Author Topic: H2O October: Share your water usage!  (Read 6439 times)

Herbert Derp

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H2O October: Share your water usage!
« on: October 01, 2014, 03:10:29 AM »
I am going to track my water usage this month in an effort to see how much I use and what optimizations can be made. Up until now, I've been clueless about how much water I use, so here goes! Anyone want to join me?

10/01/2014: Meter reads 182,320 gal (+~4 from small dial, can't see it very well)
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 03:22:34 AM by Herbert Derp »

Dyk

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2014, 02:31:49 PM »
Herbert, I am in.  It was meant to be.  I did not see your post, but read my water meter yesterday.  How strange is that?

10/2 - 221,600

I have done the following already to reduce water useage:
- Both showers have 1.5gpm heads
- We started wearing clothes more than once (less laundry)
- Kitchen has .5 gpm aerator (Actually it is a 3 way, .5/1.0/1.5 that you can change.  Really sweet.  We use it on .5 unless more flow is needed, which it seldom is.)
- Bathroom 1 has 1.0gpm aerator

To Do:
- Bathroom 2 - I so far have not been able to find a mini/jr 1.0gpm aerator that this faucet needs ...
- Toilets - so far the only plan is 'If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down.'
- ?I think it's an Evolution device that will turn your shower off as soon as it warms up.  Not sure ... ?

Looking forward to tracking.

Dyk

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2014, 08:58:28 AM »
Update:  10/15 - 222,900

Averaging about 100 gallons/day for a family of 7.  I have no idea if that is good or not . . .  .

Bob W

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2014, 10:06:10 AM »
Update:  10/15 - 222,900

Averaging about 100 gallons/day for a family of 7.  I have no idea if that is good or not . . .  .

That is good.

Washing machines are the biggest users of water by the way.   Cut your clothes washing by washing clothes after every 2 to 3 wears.  (underwear and socks daily,  jeans maybe 5-6 wears)  Wash your bath towels after every 10 - 20 uses.  (air dry)

For toilets the rule is --"if its yellow let it mellow,  if its brown flush it down"

For showers --  Rinse 30 seconds,  lather up good for 2-3 minutes with water off,  rinse until soap is gone.   I only soap my face, hair (bald mostly), underarms and privates.   I do not soap other skin as the natural oils do a fine job.

A family of two could easily get their water use down to sub 1000 gallons a month. 

drewski83

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2014, 02:59:39 PM »
I just checked my bill and im wasting a lot. 5,000 gallons a month for a family of 2 but I was watering my lawn everyday because I over seeded it recently. I'm interested to see what the bill will be next month when im not watering it anymore.

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2014, 10:22:49 PM »
Wow, the topic of this thread is so alien to me now.  I've lived in houses with their own wells since the year 2000.  So, no water meter and no water charge.  (And repairs to the well pump et al, if needed, are covered under my home warranty policy.)

Herbert Derp

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2014, 08:59:39 PM »
Results are in!

11/02/2014: 182,460 gal (+~4 from small dial)

So during October I used about 140 gallons of water, not bad. Taking showers at the office helps a lot.

Bob W

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2014, 11:40:25 AM »
Results are in!

11/02/2014: 182,460 gal (+~4 from small dial)

So during October I used about 140 gallons of water, not bad. Taking showers at the office helps a lot.

That is absolutely awesome!   Can it really be correct?  Are you only toileting at work as well?   Do you do your laundry at the laundrimate?   Pray tell Herbert!  Please tell us how in the world you do this?

According to sources the average person uses 3,000 gallons per month.

If that is the correct usage,  it may be time to consider cutting your water hook up altogether.  Your cost per galloon with sewer usage fees and minimum hook up fees must be around 30 cents.   Your hot water cost is probably another $30 per month? 

I dream of the day in my future small home of using a water recycling and rain catch system so this is of great interest to me. 

skunkfunk

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2014, 01:50:40 PM »
Wow, the topic of this thread is so alien to me now.  I've lived in houses with their own wells since the year 2000.  So, no water meter and no water charge.  (And repairs to the well pump et al, if needed, are covered under my home warranty policy.)

Well, that's alien to me! I make my own water mostly by filtering my excretions through a filter I made from dirt and toilet paper.

But seriously, I'm on a well too and so my water usage goes fairly unchecked. I should put one of those little portable meters on my well so that I can at least start monitoring my electricity usage for water.

Herbert Derp

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2014, 09:01:31 PM »
That is absolutely awesome!   Can it really be correct?  Are you only toileting at work as well?   Do you do your laundry at the laundrimate?   Pray tell Herbert!  Please tell us how in the world you do this?

According to sources the average person uses 3,000 gallons per month.

If that is the correct usage,  it may be time to consider cutting your water hook up altogether.  Your cost per gallon with sewer usage fees and minimum hook up fees must be around 30 cents.   Your hot water cost is probably another $30 per month? 

I dream of the day in my future small home of using a water recycling and rain catch system so this is of great interest to me.

I do believe that my meter is correct. I have a high efficiency toilet which uses one gallon per flush, and flush every other day or so, so that only adds up to about 15 gallons. I take all my showers at the office, so I save a lot of water that way and furthermore, I don't need hot water. My hot water tank has been turned off since I moved in to my condo. The only significant water I use is for laundry.

You may be right, if I started going to a laundromat it might be cheaper than the monthly service cost of having running water. However, my building does not allow for water to be shut off to individual units, so there is no way for me to "opt out" of having a water bill.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 09:04:44 PM by Herbert Derp »

skunkfunk

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2014, 07:31:22 AM »
That is absolutely awesome!   Can it really be correct?  Are you only toileting at work as well?   Do you do your laundry at the laundrimate?   Pray tell Herbert!  Please tell us how in the world you do this?

According to sources the average person uses 3,000 gallons per month.

If that is the correct usage,  it may be time to consider cutting your water hook up altogether.  Your cost per gallon with sewer usage fees and minimum hook up fees must be around 30 cents.   Your hot water cost is probably another $30 per month? 

I dream of the day in my future small home of using a water recycling and rain catch system so this is of great interest to me.

I do believe that my meter is correct. I have a high efficiency toilet which uses one gallon per flush, and flush every other day or so, so that only adds up to about 15 gallons. I take all my showers at the office, so I save a lot of water that way and furthermore, I don't need hot water. My hot water tank has been turned off since I moved in to my condo. The only significant water I use is for laundry.

You may be right, if I started going to a laundromat it might be cheaper than the monthly service cost of having running water. However, my building does not allow for water to be shut off to individual units, so there is no way for me to "opt out" of having a water bill.

How do you even cook and do dishes with that usage?

kib

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2014, 03:35:32 PM »
Slightly off topic ... jeez I don't even have peach fuzz and I'm already off topic ...

I have heard the 3000 gallon average number and I always wonder ... is this just the total number of gallons of municipal water / citizens of the country?  If so then that usage includes agricultural and industrial use, which seriously skews any number an individual would produce.  If that number somehow only includes personal use, how on earth could a conscious person use 100 gallons of water a day, every day? 

 - Family of 2, October: 1496 gallons including watering food plants in the Southwest.  We both work from home, so showers and toiletry occur on premises, also most cooking (and therefore dish cleanup) done at home.

Unfortunately as far as non-composting toilets are concerned, I would say, "I'm down with brown, but yellow?  Smello!!"
« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 03:40:44 PM by frufrau »

MMMdude

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2014, 08:36:33 PM »
I live in Canada and average between 6 and 10 cubic meters per month which appears to convert to approx 1200 to 2000 gallons in a month.  I have compared to friend's bills and we are way lower then them.  The city told me the average person uses 7 cubic meters per month....although i'm not sure if they mean household or person.  Anyways there are two of us in the house

Google shows that the average person uses 80 to 100 gallons per day so we appear to be under the average by alot.

Bob W

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2014, 08:43:15 AM »
I think the 100 gallons per day per person is a residential metric.   The big culprit is washing machines.  As TV commercials have convinced people that doing a load of laundry per person per day is good.   

So here is what the average nonmustachian might do on a typical day.

Flush a 3 gallon toilet 5 times  = 15
Shower for 10 minutes 3 GPM  = 30
Load of laundry = 40
Run the sink while doing dishes = 15
Total = 100

So to reduce and aspire towards mustachian nirvana -

Flush 1 time at 1.5 gallons = 1.5  (yellow let it mellow,  brown flush it down)
Shower Navy style with a 1.5 gpm =  3    (wet, water off,  lather, water on to rinse)
1 load laundry per week = 6   (towels every 10-15 days,  pants after 3 wearings)
Use just 1 gallon to wash dishes = 1   

Total = 11.5

I love the water metaphor for the efficiency of the mustachian life.   You can easily see that the mustachian is 9 times more efficient than the average person (and believe me that some people are keeping that average up with 200 gallons per day usage).   

Yet the mustachian is using less effort, saving money, wearing their clothes and towels out less often,  helping the environment and using less time.   What a wonderful thing. 

Apply this concept across the board and you are golden!

skunkfunk

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2014, 08:46:04 AM »

Use just 1 gallon to wash dishes = 1   


I just don't see how. I have far too many disgusting dishes to pull that off.

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2014, 09:52:57 AM »
We get billed quarterly; this quarter's water and sewer use was 5,000 gallons for a family of 2, working out to about 833 gallons/month/person, or 27-28 gallons/day/person. My wife takes hot baths every night (non-negotiable) and hot showers in the mornings, while I shower 3-4 times/week and don't take baths. Laundry is 2-3 times a month with 3 loads in the washer each time, so 6-9 washer loads per month. Dishwasher used maybe 3 times per week, or 12 times a month.

Bill is still close to $70 because of the $11 account maintenance fee and the $15 Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fee. Not sure what kind of showerheads we have, but they're probably 2.5 gpm.

Bob W

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2014, 10:22:21 AM »

Use just 1 gallon to wash dishes = 1   


I just don't see how. I have far too many disgusting dishes to pull that off.

Yeah,  I thought about using 3 gallons for that number.  But here is how --  Assuming one person.

Breakfast -- two eggs -  Rinse plate immediately for 1 second.  Rub scrub sponge around plate with a dab of soap.  Rinse 3 seconds.   You could soak it all day as I do. 

Dinner -  Using the same nonstick deep pan still there from breakfast.  I merely ran a paper towel around it and added olive oil.  (no water needed)  1 chicken breast,  stir fry veggies (same pan),  boiled 1/2 gallon water in non stick pan for rice.   

Clean up -- discard anything in trash from plates and pan using paper towels that were used for dinner.   Use hot water from rice pot to soak pan and plate with a little soap while I relax.   1 hour later gently rub pan, pot and plate, fork, knife. with sponge.  Rinse for 9 seconds.  (.45 gallons)

Total gallons = 1.  If you have 2,3,4 people you could actually do this more efficiently by stacking the dishes in 2 inches of the soapy rice water.

YMMV

(why is there water left over from rice?  I use the French method.  put some hot water (5 or 6 times the rice volumn) in a pot.  boil rice 10 minutes.  strain rice in colander.  comes out perfect every time.  In my case I discard the rice water as I'm on a well and don't give a hoot.  But the rice water is hot and perfect for rinsing/soaking if you care to trouble.

skunkfunk

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2014, 10:29:18 AM »
(why is there water left over from rice?  I use the French method.  put some hot water (5 or 6 times the rice volumn) in a pot.  boil rice 10 minutes.  strain rice in colander.  comes out perfect every time. 

And here I was thinking about purchasing a rice or pressure cooker. I am gonna have to take this up with the wife and try it out soon.

Herbert Derp

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2015, 10:21:15 PM »
Just got my water bill for October. $2.91 for water and sewer consumption, awesome!

Bob W

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2015, 10:59:26 PM »
Just got my water bill for October. $2.91 for water and sewer consumption, awesome!
.  October bill January 2?   That's a little slow?

Herbert Derp

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2015, 11:08:30 PM »
Yea, as I mentioned in another thread, my association does their water billing through a third party submetering agency and those guys are a few months behind.

Dyk

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2015, 06:45:43 AM »
Herbert Derp - That is amazing, my bill (for a stand alone house) has $23 in fixed fees per quarter .....

For the last quarter we ended up at 14k gallons for 93 days for 7 people = 21 gal/person/day.
Our lowest ever!

I am guessing my biggest culprits are now (they both are older):
1.  Dishwasher - 6 times/week
2.  Washing machine - 4-5 times/week

When I get a little free time I will try to calculate if they are worth replacing .....

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2015, 08:21:54 AM »
I can't read my meter outside, unfortunately.  The city uses some sort of electronic device to pull off the meter value and ever since I moved here in July I've used 2 units a month.  Each unit is 1000 gallons.  The city charges $1.60/unit for the first 10 units, so my billable water total is $3.20, although my actual water bill is higher since they charge a flat $8.87 monthly as the meter charge.

I suppose it might be possible to get my usage down from 2 units to 1, but that's an awfully big drop in usage just to save $1.60/month.  The opportunity cost is so small that I think I've got this one optimized as far as it can go.  I love optimizing the heck out of things, but once you get an expense category down to barely $3/month, there's not much more to do.

Now my old house.  That was a different story.  There were times when the water bill was upwards of $50 due to the large yard and huge amount of landscaping.  That was not a very water efficient home at all when I first moved in there, drawing over 25,000 gallons in some months, and I think even higher as the record highs.  That is especially bad given the location in a desert!

This is the situation I'm in, except the numbers are astronomically higher.  Most months we use 2 units of water, every 3-4 months it is 1 unit of water (because I think we don't generally get all the way to 2 units, but it rounds, so we eventually get that in our favor too. We can't read our own meter though.)

I just looked up the breakdown and our base rates for water and wastewater are $12.81 and $23.57, and then there are consumption rates of $4.79 and $4.04.  So if we use 1 unit the charge is $45.21 and 2 units is $54.04; then, of course, this amount is taxed.





Herbert Derp

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2015, 12:26:58 AM »
New lows!

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2015, 10:11:01 AM »
I apparently was using 22,000 gallons of water for the month of October in my 1,350 square foot seasonal rental property.....while it was vacant!

As opposed to the 2,250 gallons I used in my primary residence with four people living there.

I knew 22K was outrageous, but didn't realize how outrageous until I compared with my "regular" bill. Culprit was a couple of running toilets.

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Re: H2O October: Share your water usage!
« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2015, 06:21:16 AM »
Just found this thread now!  I've been trying to tweak our household use even further once I realized I could actually monitor the water meter to see what our high use culprits were.

Firstly, I'm always confused by gallons, since we use litres here in Canada.  We are usually billed in cubic meters (to make matters even worse) 

1 cubic meter = 1000L = 264 Gallons
1 US Gallon = 3.7854 litres.

Now that the conversion stage is set, we can show this:



Apparently Canada doesn't use water on that graph...but from environment Canada:

"In 2011, 58% of Canadian households were equipped with water meters compared to 52% in 1991. Over the same period, average daily water use dropped by 27% from 342 litres per person in 1991 to 251 litres per person in 2011."

Looking back over the last couple years our average use was around 310 liters per day (3 people = 103L/person) After just completing our first 2-months of monitoring having taken a few measure to reduce we are at 292/day or 97L/person. 

Fun thread!