How to save on water costs?

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sabhen
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How to save on water costs?

Post by sabhen »

Our water costs have been increasing in the last few years. We pay about about $100 a month. We have a swimming pool which we enjoy using. There is a drought going on in my area. We have an automatic water sprinkler system for the lawn used very early in the morning. We reduced the frequency of doing laundry wash. planning to install water-saving shower heads. Some neighbours don't water the lawn at all. I am toying with the same idea. What ideas do you have that made a significant dent in water consumption?
sc9182
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by sc9182 »

We don't have a large lawn to speak of, nor a pool., nor do we splurge on long or jet-tub baths. Also, water our lawn once a week, or during higher restrictions - water only biweekly. Also, by local laws - all our fixtures are water-saving., highly water-efficient appliances, and super-high-efficient dual-flush toilets being used correctly (no we don't have any leaks or blown-sprinkler-heads. thx)

I would take $100/month a water (sewer including?) any given day/night of the year.
Last edited by sc9182 on Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:42 am, edited 5 times in total.
Yarlonkol12
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by Yarlonkol12 »

With a pool and sprinkler system running regularly I am shocked you only pay $100 a month. We pay that much without any watering or a pool. When we added new grass and watered daily for 2 weeks our bill was $400

Is your sprinkler system metered seperate so you don’t get billed sewer charges for watering consumption? Not always an option, but is around here
jebmke
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by jebmke »

Many (most?) lawns don't require irrigation to survive. Cut high, allow grass to go dormant in drought. Most of the time it will re-bound in the fall. We have ours cut at 4 inches. It will brown off in late summer if we get a very dry spell but when temps cool off and we get rain it always bounces back. One year I had some overseeding done in the fall to refresh the grass but most years it isn't necessary. Nobody around here irrigates -- lawns are simply too big and one would need to ensure well pump is sized to handle the load.

In addition to preserving moisture, cutting high also suppresses weed growth.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
Onlineid3089
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by Onlineid3089 »

I'd stop watering the lawn. Water saving shower heads sound awful.
sailaway
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by sailaway »

First, I want to say that I am very jealous of your pricing. Our bill is more than half of yours and we are very efficient and don't have any outdoor uses for our water, given that we live in a maintained townhouse.

Short showers. Get wet, turn the water off while you lather up, then rinse down. I will be honest, I can only handle it in the summer, but we don't turn the heat on (SoCal, not masochists).

Efficient dish washing. Don't fill the sink then start, just use the water you need and make sure there is always something being soaked or rinsed off with the water.

Drought resistant landscaping. Rocks and succulents, for example.

Laundry efficiency. Use the smallest load size and shortest cycle that will get your clothes clean. I use the quick cycle for regular laundry, only using longer cycles when something is really filthy. Even then, I might soak it, then put the soak water in with the item, then use the quick cycle.

Either get a recycler or make use of the water that comes out while you are waiting for your water to come out at temperature.
MathWizard
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by MathWizard »

Buy a couple of rain barrels and use them for watering a garden or plants.

The lawn will survive, I never water a lawn in a drought (and usually not even when there is not a drought.)

I've never had a pool. I assume that you lose a lot through evaporation, especially in a
drought.

I still pay over $40/month for water, and a similar amount for sewer.
You may be able to save on sewer, since the city utility only measures on the input side,
so they assume any water you consume also goes down the sewer to be treated.
Our city allows you to use (or maybe rent) a water meter for your outside hose.
When you water your lawn, that does not go down the sanitary sewer, and so
does not matter to the sewage treatment plant. This will reduce the sewer bill
if much of your usage is for the lawn (and maybe pool as well).
jebmke
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by jebmke »

sailaway wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:36 am Short showers. Get wet, turn the water off while you lather up, then rinse down.
Sailor's shower. Once you get the technique down (which doesn't take long the first time you blow a water tank on a sailboat long before you expected to :? ) it becomes second nature.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
livesoft
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by livesoft »

We have no pool, but use the neighbor's pool. We haven't watered the lawn yet in 2021 except to test the sprinkler system because it has rained so much so far in 2021. We use about 3K to 4K per month for 3 adults and the bill is about $40.

What is your baseline usage in a month where you do not use pool nor water lawn? Say November, December, February? I check that the water meter is showing no flow when I know there should be no flow. Otherwise, there is a leak. In particular, toilets, faucets, irrigation valves can all have leaks that are hard to know about.
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rich126
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by rich126 »

When I had my house in Scottsdale, I think my bill got up around $200 a month in the summer. I had a large pool and some grass (small amount) and a bunch of fruit trees. That was high compared to what I paid back east where it was closer to $100 every 3 months. It was one of the reasons I sold the house because I'm not even a pool person. (Not the wisest decision considering the continued rising housing prices).

Like the other poster said, rain buckets if you live somewhere it rains frequent can help but usually the highest costs are in areas where it rarely rains. I doubt using rain buckets in the PHX area will help much considering the limited rain (~7" a year) and how rapid things dry out considering the extreme low humidity.

In my case I would have had to get rid of the pool, go to a desert type landscape and remove the fruit trees to make any sizable dent in the water bill.
runner3081
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by runner3081 »

Replace lawn with rocks, we are in AZ and hardscape is required in our HOA.

We also have a pool.

Front yard is 3 cactus plants and a flowering plant, we run the irrigation once per week for 30 minutes. No plants in the backyard.

Other water hogs are softener systems and RO filtering units (but we prefer to have those and keep them).

Our bill is $75 per month.

Now, if I could get my daughter to cut back on showers and doing cannonballs into the pool, we could get it lower :)
Last edited by runner3081 on Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
sailaway
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by sailaway »

jebmke wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:39 am
sailaway wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:36 am Short showers. Get wet, turn the water off while you lather up, then rinse down.
Sailor's shower. Once you get the technique down (which doesn't take long the first time you blow a water tank on a sailboat long before you expected to :? ) it becomes second nature.
It isn't the best for shaving when you have pits and legs to get through and need to constantly rinse the razor. I wish I could find an electric razor that I liked or give up entirely on shaving. As is, I go in waves.
Shallowpockets
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by Shallowpockets »

It depends on where you live. Some people have tiered levels. We do. Our price per 1000 gals increases as you reach a new tier. When they introduced it, they made it seems like a better deal. But they changed the tiers so that they were smaller increments and thus you stair-stepped up and your bills increased easier.
Those of us interested in conservation of resources are so easily outmatched by those who don’t. Ever see business sprinklers on in the middle of the hot day? Or water running down the streets from poor sprinkler direction? Or on in the rain?
Couple years ago the water board cruised around giving tickets. Then after the drought I read they forgave all those infractions when the water situation was better.
Most people don’t care. All your conservation is only helping your own conscience. The overwhelming don’t care attitude makes your conservation almost worthless.
It will have to affect millions and millions of people before it even begins to be a factor. After all 500,000 covid deaths hardly moved the needle for the longest time for a great amount of people.
But it is good to think about conserving now anyway, since then you may be mentally prepared when the spigots get turned off or dire measures are implemented.
Last edited by Shallowpockets on Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
livesoft
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by livesoft »

sailaway wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:51 am...and need to constantly rinse the razor. ...
One can use air to blow the razor clear. One can shake the razor in a cup of water before blowing it clean and after, too. Tip: place tissue on opposite side of razor to catch what is freed by blowing, so that it doesn't go everywhere.
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Icamp
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by Icamp »

Have you asked your municipality about adding a second water meter for the pool and sprinkers? Where I live the bulk of the bill is for wastewater treatment and if you have a meter just for things not going to wastewater you save a lot.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by RickBoglehead »

Per thousand gallons is a useful measure to compare, not dollars.

Fill sink with water. Rinse razor in sink, not running water.
See if sprinklers can be on separate meter so you don't pay for sewage on sprinkler water.
Many people are clueless on watering. Generally, deep watering infrequently is better.

https://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-t ... rrigation/

WATER-WISE LAWN WATERING
How Much Water Does Your Lawn Need? For lawns, water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep roots. The key to watering your grass is to apply enough water to soak down to the depth of the roots. The amount varies with soil type, but a good guide is to apply no more than one inch of water every time, which is enough to soak the soil to between six and 10 inches.
Measure Your Sprinkler Output Without knowing it, you could easily drop up to 300 gallons of water in one hour and end up over-watering your lawn. Here’s how to test your sprinkler output so you can adjust your watering time:
Place six to eight shallow, flat-bottomed cans at scattered locations around your lawn. Tuna or cat food cans work well.
Run your sprinklers for 15 minutes.
Use a ruler to measure the depth of water in each can. Add all the numbers, and then divide by the number of cans to find the average output.
This average number is your sprinkler number. It is the average amount of water your sprinklers apply in 15 minutes.
How long and how often should you water? After you’ve calculated your sprinkler number in the previous step, you can calculate how long to run your sprinklers. Simply locate your sprinkler number in the chart below, and then find the corresponding watering time.
Sprinkler Run Time to Apply 1 Inch
Sprinkler Number 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0
Watering Time(in Minutes) 75 50 37 30 25 22 19 16 15
Now put your numbers to work. Set your sprinkler timer and water your lawn for the correct number of minutes. Wait one hour, and then push a spade or long screwdriver into the ground to see if you’ve soaked the soil to the appropriate depth. It will slide easily through wet soil but will be difficult or impossible to push through dry soil.

By the way, if you run your sprinklers for the correct number of minutes but water pools or runs off your lawn, then you need to split your watering time into two or more sessions. Wait an hour between sessions for the water to soak in.

Now, how often should you water? Water only when your turf is stressed from lack of water. How can you tell? Step on it. If you leave distinct footprints or the grass doesn’t spring back, it’s time to water. As long as you apply one inch of water (don’t forget to include any rainfall) each time you water, then no more than once a week is typically enough to keep your lawn green throughout the summer.
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barnaclebob
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by barnaclebob »

How much of that bill is proportional to water usage. Around here the min bill is like $100 a month and then its like $3 per unit of water. We use 6 to 8 units in winter and 10 to 14 in summer when the veggie garden irrigation is on.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by RickBoglehead »

barnaclebob wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:04 pm How much of that bill is proportional to water usage. Around here the min bill is like $100 a month and then its like $3 per unit of water. We use 6 to 8 units in winter and 10 to 14 in summer when the veggie garden irrigation is on.
Wow. We have a well. My in-laws water bill was $34 base fee, $30 debt service fee, $60 sewer base, per quarter.. $140ish total.
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ray.james
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by ray.james »

I am replacing the 1980s toilet with 1.6gpf efficient toilets. Stopped watering grass. Aerated heads for all faucets. California is going to be in a severe drought this year.
When in doubt, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79939
sport
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by sport »

Live near one of the Great Lakes. Our water bill is about $30/month. There is no shortage of water and the quality of the municipal water is very good.
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ray.james
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by ray.james »

RickBoglehead wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:09 pm
barnaclebob wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:04 pm How much of that bill is proportional to water usage. Around here the min bill is like $100 a month and then its like $3 per unit of water. We use 6 to 8 units in winter and 10 to 14 in summer when the veggie garden irrigation is on.
Wow. We have a well. My in-laws water bill was $34 base fee, $30 debt service fee, $60 sewer base, per quarter.. $140ish total.
Wow, I was reading along thinking sounds normal until I saw per quarter. The debt service on the new sewage plant is $70 per month for 30 years. This is in a city in bay area, not even a remote one. Infrastructure is getting more expensive to upgrade as years pass by.
When in doubt, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79939
sailaway
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by sailaway »

ray.james wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:17 pm I am replacing the 1980s toilet with 1.6gpf efficient toilets. Stopped watering grass. Aerated heads for all faucets. California is going to be in a severe drought this year.
We are leaving the state for a month, so that should take care of our share of conservation.

Speaking of California and toilets: when it's brown, flush it down, when it's yellow, let it mellow.
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Tubes
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by Tubes »

Rain barrels are a great saver for things like vegetable gardens. I save 500 to 1000 gals per season. They are not legal everywhere, however. (Eg: Certain parts of Colorado prohibit rainwater collection.)

I also collect air conditioning condensate water. In my location, that's an easy 5 gal per day. It could be more but sometimes my buckets overflow. I add this to the rain barrel water to help mix it down and allow widespread distribution.

I rigged up a hose to my outlet and let it flow downhill to a bucket for easy collection. In flat areas, it may be challenging to collect. Some people actually plant a garden near their outlet if they don't have an easy means of using gravity for later distribution.
Mudpuppy
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by Mudpuppy »

In my case, every unexpected increase in the monthly water bill were due to cracks in the sprinkler lines below the ground level, leaks at the sprinkler valves, or a leaky toilet flapper. I don't have a pool though, so I don't know how a pool would affect water costs.

For the sprinkler issues, look at the valve boxes later in the day and see if they're still wet. If so, you probably have a valve leak. Finding cracks in the irrigation line is far more time consuming. I have a good idea where my lines are running (even though the system was installed by the prior owner, so I never saw the trenching). I try to inspect the zones after watering periodically. If I find unexpected puddles or squishy ground near where I suspect a line is running, I start digging to see if it's a cracked line.

For the toilet flapper, there's several DIY methods to see if you have a leaky flapper. I personally listen and watch for water movement, but there are other methods too. Flappers are pretty cheap and easy to replace.
Mudpuppy
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by Mudpuppy »

jebmke wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:35 am Many (most?) lawns don't require irrigation to survive. Cut high, allow grass to go dormant in drought. Most of the time it will re-bound in the fall. We have ours cut at 4 inches. It will brown off in late summer if we get a very dry spell but when temps cool off and we get rain it always bounces back. One year I had some overseeding done in the fall to refresh the grass but most years it isn't necessary. Nobody around here irrigates -- lawns are simply too big and one would need to ensure well pump is sized to handle the load.

In addition to preserving moisture, cutting high also suppresses weed growth.
That's greatly dependent on where one lives and the type of grass in one's lawn. This method would work in certain parts of California, but it would not work at all in other parts. Bermuda might come back in those hotter, dryer parts of California, but not until the next year. And you can kill Bermuda by not watering it. My bare backyard after not watering the back lawn during the last California drought is a testament to that one. That said, I'm hoping California has xeriscape incentive programs again during the current drought.
RickBoglehead wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:02 pm Fill sink with water. Rinse razor in sink, not running water.
I'm going to guess you're thinking only about shaving a beard. While the sink method would work for someone shaving their underarms, the legs are another matter. Just picture having to rest a heel on the counter to shave one's legs at the sink.... it's not something most people would be physically comfortable doing. I personally just wear pants all the time now to stop the invasive mosquito from biting me (they love to bite my legs and they are very, very itchy bites that even lidocaine doesn't calm), which means no social pressure to shave my legs. I suppose one could also have a shaving basin that's carried over to the tub or shower for shaving one's legs. But the sink would not work well at all.
jebmke
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by jebmke »

Mudpuppy wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 1:14 pm That's greatly dependent on where one lives and the type of grass in one's lawn. This method would work in certain parts of California, but it would not work at all in other parts. Bermuda might come back in those hotter, dryer parts of California, but not until the next year. And you can kill Bermuda by not watering it. My bare backyard after not watering the back lawn during the last California drought is a testament to that one. That said, I'm hoping California has xeriscape incentive programs again during the current drought.
True; have relatives in east bay area. They got rid of their (tiny) lawn over 10 years ago. Friends in Tucson (why, I have no idea - it was 116 today) -- they have never had a lawn.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
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MikeWillRetire
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by MikeWillRetire »

Here in the mid Atlantic, water is one of my lowest expenses. It averages $50 per month for two people. But we don't have a pool, and I don't water my lawn. But I do water my vegetable garden.
quantAndHold
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by quantAndHold »

Get rid of the lawn. Plant drought resistant plants. Water with a drip system.

Depending on where you are, you might be able to get away with just not watering the lawn. We could do that in Seattle, and it would just come back in the fall. But even then, if you care what it looks like, just not watering is probably not what you want.

Use a dishwasher instead of hand washing. Dishwashers are more efficient than you are.

Sweep/blow instead of hosing the driveway and sidewalk. I don’t know if there are places where people still hose down their driveway, but if you do, don’t.

Wash your car at a car wash, not at home. Car washes recycle water.

Low flow toilets and shower heads. The low flow technology is very good now, if you don’t just get whatever is cheapest. The mid range stuff works very well.

High efficiency washing machine.

Shower at the gym. It doesn’t save any water, but if you have a gym membership you’re already paying for it.

Put a cover on your pool to reduce evaporation.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
iamblessed
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by iamblessed »

sailaway wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:36 am

Short showers. Get wet, turn the water off while you lather up, then rinse down. I will be honest, I can only handle it in the summer, but we don't turn the heat on (SoCal, not masochists).

I do it year round but it is harder in the winter. I live in the Midwest. We have the heat on but it still might be colder than your house.
sailaway
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by sailaway »

iamblessed wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 1:56 pm
sailaway wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:36 am

Short showers. Get wet, turn the water off while you lather up, then rinse down. I will be honest, I can only handle it in the summer, but we don't turn the heat on (SoCal, not masochists).

I do it year round but it is harder in the winter. I live in the Midwest. We have the heat on but it still might be colder than your house.
But are pipes exposed so that the water just is not hot by the time it gets to the shower?

I admit I am a wimp, though.
leftcoaster
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by leftcoaster »

Gray water system

Fake grass.

Recirculating pump to preheat hot water.

Find your neighbor’s spigot :)
iamblessed
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by iamblessed »

sailaway wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 2:21 pm
iamblessed wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 1:56 pm
sailaway wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:36 am

Short showers. Get wet, turn the water off while you lather up, then rinse down. I will be honest, I can only handle it in the summer, but we don't turn the heat on (SoCal, not masochists).

I do it year round but it is harder in the winter. I live in the Midwest. We have the heat on but it still might be colder than your house.
But are pipes exposed so that the water just is not hot by the time it gets to the shower?

I admit I am a wimp, though.
Here in MO. not outside they would bust. In the winter the water is hot(heated) but the room might be 60. For some reason that can feel cold once you turn off the water to soap up.
Big Dog
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by Big Dog »

ray.james wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:17 pm I am replacing the 1980s toilet with 1.6gpf efficient toilets. Stopped watering grass. Aerated heads for all faucets. California is going to be in a severe drought this year.
they produce them for the CA regs that flush at 1.28 GPF, or even as low as 1.0 GPF. So, if you are replacing, might as well go lower.
sport
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by sport »

Big Dog wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:07 pm
ray.james wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:17 pm I am replacing the 1980s toilet with 1.6gpf efficient toilets. Stopped watering grass. Aerated heads for all faucets. California is going to be in a severe drought this year.
they produce them for the CA regs that flush at 1.28 GPF, or even as low as 1.0 GPF. So, if you are replacing, might as well go lower.
Do those super low use toilets flush completely? If you have to flush more than once, there is no saving of water.
Wellfleet
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by Wellfleet »

Check out thelawnforum.com for watering tips. At a maximum you should only be watering a few times a week, but for longer. This helps with lawn diseases as well. I think a lawn outside of desert climates only needs some water every few weeks to stay dormant but I may be wrong.

Hire a landscaper designer to help reduce lawn area and replace with drought tolerant plants. Going to Home Depot and plopping in a few isn’t going to do it.
HoberMallow
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by HoberMallow »

Big Dog wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:07 pm
ray.james wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:17 pm I am replacing the 1980s toilet with 1.6gpf efficient toilets. Stopped watering grass. Aerated heads for all faucets. California is going to be in a severe drought this year.
they produce them for the CA regs that flush at 1.28 GPF, or even as low as 1.0 GPF. So, if you are replacing, might as well go lower.
We installed two 0.8 gpf toilets. The brand is Niagara Stealth. They have a very different flush mechanism than the usual float and flapper valve. You can buy them at Home Depot for $150. No complaints after nearly 6 years.
surfstar
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by surfstar »

HoberMallow wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:19 pm
Big Dog wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:07 pm
ray.james wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:17 pm I am replacing the 1980s toilet with 1.6gpf efficient toilets. Stopped watering grass. Aerated heads for all faucets. California is going to be in a severe drought this year.
they produce them for the CA regs that flush at 1.28 GPF, or even as low as 1.0 GPF. So, if you are replacing, might as well go lower.
We installed two 0.8 gpf toilets. The brand is Niagara Stealth. They have a very different flush mechanism than the usual float and flapper valve. You can buy them at Home Depot for $150. No complaints after nearly 6 years.
Same Niagaras here. Sometimes to be safe flush prior to paper, if worried. Overall still saves vs a 1.28 gpf

Also the High Sierra showerheads I first read about on BH. We bought one with the trickle valve and I adjust the flow down, while DW can use the "full" 1.8 gpm.
JDave
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Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:23 am

Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by JDave »

A front loading washing machine uses a lot less water than a top loader. Something to consider when the time comes to replace your washer. You can wet yourself in the shower, turn the water off, soap up, then turn the water back on and rinse off.
andypanda
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Location: Richmond, Virginia

Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by andypanda »

This thread is an eye opener because have a well. The water is 25 feet down and has not run low or dry since it was dug in 1990. I have a small generator, but can pull water out with a bucket on a rope if need be. I've been meaning to install a manual pump, but I already have a bucket.
squirm
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by squirm »

The easiest way is to replace shower heads with something of lower flow (pee while you shower too), limit your outdoor watering and maybe install lower flow toilets. Just be conscientious when using the water and cover the pool.

Try the simple things and see what your results are before thinking of tearing up your yard or collecting rain water in buckets, etc, that won't amount to much anyways.
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ray.james
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by ray.james »

sport wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:17 pm
Big Dog wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:07 pm
ray.james wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:17 pm I am replacing the 1980s toilet with 1.6gpf efficient toilets. Stopped watering grass. Aerated heads for all faucets. California is going to be in a severe drought this year.
they produce them for the CA regs that flush at 1.28 GPF, or even as low as 1.0 GPF. So, if you are replacing, might as well go lower.
Do those super low use toilets flush completely? If you have to flush more than once, there is no saving of water.
I changed one to toto 1.28gpf. That was awesome and flushes well. No issues in 2 years. SO I am attempting the other 2 toilets now.

Haven't tried 0.9gpf yet. I live in 1970s building. So plumbing from that era can be finicky, the lower one goes. Do note I was going from 4.5 and 3.5 gallon toilets from late 70's/80s. Another advantage is less splash, as old toilets tend to have couple of gallons of water just in the bowl :)

If anyone used 0.9gpf, let me know. I might try that in half bath.
Last edited by ray.james on Fri Jun 18, 2021 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When in doubt, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79939
squirm
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by squirm »

We have a friend with a urinal in their bathroom.
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ray.james
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by ray.james »

surfstar wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:44 pm
HoberMallow wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:19 pm
Big Dog wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:07 pm
ray.james wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:17 pm I am replacing the 1980s toilet with 1.6gpf efficient toilets. Stopped watering grass. Aerated heads for all faucets. California is going to be in a severe drought this year.
they produce them for the CA regs that flush at 1.28 GPF, or even as low as 1.0 GPF. So, if you are replacing, might as well go lower.
We installed two 0.8 gpf toilets. The brand is Niagara Stealth. They have a very different flush mechanism than the usual float and flapper valve. You can buy them at Home Depot for $150. No complaints after nearly 6 years.
Same Niagaras here. Sometimes to be safe flush prior to paper, if worried. Overall still saves vs a 1.28 gpf

I think consumer reports has an article that mentioned some thing like - since people flush once for pee and even if they did twice for the other job, 0.9gpf comes out ahead. Regardless, once they get to 1.28gpf; showers, kitchen and lawns are the big things to optimize.
When in doubt, http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=79939
egrets
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by egrets »

jebmke wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:35 am Many (most?) lawns don't require irrigation to survive. Cut high, allow grass to go dormant in drought. Most of the time it will re-bound in the fall. We have ours cut at 4 inches. It will brown off in late summer if we get a very dry spell but when temps cool off and we get rain it always bounces back. One year I had some overseeding done in the fall to refresh the grass but most years it isn't necessary. Nobody around here irrigates -- lawns are simply too big and one would need to ensure well pump is sized to handle the load.

In addition to preserving moisture, cutting high also suppresses weed growth.
This is what I do. The lawn browns in the summer and comes back in the fall.
hightechburrito
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:15 pm

Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by hightechburrito »

I see someone else already mentioned it, but I recommend High Sierra Showerheads as well. I replaced the 1.8gpm heads in my house with their 1.5gpm models, and it actually seems much more powerful. They use a clever design to achieve the low flow while also having powerful spray. Another benefit is that they are much less likely to clog than most other showerhead designs.

The only downside is how long it takes for the water to warm us due to the low flow.
hightechburrito
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:15 pm

Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by hightechburrito »

ray.james wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 4:29 pm
sport wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:17 pm
Big Dog wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:07 pm
ray.james wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:17 pm I am replacing the 1980s toilet with 1.6gpf efficient toilets. Stopped watering grass. Aerated heads for all faucets. California is going to be in a severe drought this year.
they produce them for the CA regs that flush at 1.28 GPF, or even as low as 1.0 GPF. So, if you are replacing, might as well go lower.
Do those super low use toilets flush completely? If you have to flush more than once, there is no saving of water.
I changed one to toto 1.28gpf. That was awesome and flushes well. No issues in 2 years. SO I am attempting the other 2 toilets now.

Haven't tried 0.9gpf yet. I live in 1970s building. So plumbing from that era can be finicky, the lower one goes. Do note I was going from 4.5 and 3.5 gallon toilets from late 70's/80s. Another advantage is less splash, as old toilets tend to have couple of gallons of water just in the bowl :)

If anyone used 0.9gpf, let me know. I might try that in half bath.
I'm sure that they will clear the bowl in a single flush, but my concern would be carrying all the waste out to the street sewer (or septic) if the plumbing was designed with a much higher flow toilet in minde.

That said, I replaced a~4gpf toilet with a 1.28 gpf toilet in a 1965 house and didn't have any issues in about 6 years of usage.
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Tubes
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by Tubes »

My WaterSense 1.28 toilets work better than my previous 3.5 and 5 toilets.

I noticed an immediate impact to the bill.

The WaterSense certification process is interesting. It isn't about flushing golf balls. The test process involves flushing engineered soft soybean paste "sausages" to be more realistic. Seriously, reading the test specification is both interesting and humorous.
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Watty
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by Watty »

Be sure to talk to your neighbors and compare water bills.

If some of them are lower then find out what they are doing differently.
surfstar
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Location: Santa Barbara, CA

Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by surfstar »

hightechburrito wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:06 pm I see someone else already mentioned it, but I recommend High Sierra Showerheads as well. I replaced the 1.8gpm heads in my house with their 1.5gpm models, and it actually seems much more powerful. They use a clever design to achieve the low flow while also having powerful spray. Another benefit is that they are much less likely to clog than most other showerhead designs.

The only downside is how long it takes for the water to warm us due to the low flow.
:sharebeer

We capture the warm up water in a bucket and use that to water backyard trees, etc. It annoys me to think of how much DRINKING water is wasted waiting for water to get hot. Water that is treated to EPA drinking standards, goes down the drain to be treated at a WWTP. Ugh. Our antiquated water systems are so inefficient.

We have the 1.5 gpm and 1.8 - DW notices the extra flow for washing hair and prefers the 1.8. Either way I turn it down from full flow for my use, and feel like we save a good bit using those showerheads vs whatever else people use. Great design, IMO, and a "splurge" purchase for us - b/c they aren't the cheapest, but are full metal and high quality. I used to just get the $10-20 option, but that was when we were renters. The High Sierra is an "investment" for us - lol.
Candor
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Re: How to save on water costs?

Post by Candor »

Only flush #2.
Time is your friend, impulse is your enemy. - John C. Bogle
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