Keeping your water bill low

Does your water bill seem higher than usual?

Does your water consumption seem normal compared to the previous billing period or the same billing period last year? Has the amount of water you've been using changed? Our day-to-day water usage can vary, and sometimes a higher-than-usual bill is the result.

During the summer months, for example, watering your lawn more is the most common reason a bill can be high. Running your sprinkler for one hour can use 400 gallons of water. If you use a hose to water, did you forget to go back out and turn it off?

The average family uses about 165 gallons of water a day -- and that's just the inside of the home. Outdoor uses, such as watering your lawn, can increase those numbers significantly.

There could be a leaking faucet or a running toilet in your home. Check for a possible leak by turning off everything in the house and then going out and looking at the water meter. It should not be moving at all. If it is moving, you have a leak somewhere. Did you fill a swimming pool with a garden hose? Or use a pressure washer to clean the deck and driveway? At four gallons per minute, pressure washing for four hours can use 960 gallons or over a unit of water. 

Daily Water Use

On average, a person uses between 40 to 80 gallons of water every day. 

Here's a breakdown:

Bathing 15-20
Sink  3-5
Toilet 5-15
Washing Clothes   10-20
Cooking 1-2
Miscellaneous 1-3

Small household leaks can be a problem if left unrepaired. A running toilet, for example, can use over one gallon of water an hour. That's 26 gallons a day, and 780 gallons a month! A leaky faucet, at one drip per second, adds up to over 250 gallons a month. That's a lot of water -- and a higher bill.