Author Topic: Water Usage: How to lower it?  (Read 10173 times)

karaishere

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Water Usage: How to lower it?
« on: June 30, 2014, 03:36:29 PM »
After learning how to read my electricity bill, I wanted to do the same with my water and sewer bills. I did search for water threads like this and only came across one, which was pretty old, so I decided to make a new one. :)

We have two adults and two dogs using our water. We live in an apartment. Our water and sewer bills are separate, which we did not know upon moving in last November, so that's why our bills look crazy at first and it took a while for our usage to synch up between the two. Both bills cycle mid-month to mid-month. *As a note, I work from home and am home most of the time. Up until June, my husband was also home a lot.*

Service Period ~30 daysWater Bill (gallons)Sewer Bill (gallons)Comments
Dec-Jan5236No DataRunning toilet problem
Jan-Feb448811,200Running toilet problem; sewer bill backlog
Feb-Mar44883740toilet fixed and sink leak fixed
Mar-Apr37402992
Apr-May29922992
May-June29922992This works out to 4 CCF according to my bill

I believe that the last two rows really show our usage without any weird billing or leaks. 2992 gallons/30 days/2 people works out to about 50 gallons/person/day! O_O What!!! I was completely shocked. The EPA says the average family of 4 uses 400 gallons/day, so yeah we're using half of that, but I know the Mustachians here must be doing better!

I'd guess most of our usage comes from showering and flushing the toilets, but it could be laundry too. I'm embarrassed to admit we were doing 5 loads/week (sheets/whites, towels, colors, darks, and exercise clothes), but I'm already working on doing less. Our washer is an HE energy star model. The sinks run 2 gallons/minute and the shower head isn't labeled. We run the dishwasher (energy star) every few days. We don't run the sink while brushing our teeth. We already wear clothes more than once and skip showers when not very dirty.

Some changes I've already implemented (I'll know the impact on the next bill):
- only washing sheets & towels each week
- washing clothes loads (3) every other week instead of every week
- getting back into the habit of rising hand wash dishes in a basin of water instead of turning on the tap
- trying to shower faster
 
How does our usage compares to yours? What are you doing (or not doing) to use less water? Please share your info!
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 12:22:01 PM by karaishere »

Paul der Krake

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2014, 03:45:21 PM »
Are you my old roommate? I swear that girl would go take a piss every 45 minutes on the dot. So many gallons over the course of a month...

But seriously, yes your usage is high. Why do you need 5 loads of laundry per week? My comparable household averages 2 loads per week. Put all your clothes together on cold (lower electricity too!) and you'll never need to seperate colors and whites and stinky running shirts again.

How long are your showers? People have very different opinions as to what constitutes fast.

warfreak2

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2014, 04:08:31 PM »
There are adapters you can get to put on taps and shower-connectors which reduce the flow, I have noticed no difference in effectiveness; the water company here gives them out for free to help people save money. There's also the old brick-in-the-cistern or the new dual-flush toilet, and of course you don't need to flush every time you take a pee. Dishwashers might actually use less water than handwashing, depending on how you do it. You don't have to wash towels after every use, or bedclothes every week; turn the duvet and pillows the other way up halfway through. When you shower, you can turn the water off while you use the soap and shampoo; while you wait for the water to heat up, you can collect the cold water in a bucket, it could be enough for one or two flushes.

I use a little over 1 cubic metre of water per month (for one person). Google says that's less than half a CCF. Maybe this just means I'm dirty and smelly!

eil

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2014, 05:13:33 PM »
Two suggestions:

1) Low-flower showerheads and sink aerators. There are a bunch of Amazon. I can't remember which ones I bought, but I recall that they were not expensive.

2) Dual-flush toilet kits. Don't go to the hardware store to get them, the ones they sell are overpriced crap. I installed this company's products on all three of my toilets and they work great: http://www.water-saver.org/

KS

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2014, 05:44:52 PM »
We are also 2 adults (but no dogs) in an apartment but our water/sewer is included in our rent, so I actually have no clue how much we use for comparison... I grew up during one of California's worst droughts, and we're in another bad one now so I like to think I'm pretty good but am sure there is room for improvement! But I agree with the other suggestions for low-flow showerheads/faucets/toilets and that the amount of laundry seems like it could be cut back a lot. For other ideas, maybe these drought-awareness tip-sheets will have a few things you haven't tried yet:

http://saveourh2o.org/content/home

http://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/?view=list

karaishere

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2014, 08:09:21 PM »
Are you my old roommate? I swear that girl would go take a piss every 45 minutes on the dot. So many gallons over the course of a month...

But seriously, yes your usage is high. Why do you need 5 loads of laundry per week? My comparable household averages 2 loads per week. Put all your clothes together on cold (lower electricity too!) and you'll never need to seperate colors and whites and stinky running shirts again.

How long are your showers? People have very different opinions as to what constitutes fast.
Well, I work from home, so yeah I probably pee a lot. I also try to drink plenty of water, so... We don't need 5 loads every week, which is why I mentioned washing the clothes less often (to make the loads bigger). I'll try combining my clothes loads next week. :) I do wash everything in cold except the white sheets. I wash the sheets every week because I don't like sleeping on sweaty, grimy sheets. Guess I need to get over that. I wash the towels every week because we each use one bath towel all week and one hand towel in the bathroom. I thought they were pretty dirty after 7 days... I'm also kinda paranoid about kitchen towels and dish rags...I use new ones every day. As for showers, I'm aiming for less than 10 minutes if I need to do everything (shampoo, shave, the whole deal). Maybe that's too long.

There are adapters you can get to put on taps and shower-connectors which reduce the flow, I have noticed no difference in effectiveness; the water company here gives them out for free to help people save money. There's also the old brick-in-the-cistern or the new dual-flush toilet, and of course you don't need to flush every time you take a pee. Dishwashers might actually use less water than handwashing, depending on how you do it. You don't have to wash towels after every use, or bedclothes every week; turn the duvet and pillows the other way up halfway through. When you shower, you can turn the water off while you use the soap and shampoo; while you wait for the water to heat up, you can collect the cold water in a bucket, it could be enough for one or two flushes.

I use a little over 1 cubic metre of water per month (for one person). Google says that's less than half a CCF. Maybe this just means I'm dirty and smelly!
I added a jug to one toilet to displace water. The other toilet flushing mechanism takes up the whole tank, so a jug (and a brick) won't fit, but I think I'll find one of those dual-flush mechanisms. Are they pretty easy to install? I will look up the low flow adapters. I addressed the laundry items in the section above. I guess I need to get over dirty sheets, but the bathroom towels are probably due for a wash after a full week of use. Thanks for the advice!

Two suggestions:

1) Low-flower showerheads and sink aerators. There are a bunch of Amazon. I can't remember which ones I bought, but I recall that they were not expensive.

2) Dual-flush toilet kits. Don't go to the hardware store to get them, the ones they sell are overpriced crap. I installed this company's products on all three of my toilets and they work great: http://www.water-saver.org/
Thanks. I will look those up.

We are also 2 adults (but no dogs) in an apartment but our water/sewer is included in our rent, so I actually have no clue how much we use for comparison... I grew up during one of California's worst droughts, and we're in another bad one now so I like to think I'm pretty good but am sure there is room for improvement! But I agree with the other suggestions for low-flow showerheads/faucets/toilets and that the amount of laundry seems like it could be cut back a lot. For other ideas, maybe these drought-awareness tip-sheets will have a few things you haven't tried yet:

http://saveourh2o.org/content/home

http://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/?view=list
Thanks for the reading material. We don't have a lot of drought problems here in the midwest. I'm always up for learning more. :)

Nords

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2014, 09:53:53 PM »
Some quiet morning when nobody's using water in your house, you could check your water meter to see if the little shape on the dial is spinning.  On our meter it's a blue triangle, and if it's moving then it's usually a sign of a leaky toilet valve or a leaky sprinkler irrigation control valve. 

People have very strong opinions on high-efficiency washing machines (mostly negative) but they do save a lot of water.  They can also spin the clothes nearly dry, which reduces run time on your dryer clothesline.  They're also pretty cheap on Craigslist.

Do you have a reverse-osmosis (RO) filter in your house?  That backflushes with water occasionally, which will drive up your use.

My favorite water-saving trick is showering at the beach, but that might not work for everyone year-round...

DollarBill

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2014, 10:35:37 PM »
I tried to lower my bill but figured out it doesn't mater. I'm billed for 2000 gallons as a base price but use only 1300 gallons. So if I conserve more it doesn't matter.

karaishere

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2014, 07:31:30 AM »
Some quiet morning when nobody's using water in your house, you could check your water meter to see if the little shape on the dial is spinning.  On our meter it's a blue triangle, and if it's moving then it's usually a sign of a leaky toilet valve or a leaky sprinkler irrigation control valve. 

People have very strong opinions on high-efficiency washing machines (mostly negative) but they do save a lot of water.  They can also spin the clothes nearly dry, which reduces run time on your dryer clothesline.  They're also pretty cheap on Craigslist.

Do you have a reverse-osmosis (RO) filter in your house?  That backflushes with water occasionally, which will drive up your use.

My favorite water-saving trick is showering at the beach, but that might not work for everyone year-round...
Checking the water meter sounds like a great idea! No one is using any water right now, so it would be the perfect time. I'll have to ask the apartment manager where my unit's meter is (since I didn't see it outside just now). We actually have a HE washing machine (it's energy star too); I'll add that to my OP for future readers. :) We live in an apartment and I don't know if we have a RO filter, but I do know that we do not have any sprinklers. ;) Too bad there aren't any beaches around here (Missouri)! Thanks for the advice!

I tried to lower my bill but figured out it doesn't mater. I'm billed for 2000 gallons as a base price but use only 1300 gallons. So if I conserve more it doesn't matter.
We have a base fee on our Sewer bill, but it looks like our Water bill is based on true usage. I'll keep this in mind as we lower our usage. Thanks!

Catbert

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2014, 01:48:02 PM »
Well, depending on how far you want to go...

Remember the old 70s line, "When its yellow let it mellow, when it's brown flush it down." 

Keep a bucket in the shower for warm up water.  I use mine in the garden.  You could use yours in the kitchen to rinse dishes a bit before going in the dishwasher.  Or to flush the toilet.

Take Navy showers (at least in the summer).  Turn on water and get wet.  Turn off water and shampoo, lather, shave, etc.  Turn water back on to rinse off.

darkadams00

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2014, 05:09:08 PM »
1) Shower together. Awesome way to start the day and cuts the water in half unless you spend twice as long as normal--but it might make you late for work occasionally.

2) Be willing to wear clothing two days or more, typically items that haven't gotten visibly dirty/sweaty on the outside (active wear, gardening clothes) or come in constant skin contact (underwear, t-shirts, socks, etc). Wash on cold and wash large but not overstuffed loads. Not changing clothes four times a day for each specific task helps as well.


Kierun

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2014, 05:21:40 PM »
You could consider combat showers, turn on water, get wet, turn off water, lather up, turn on water, rinse off, turn off water, towel off, put on clothes (optional).

DollarBill

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2014, 06:03:17 PM »
You could consider combat showers, turn on water, get wet, turn off water, lather up, turn on water, rinse off, turn off water, towel off, put on clothes (optional).
They called it "pits, nuts and butts" in basic...lol

Kierun

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2014, 06:23:27 PM »
You could consider combat showers, turn on water, get wet, turn off water, lather up, turn on water, rinse off, turn off water, towel off, put on clothes (optional).
They called it "pits, nuts and butts" in basic...lol

My basic was co-ed...had to be pc in the softer, kinder, gentler army. :(

moreless

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2014, 07:16:19 PM »
My basic was co-ed...had to be pc in the softer, kinder, gentler army. :(

Oh come now. My great aunt was in the navy nurse corps, and she has oodles of stories about her officers. Many things they might have been during her training and deployment, but politically correct could not be claimed as one of them.

Ladies version was pits, tits, and ass during her time in the navy, by the by. ;)

OP, towels wipe water off your clean body. Unless they don't dry out between showers and get musty or something, there's very little reason to wash them once a week. If you really must switch towels once a week, at least wait until you have more than one towel per person and a handtowel before doing a whole load of laundry.

Kierun

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2014, 07:36:30 PM »
My basic was co-ed...had to be pc in the softer, kinder, gentler army. :(

Oh come now. My great aunt was in the navy nurse corps, and she has oodles of stories about her officers. Many things they might have been during her training and deployment, but politically correct could not be claimed as one of them.

Ladies version was pits, tits, and ass during her time in the navy, by the by. ;)
Yes, but the military (and society) has changed a lot since the time your great aunt was in the service and went to basic. 

DollarBill

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2014, 08:11:15 PM »

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2014, 08:20:37 PM »
I recently had a plumbing issue that resulted in significantly reduced water pressure at my kitchen sink. That is the only faucet affected, but my bill went down about $10/month because of it. I don't have a dishwasher, so everything is handwashed. I shower every other day. 2-3 loads of laundry a week (it's just me, but I have leaky pets). So, the upshot of this is, I think a low flow/aerator would make a huge difference.

Oh, and I don't flush every time I pee.

PindyStache

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2014, 08:50:30 PM »
Our usage (2 adults, 1 toddler, story+half on city lot) ranges from 1500-3000 gallons per month, as a point of comparison.

Hotstreak

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2014, 09:27:59 PM »
To help your towels last longer between washes, let yourself dry more before you step out of the shower.  You can use your hands like a "squeegee" to get a lot of the water off your legs, arms, torso, face and hair.  I started doing this and noticed my towels staying much dryer, which really lowered the "ick" factor of wiping myself with a towel that's been damp all day.  No bad smells on the thing either!

kimmarg

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2014, 10:15:37 PM »
I'm just curious, how much is your water bill in $$? I run about the same as you for usage.... but for my 5 CCF usage we are charged around $16/month. Which means that pretty much anything that costs money to save water has a ridiculous payback period. I could be better about doing a few less loads a week I suppose, but we already have a high efficiency washer. Just curious. Seems like there are better ways to save $$ than saving water. (Yes, I know there's an environmental argument here and I respect that is a great reason to save water, I am just curious about the $ since this is a money forum!)

Cressida

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2014, 10:43:18 PM »
I wash the sheets every week because I don't like sleeping on sweaty, grimy sheets. Guess I need to get over that. I wash the towels every week because we each use one bath towel all week and one hand towel in the bathroom. I thought they were pretty dirty after 7 days

Possibly the towels can go another few days. I'm with you on the sheets, though. I think washing the sheets once a week is totally understandable, especially if anyone in the household has a tendency to break out. If not, well, maybe they could go a little longer. But I go with once a week for sure.

karaishere

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2014, 08:31:56 AM »
Well, depending on how far you want to go...

Remember the old 70s line, "When its yellow let it mellow, when it's brown flush it down." 

Keep a bucket in the shower for warm up water.  I use mine in the garden.  You could use yours in the kitchen to rinse dishes a bit before going in the dishwasher.  Or to flush the toilet.

Take Navy showers (at least in the summer).  Turn on water and get wet.  Turn off water and shampoo, lather, shave, etc.  Turn water back on to rinse off.
Haha! Good line. :) I don't "remember it" since I was borne in '87, but good advice! We do let the yellow mellow at night and I suppose we could try it during the day. Good idea on the bucket and the showers. I'll give it a go!

1) Shower together. Awesome way to start the day and cuts the water in half unless you spend twice as long as normal--but it might make you late for work occasionally.

2) Be willing to wear clothing two days or more, typically items that haven't gotten visibly dirty/sweaty on the outside (active wear, gardening clothes) or come in constant skin contact (underwear, t-shirts, socks, etc). Wash on cold and wash large but not overstuffed loads. Not changing clothes four times a day for each specific task helps as well.
Lol. We do occasionally shower together and I agree it is faster and seems to save water. Who said I change clothes 4 times per day??? ;) I wear pjs when I sleep (same pair 2-3 days in a row), I wear one "outfit" where my undies/socks/shirt are always clean and my pants/shorts/bra is re-worn several times per week, and I do wear clean workout clothes 4-5 days a week (I crossfit and they are completely sweated through). That is technically 3 outfits, but as I do re-wear a lot of things, is it so bad? Honestly, I think I've just been washing too many partially full loads. *face punches deserved*

I recently had a plumbing issue that resulted in significantly reduced water pressure at my kitchen sink. That is the only faucet affected, but my bill went down about $10/month because of it. I don't have a dishwasher, so everything is handwashed. I shower every other day. 2-3 loads of laundry a week (it's just me, but I have leaky pets). So, the upshot of this is, I think a low flow/aerator would make a huge difference.

Oh, and I don't flush every time I pee.
We definitely have pressure problems with our sinks. Another plus for the low flow sink aerator! Thanks.

To help your towels last longer between washes, let yourself dry more before you step out of the shower.  You can use your hands like a "squeegee" to get a lot of the water off your legs, arms, torso, face and hair.  I started doing this and noticed my towels staying much dryer, which really lowered the "ick" factor of wiping myself with a towel that's been damp all day.  No bad smells on the thing either!
We each use a towel (that's one for each of us) for 7 days. They always dry out quickly and we haven't had any problems with dampness or bad smells. Thank you for the advice. :)

I'm just curious, how much is your water bill in $$? I run about the same as you for usage.... but for my 5 CCF usage we are charged around $16/month. Which means that pretty much anything that costs money to save water has a ridiculous payback period. I could be better about doing a few less loads a week I suppose, but we already have a high efficiency washer. Just curious. Seems like there are better ways to save $$ than saving water. (Yes, I know there's an environmental argument here and I respect that is a great reason to save water, I am just curious about the $ since this is a money forum!)
Not as low as you, but I don't think it's the worst. Our water bill is about $35 and our sewer bill is also about $35 ($20 of that is a fixed fee), so about $70 per month total, which is nothing to cry about. I was more concerned at how wasteful we've been from an environmental aspect. I was kind of disgusted when I learned what we were using. I certainly am working on reducing those spending areas that actually impact our savings rate (unnecessary shopping and going out to eat). And you're right about not spending too much on "upgrades"...I need to work on my behaviors first to see how much we can lower that way. :)

Possibly the towels can go another few days. I'm with you on the sheets, though. I think washing the sheets once a week is totally understandable, especially if anyone in the household has a tendency to break out. If not, well, maybe they could go a little longer. But I go with once a week for sure.
My face definitely likes to break out despite being 27 (dumb!). I know some of it is stress and diet related, but I'm sure dirty sheets don't help.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 12:14:30 PM by karaishere »

mm1970

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2014, 09:04:52 AM »
We are in a drought and we use the same amount of water you do, but for four people.  It's important to note that we aren't here during the day.

We have a low-water toilet that made a huge difference (from 5HCF to 4HCF).

When I wash veggies, I wash them in a bowl and use the water to water our plants out back.

When I cook veggies, I steam instead of boil.  I usually make spaghetti in "one pot", meaning I cook the spaghetti in the sauce, uses less water.

Things I haven't started doing yet, but have thought about: putting a bucket in the shower and collect water as it's warming.  And save the water from the laundry (our washer has a hose that goes into an industrial sink, so it would be easy).  I'd use this to water plants.

Don't flush every time you pee.  It's a waste of water.

bacchi

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2014, 09:48:33 AM »
Take Navy showers (at least in the summer).  Turn on water and get wet.  Turn off water and shampoo, lather, shave, etc.  Turn water back on to rinse off.

Put a cut-off valve in front of your shower head, like so:

http://www.amazon.com/Quarter-Shower-Valve-Polished-Chrome/dp/B00K11XNLQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1404315796&sr=8-3&keywords=shower+head+turn+off

Easy.

karaishere

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2014, 12:28:47 PM »
We are in a drought and we use the same amount of water you do, but for four people.  It's important to note that we aren't here during the day.

We have a low-water toilet that made a huge difference (from 5HCF to 4HCF).

When I wash veggies, I wash them in a bowl and use the water to water our plants out back.

When I cook veggies, I steam instead of boil.  I usually make spaghetti in "one pot", meaning I cook the spaghetti in the sauce, uses less water.

Things I haven't started doing yet, but have thought about: putting a bucket in the shower and collect water as it's warming.  And save the water from the laundry (our washer has a hose that goes into an industrial sink, so it would be easy).  I'd use this to water plants.

Don't flush every time you pee.  It's a waste of water.
Good tips! I am home all day, but I do think I can implement your tips (well, except replacing the toilet, but I can put in a dual flush kit). Thank you. :)

Put a cut-off valve in front of your shower head, like so:

http://www.amazon.com/Quarter-Shower-Valve-Polished-Chrome/dp/B00K11XNLQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1404315796&sr=8-3&keywords=shower+head+turn+off

Easy.
Interesting. Do you think this is a better option than getting a low flow shower head? Then again, I could just use the faucet handle and turn the water on and off that way.

Cwadda

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2014, 01:19:10 PM »
I wash the sheets every week because I don't like sleeping on sweaty, grimy sheets. Guess I need to get over that. I wash the towels every week because we each use one bath towel all week and one hand towel in the bathroom. I thought they were pretty dirty after 7 days

Possibly the towels can go another few days. I'm with you on the sheets, though. I think washing the sheets once a week is totally understandable, especially if anyone in the household has a tendency to break out. If not, well, maybe they could go a little longer. But I go with once a week for sure.

That's what I do. I use 1 towel for about every 2-3 weeks. It's really not a big deal since it's a clean body you're drying off and it's just water.

Jack

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2014, 12:54:27 PM »
I tried to lower my bill but figured out it doesn't mater. I'm billed for 2000 gallons as a base price but use only 1300 gallons. So if I conserve more it doesn't matter.

Could it be that they merely round to 2000-gallon units? If you consistently used 1300 gallons/month, would it be possible that they might charge you for 2000 gallons the first month (total cumulative use 1300 gallons), 2000 gallons the second month (total cumulative use 2600 gallons), and zero gallons the third month (total cumulative use 3900 gallons)?

Although my usage is not low enough for it to happen, that's how my city would do it (except rounded to 1 CCF increments).

bacchi

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2014, 01:57:08 PM »
Interesting. Do you think this is a better option than getting a low flow shower head? Then again, I could just use the faucet handle and turn the water on and off that way.

I have both a low flow shower head and the cut-off valve. My shower has hot and cold handles and getting the right temperature is a hassle, so the cut-off valve is far easier.

karaishere

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2014, 11:28:12 AM »
So...
I've been saving the water collected when running the bath faucet (to get warm shower water) in two small (clean) trash cans (better than buying a new bucket, right?) and using them to flush the toilet. It's working pretty well so far. I've also learned that it takes a lot less time to warm the water up than previously thought. I've also been trying to let the yellow mellow and it's kinda working. Sometimes I forget that I'm trying to flush less, but I do find that keeping the lid closed lowers the ick factor. I have only done one load of laundry so far this week which was a full washer load of 2 weeks worth of dirty workout clothes. Tomorrow, will be laundry day for everything else and I'll report back on how many loads I do. I'm aiming for two, one sheets/whites combined and one colored clothes/towels combined.


I have both a low flow shower head and the cut-off valve. My shower has hot and cold handles and getting the right temperature is a hassle, so the cut-off valve is far easier.
Gotcha. Our handle is an all-in-one, so it's easy to see where the right temp is. Thanks for the reply!

greaper007

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #30 on: July 05, 2014, 11:25:48 PM »
3000 isn't that bad, that's what I use for a family of four (though 2 people are under 5 and bathe together every other day).    I have all low flow toilets, 1.5 gpm shower heads (helps tremendously) a front loader and try to only wash dishes in the dishwasher.    My modern (made in the last 15 years) dishwasher only uses 4 gallons per cycle, try to wash a load of dishes by hand with a shot glass of water per dish.   I've also stopped watering my lawn, I don't really care if it turns brown.

What are your appliances like?    If they're ancient you can upgrade a few things that pay back quickly like low flow shower heads.    Otherwise, it doesn't really seem worth it to me to start spending lots of cash to upgrade or having to stare at urine filled toilets to save a couple hundred gallons more.    Just be mindful and only use what you need, sounds like you're doing a good job.

sedura

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #31 on: July 05, 2014, 11:37:15 PM »
Not sure about how to solve your problem, but I can tell you how not to make it worse. Do NOT buy your twin toddlers a water table. I swear, our bill has gone up 10%

panthalassa

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2014, 03:52:05 AM »
I don't know about you but for me, getting rid of a roommate!  The last guy I had quadrupled my usage. 

karaishere

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #33 on: July 06, 2014, 09:05:08 AM »
I don't know about you but for me, getting rid of a roommate!  The last guy I had quadrupled my usage.
Haha! My husband would love that! ;) :D

3000 isn't that bad, that's what I use for a family of four (though 2 people are under 5 and bathe together every other day).    I have all low flow toilets, 1.5 gpm shower heads (helps tremendously) a front loader and try to only wash dishes in the dishwasher.    My modern (made in the last 15 years) dishwasher only uses 4 gallons per cycle, try to wash a load of dishes by hand with a shot glass of water per dish.   I've also stopped watering my lawn, I don't really care if it turns brown.

What are your appliances like?    If they're ancient you can upgrade a few things that pay back quickly like low flow shower heads.    Otherwise, it doesn't really seem worth it to me to start spending lots of cash to upgrade or having to stare at urine filled toilets to save a couple hundred gallons more.    Just be mindful and only use what you need, sounds like you're doing a good job.
Exactly, you're a family of four. We are just two. I want to install low flow faucets and a dual flush conversion kit for the toilet. We rent, so we can't change anything else out out (actually, I'm not sure we're allowed to change the faucet aerators...). This dishwasher says it's energy star, but I can't find where it says how much water is used. I always run it when it's completely full of dishes, but I do tend to hand wash pots, pans and knives since they don't really get clean in the dishwasher. Our washer is a front load, energy star, HE washer and is about 3 years old. I'm sure it doesn't use too much waters as long as I'm not running too many partial loads in it! ;)  Luckily we don't have a lawn to water. :)

Greg

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Re: Water Usage: How to lower it?
« Reply #34 on: July 07, 2014, 12:32:48 PM »
In addition to flow reducing aerators at your sinks, try this:  Open the faucet to full flow hot or cold, then adjust that angle stop under the sink until the flow is less, adjust it to the minimum needed for washing/rinsing hands/toothbrush etc.

This way, you can use less without having to think about it.  Might not work on your kitchen sink faucet if it also has a sprayer hose, as they often need full flow to switch.