to tour your local water plant to see what's trapped in the filters (or growing in the storage tanks/reservoirs).  Or maybe you don't want to have a cherished illusion shattered by cold-hearted engineering reality...

I operate an RO/UV (MF pretreatment) facility. Good stuff. In the years to come we will be piloting indirect and eventually direct potable reuse. Heard recently there is a plant in TX doing at least indirect.

Rural

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2014, 08:02:06 PM »
My husband installed the toilet in our second bathroom today, and unlike the one we've been using all year, it's shiny and new and uses 1.6g per flush (as opposed to 7g for the 40-year old job in the other bathroom). We should be seeing some changes in water usage, I think.

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Re: How much water do you use?
« Reply #25 on: June 18, 2014, 07:40:21 AM »
I use, on average, about 2000 gallons per month during the months when the outside drip-watering system is not being used.

This is for my small abode (just me) and my tenant's small abode (just him).

The bills would be smaller if he had some interest in conserving water.  (For example, he and I both work at the same place.  I use the showers at work.  He showers at home.)