Monthly Water Usage

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A440
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Monthly Water Usage

Post by A440 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:26 am

Years ago when it was just me and the dog, my water/sewer bill was $30/month.

Fast-forward (that's a reference to videotapes for you younger Bogleheads :happy ) 20 years and our water/sewer bill has risen to $65/month. Our usage shows 21,000 gallons for 3 months usage. We have two teens and use the dishwasher and washing machine at least once daily. We have low-flow shower heads, and are in the process of replacing the toilets with smaller tanks. I don't see the water meter moving when all water sources are off, so I don't believe we have any leaks. We don't have an irrigation system, but I occasionally use a sprinkler or hose to water the plants/grass.

So, is 7,000 gallons a month a lot for a family of four? I'm curious how much the average Boglehead uses each month or quarter.
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Jack FFR1846
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:30 am

A440 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:26 am
We have two teens
There's your answer. Tell them they can't take 4 hour long showers each anymore.
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SQRT
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by SQRT » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:33 am

Our water bill in Arizona averages about $300/month. Mostly irrigation and pool evaporation. We are only there for about 4 months per year. Very expensive for sure.

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heartwood
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by heartwood » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:39 am

You might google it, but the rule of thumb is 80 to 100 gal/day per person, excluding lawn watering, etc. So your 7000 gal/month is on the low side, under the average, at about 60 gpd/person.

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A440
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by A440 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:45 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:30 am
A440 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:26 am
We have two teens
There's your answer. Tell them they can't take 4 hour long showers each anymore.
They have a 20 minute limit. I have easy access to the whole house water shut-off :D .
I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future.

livesoft
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by livesoft » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:56 am

Just got a water bill yesterday which always shows usage for past 13 months for comparison. In low usage months (Nov-Feb) we averaged 4,000 gallons a month. The other months we have to use our lawn sprinkler system and it goes to about 15,000 gallons a month.

Since the kids are not home much, that's a family of 2.
Last edited by livesoft on Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by oldcomputerguy » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:57 am

A quick calculation shows that a 3% annual rate of inflation would account for about 80% of the increase. Given that there are more people in the home now, and that you're currently using at least some portion of your monthly usage to water plants during hot weather, I'd say this is not outrageously unusual.

ETA: Just checked our usage for the last few months, it's typically run 3000-3500 gallons per month (just me and my wife), and we don't water our lawn at all, so 7000 gallons a month in a house with two teenagers probably isn't that far out of the norm.
Last edited by oldcomputerguy on Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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annielouise
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by annielouise » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:58 am

The city is all over the place for meter reading (25-37 days), but eyeballing it, I would say we average 3000 gal/ mo. That's for 2 people and a sprinkler system run 2 days a week year round (itsy bitsy yard). Our bills average $60 a month and also include garbage.

jebmke
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by jebmke » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:10 am

A440 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:45 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:30 am
A440 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:26 am
We have two teens
There's your answer. Tell them they can't take 4 hour long showers each anymore.
They have a 20 minute limit. I have easy access to the whole house water shut-off :D .
Take them sailing. You can get them under 5 minutes.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

mouses
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by mouses » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:13 am

I use about 10,000 gallons a quarter. I'm not sure how that happens, since I don't water the lawn. I do run the dishwasher and washing machine daily. The bill is about $50 a quarter.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:16 am

Cost comparing water bills is useless as rates are widely different.

Rule of thumb usage is valid. You're low.

My mother, in Florida, some DAYS uses over 2,000 gallons including irrigation. Highly irresponsible, I've tried in vain to bang into her head that she's wasting a tremendous amount of water, but she won't listen.
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TxAg
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by TxAg » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:21 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:16 am
Cost comparing water bills is useless as rates are widely different.

Rule of thumb usage is valid. You're low.

My mother, in Florida, some DAYS uses over 2,000 gallons including irrigation. Highly irresponsible, I've tried in vain to bang into her head that she's wasting a tremendous amount of water, but she won't listen.
No kidding. It rains plenty in FL

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:38 am

TxAg wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:21 am
RickBoglehead wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:16 am
Cost comparing water bills is useless as rates are widely different.

Rule of thumb usage is valid. You're low.

My mother, in Florida, some DAYS uses over 2,000 gallons including irrigation. Highly irresponsible, I've tried in vain to bang into her head that she's wasting a tremendous amount of water, but she won't listen.
No kidding. It rains plenty in FL
Her system does monitor rainfall and doesn't water when it doesn't need to. My issue is less with WHEN she waters but HOW MUCH she is using. Small lot, nearly all bushes vs. grass. I argued, to no avail, that each zone could run LESS, and that someone needed to calculate how much should be coming out of each head and compare that to actual to see if there was a leak. Like talking to a stump.

I tried the Bogelhead approach with her on things outside investing, basically her spending, which is absurd. I spent a great deal of effort helping her reduce certain things where I could, only to see her simply spend more elsewhere. I finally gave up, saying "I'm not spending my time saving you $100 a year on X when you simply then spend $500 on Y.

I should have known better, she has a history of bothering me about a $75.32 expenditure, yet refinanced her mortgage without my knowledge, bought a too expensive car, etc. Now I simply don't discuss it with her, I just manage investments and transfer funds to pay bills.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

Glockenspiel
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by Glockenspiel » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:50 am

During the early spring, late fall, and winter months, we use 3,000-4,000 gallons per month in my now family of 4. During June, July, and August, we typically use between 15,000-23,000 gallons per month because of our irrigation system. I’m trying to cut that down and only irrigate my lawn when it’s looking dry.

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TierArtz
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by TierArtz » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:03 am

I graph utility usage. For a family of 5 on an acre lot, 1/2 acre of grass, lots of other vegetation, with a pool, in a desert, we use about 50,000 gallons of water per month on average. The range is from about 15K in the winter to a max of 100K per month in the summer due to grass watering and likely increased pool evaporation. The base usage in the winter would be 100 gallons per person/day, including keeping the trees and bushes alive.

Bmac
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by Bmac » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:10 am

Average around 125gal/day and 3800 gal/month fairly consistently throughout the year. Family of four without a pool or yard irrigation. $40-45/month. Roughly 4 showers a day, a load of laundry daily and dishwasher every other day. I’m sure the really high usage comes with a pool and large yard during the summer months in many parts of the country. Most folks where we live just let lawns go brown in the summer.

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Jimbo9911
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by Jimbo9911 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:10 am

Family of 3 senior citizens.
Monthly water usage averages 961 cu/ft.
Bill for water, sewage, garbage and special charge for waste water disposal at local municipality last month is $88.19.
Water: 30.58
Sewer: 13.00
Garbage: 14.15
Extra waste disposal charge: 30.46

Edited to convert cu/ft to gallons.
961 cu/ft = 7188.78 gallons.
Last edited by Jimbo9911 on Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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lthenderson
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by lthenderson » Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:16 am

For what it is worth, our family uses between 500 and 700 cubic feet per month which works out to roughly 3700 to 5200 gallons per month for a family of 3 adults and two kids.

togb
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by togb » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:09 am

My water bill averages 50-55/month. This includes watering some livestock. Usually about 7000 gallons per month, but watering the garden raises it significantly for about 3 months in the summer. (during which we typically have NO rain)

goodlifer
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by goodlifer » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:16 am

Wow. I thought ours was kind of high. We used 10,045 gallons in June with a family of 3 (one teen girl), several pets, a large aquarium, and irrigation. That was down from 1800 gallons last year, but it looks like it was estimated last year. I have noticed a huge increase in usage since installing the irrigation, but our subdivision has rules about what shade of green the grass needs to be, so I can't do anything about it. I already use bath tub and shower water to water the houseplants and our showers are not that long considering both my daughter and I have hair almost to our waists.

Parthenon
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by Parthenon » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:25 pm

2 Adults; retired.
3,000 Gallons every two months.

Ed
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bloom2708
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:29 pm

7,000 seems reasonable.

We have two older teen girls and a 10 year old. I think they are sleeping in the shower sometimes. I yell. They complain that I yell. :D

They turn the water on 10 minutes before getting in the shower and then proceed to take a 45 minute shower. :oops:

We have a sprinkler system and our usage is ~15,000 gals per month in the summer. 7-8 in the non-sprinkling months.
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Saving$
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by Saving$ » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:56 pm

The quantities of water used listed above seem outrageously high to me. My household usage over the last five years has averaged 1 ccf (748 gallons) per adult per month. And based on habits I believe it could be lower. This usage includes:
1. Use dishwasher to clean dishes. Cleaning by hand uses much more water.
2. Don't irrigate yard. Use drought tolerant plants.
3. Catch condensate from your AC if you live in a humid climate. I catch over 4 gallons/day to water the flower pots.
4. Install ultra low flow toilets (Niagara brand sold at Home Depot) or retrofit existing toilets with dual flush adapters (Costco sells a great dual flush kit)
5. Install low flow aerators (0.5, 1.0 or 1.5 gpm) on bathroom sinks
6. Install low flow shower head. This is especially important if you have low water pressure. Today's low flow heads are nothing like those of years ago. Shower head should be 2.0 gpm or less. Showers in my house are short on workdays (under 10 mins) but longer on weekends (15-20 mins).
7. Buy high efficient wash machine (I have not done this) and high efficient dishwasher when replacing appliances

goodlifer
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by goodlifer » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:21 pm

Saving$ wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:56 pm
The quantities of water used listed above seem outrageously high to me. My household usage over the last five years has averaged 1 ccf (748 gallons) per adult per month. And based on habits I believe it could be lower. This usage includes:
1. Use dishwasher to clean dishes. Cleaning by hand uses much more water.
2. Don't irrigate yard. Use drought tolerant plants.
3. Catch condensate from your AC if you live in a humid climate. I catch over 4 gallons/day to water the flower pots.
4. Install ultra low flow toilets (Niagara brand sold at Home Depot) or retrofit existing toilets with dual flush adapters (Costco sells a great dual flush kit)
5. Install low flow aerators (0.5, 1.0 or 1.5 gpm) on bathroom sinks
6. Install low flow shower head. This is especially important if you have low water pressure. Today's low flow heads are nothing like those of years ago. Shower head should be 2.0 gpm or less. Showers in my house are short on workdays (under 10 mins) but longer on weekends (15-20 mins).
7. Buy high efficient wash machine (I have not done this) and high efficient dishwasher when replacing appliances
In my case, it is mainly the irrigation that causes the high usage. We have the HE appliances, low flow shower heads, etc. We have to irrigate or be fined by our association. I'm going to check if we can adjust our watering, but it doesn't seem like the sprinklers are on that long, and we only water on odd days if it doesn't rain. But I'm not willing to risk a $350 fine when our water bill is $82.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by unclescrooge » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:31 pm

Saving$ wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:56 pm
The quantities of water used listed above seem outrageously high to me. My household usage over the last five years has averaged 1 ccf (748 gallons) per adult per month. And based on habits I believe it could be lower. This usage includes:
1. Use dishwasher to clean dishes. Cleaning by hand uses much more water.
2. Don't irrigate yard. Use drought tolerant plants.
3. Catch condensate from your AC if you live in a humid climate. I catch over 4 gallons/day to water the flower pots.
4. Install ultra low flow toilets (Niagara brand sold at Home Depot) or retrofit existing toilets with dual flush adapters (Costco sells a great dual flush kit)
5. Install low flow aerators (0.5, 1.0 or 1.5 gpm) on bathroom sinks
6. Install low flow shower head. This is especially important if you have low water pressure. Today's low flow heads are nothing like those of years ago. Shower head should be 2.0 gpm or less. Showers in my house are short on workdays (under 10 mins) but longer on weekends (15-20 mins).
7. Buy high efficient wash machine (I have not done this) and high efficient dishwasher when replacing appliances
+1

We use 3 ccf per month and our bill says we use 80% less than our neighbors. But our bill is still $125/month 🤔

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camper
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by camper » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:43 pm

I work for a fairly large water utility in the desert. Here is a stat that may put your family's water use in perspective. 80% of our single-family customers use less than 10 CCF or 7,480 gallons per month. I think your family's water use is pretty average.

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DanMahowny
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by DanMahowny » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:49 pm

117,000 gallons every 6-months. Indeed that's a lot.

My "environment" friends go crazy when I tell them. Personally, I don't care. My lawn looks fabulous, and 1-hour showers with multiple heads is relaxing.

This costs roughly $2,000 per year.
Funding secured

Carl53
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by Carl53 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:54 pm

Over the last 9+ years we have averaged 5700 gallons per month ($47) for two retirees. Occasional dry summers result in pushing the numbers up some, and it would be at least one-third lower without a 40000 gallon pool that has been emptied/refilled twice in that time frame for painting, and often requires 5-10000 gallon in the spring during opening.
Last edited by Carl53 on Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TxAg
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by TxAg » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:55 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:49 pm
117,000 gallons every 6-months. Indeed that's a lot.

My "environment" friends go crazy when I tell them. Personally, I don't care. My lawn looks fabulous, and 1-hour showers with multiple heads is relaxing.

This costs roughly $2,000 per year.
Wow

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Toons
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by Toons » Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:59 pm

Average about 25 gallons a day.
30-35 dollars per month,
The "Heavans" water the lawn.
I take Navy Showers

:mrgreen:
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TxAg
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by TxAg » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:02 am

This spurred me to check my usage. It was 5900 gallons in June and 4200 gallons in May. This is for a family of 4 (two small kids). I have a nice yard that I hand water as needed.

Excluding sewer and trash, I pay ~$25/month for water.

pindevil
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by pindevil » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:39 am

~$300/ month in AZ

HongKonger
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by HongKonger » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:05 am

500-750 gallons per month. One person household.

SurfCityBill
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by SurfCityBill » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:54 am

2 pre-teens / 2 adults / 1 pool / Small yard irrigation

Dec 2008 23,510 gallons - 3 MO total usage. $56.43

2 teens / 2 adults / 1 pool / Small yard irrigation

June 2018 22,843 gallons - 3 MO total usage. $93.77

2 teens (AWAY From Home) / 2 adults / 1 pool / Small yard irrigation

Mar 2018 11,755 gallons - 3 MO total usage. $54.29

:annoyed

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:05 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:49 pm
117,000 gallons every 6-months. Indeed that's a lot.

My "environment" friends go crazy when I tell them. Personally, I don't care. My lawn looks fabulous, and 1-hour showers with multiple heads is relaxing.

This costs roughly $2,000 per year.
$2,000 a year! :shock:

And here I've thought our semi-annual bills of $60 were unreasonable.

The only time our lawn gets water is when I need to wash a car. I drive the car up onto the lawn and wash it.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

michaeljc70
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:55 pm

About half of that rise in your bill is due to inflation (20 years is not a short time). The rest is due to the rise in family size and possibly water rates that went up quicker than inflation. I know where I live (Chicago), they are jacking up the water bills because they are broke and, well, who can go without water.

My last bill was $27. That is for 1 month of water/sewer. We used 3000 gallons (2 adults). I'm sure we use more in the summer for watering. So, extrapolating that, it seems like 7000 gallons for 4 people is reasonable.

Using the washing machine everyday for 4 people seems a little extreme unless it is one load per day.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by tennisplyr » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:15 am

Hot showers are good for the soul.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

criticalmass
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by criticalmass » Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:51 pm

A440 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:26 am
Years ago when it was just me and the dog, my water/sewer bill was $30/month.

Fast-forward (that's a reference to videotapes for you younger Bogleheads :happy ) 20 years and our water/sewer bill has risen to $65/month. Our usage shows 21,000 gallons for 3 months usage. We have two teens and use the dishwasher and washing machine at least once daily. We have low-flow shower heads, and are in the process of replacing the toilets with smaller tanks. I don't see the water meter moving when all water sources are off, so I don't believe we have any leaks. We don't have an irrigation system, but I occasionally use a sprinkler or hose to water the plants/grass.

So, is 7,000 gallons a month a lot for a family of four? I'm curious how much the average Boglehead uses each month or quarter.
7000 gallons/month or 230+ gallons a DAY is quite a bit. Where is it all going?

Replace the washing machine with an Energy Star one (top or front loading) and you will see substantial savings if you are doing that much wash.

vested1
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by vested1 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:18 pm

We use 4 units per month (748 gallons x 4 or 2992 gallons) with drip irrigation and two retired seniors. That's about 100 gallons a day, or 50 gallons per person. $56 a month. During our worst drought in years past there was water rationing of 50 gallons per person per day, and you had to prove how many people lived in the house. We just got used to being frugal with water.

I'm astounded by some of the numbers on this thread.
People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn't. We threw away things people kill each other for now.
Denzel Washington, The Book of Eli

We used less before we retired because we weren't home as much. You can be fined for watering during the day because of excess evaporation. Rates get very steep after 4 units. My wife retired after 32 years with the water company. A leaky pipe could run into the thousands of dollars in a single month.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:31 pm

Wife and I were using about 2800-3500 gal per month. Daughter and family moved in while having a new house built, and water use has spiked to 8500- 9000 gal per month. Went from two of us to now six of us. Lots of showers as DD and SIL are runners/exercise folks. A couple of showers a day for them. As well, the grandchildren sometimes need a couple of showers each on some days. And, it is amazing the amount of laundry washed at the casa nowadays. :shock:

Cost has gone from $85 to $155 monthly.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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ram
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by ram » Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:09 pm

Your consumption is about 200 Litres per capita per day.
This is fairly low by US standards, comparable to use in India, double of that in China and preposterous by the the standards of Mozambique. ( see link)
http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=757
I once lived in the Persian Gulf region. If I visited a friend he would not automatically offer me water. If I needed it I would ask for 100 ml(4 Oz)/ 150 ml or 200 ml of water. He would approximately pour out what I asked for and I would make sure that I drank every last drop of what I asked for. Nobody wasted water. In my upscale apartment there was no piped drinking water. The tap water was good for bathing but not for drinking. I bought 10 Litre (2.5 gallon) cans of drinking water and it was costlier than gasoline.
Our per day per capita use then was about 100 Litres.
Now in US our use is 300 Litres (about 1.5 times yours but it includes occasional lawn watering on a half acre lot.)
Ram

Topic Author
A440
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by A440 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:52 am

I just read in our local town paper that water/sewer rates will see a 5.28% decrease from last year!
We will replace our old toilets with new Toto 1.28 gpf toilets this month. If our washing machine needs replacing, the plan is to purchase a Speed Queen. It doesn't save any water, but it is built in the USA and is the closest thing I've found to my mother's washing machine when I was young. Simple, no fancy electronics and made to last.
I've been using Jonathan Green Tall Fescue and Love your Lawn products the past couple of seasons, along with fall aeration to our 4000 sq ft lawn. I only water if we haven't had rain for 2 weeks. This is the first summer I've noticed a difference with the lawn staying green while surrounding lawns without hose/sprinkler irrigation turned brown.
Since the magic "laundry fairy" does the laundry in our house and puts the clean folded clothes back in our drawers, I will not complain about how much laundry is done daily. :D
Thanks everyone for all the responses.
I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future.

DetroitRick
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by DetroitRick » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:38 am

We average around 6,200 gallons per month. 2 people, one big dog, no leaks, little seasonal variation.

Outside irrigation is limited (HOA does grass, we do small flower beds) - so not a lot of summer months impact.
Flow-through humidifier has a minor effect in coldest winter months.
No other variations.

andypanda
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by andypanda » Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:49 pm

Hmm, good question. We use a lot and I have no idea how many gallons. We're on a 20-foot shallow well that hasn't run dry in 25 years and the septic system doesn't have a meter on it either.

We've debated having a deep well drilled, but the level of the tidal James River is only 90 feet down so they'd probably have to go a lot deeper if they hit brackish water around 90. I honestly don't know about the depth required for a deep well since we're 100 miles inland near the fall line.

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by TheOscarGuy » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:18 pm

A440 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:26 am
Years ago when it was just me and the dog, my water/sewer bill was $30/month.

Fast-forward (that's a reference to videotapes for you younger Bogleheads :happy ) 20 years and our water/sewer bill has risen to $65/month. Our usage shows 21,000 gallons for 3 months usage. We have two teens and use the dishwasher and washing machine at least once daily. We have low-flow shower heads, and are in the process of replacing the toilets with smaller tanks. I don't see the water meter moving when all water sources are off, so I don't believe we have any leaks. We don't have an irrigation system, but I occasionally use a sprinkler or hose to water the plants/grass.

So, is 7,000 gallons a month a lot for a family of four? I'm curious how much the average Boglehead uses each month or quarter.
I have a well. I am glad I dont know how much I use :P

jharkin
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by jharkin » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:27 am

TxAg wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:55 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:49 pm
117,000 gallons every 6-months. Indeed that's a lot.

My "environment" friends go crazy when I tell them. Personally, I don't care. My lawn looks fabulous, and 1-hour showers with multiple heads is relaxing.

This costs roughly $2,000 per year.
Wow
Yeah.., he may not care now... but when the local aquifer runs dry and they start shutting people off he will.

My area has a lot of problems with over stressed aquifers. Mandatory summer water use bans are now the norm in most towns. And the overuse has side effects beyond running out of water... also leads to water contamination scares.... heavy metals, bacteria, chlorination byproducts :(


I find it interesting that boglehead penny pinchers are so blasé about waste of a non financial resource........

Valuethinker
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:14 am

jharkin wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:27 am
TxAg wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:55 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 1:49 pm
117,000 gallons every 6-months. Indeed that's a lot.

My "environment" friends go crazy when I tell them. Personally, I don't care. My lawn looks fabulous, and 1-hour showers with multiple heads is relaxing.

This costs roughly $2,000 per year.
Wow
Yeah.., he may not care now... but when the local aquifer runs dry and they start shutting people off he will.

My area has a lot of problems with over stressed aquifers. Mandatory summer water use bans are now the norm in most towns. And the overuse has side effects beyond running out of water... also leads to water contamination scares.... heavy metals, bacteria, chlorination byproducts :(


I find it interesting that boglehead penny pinchers are so blasé about waste of a non financial resource........
North Americans (and British) are ignorant re water consumption unless they Iive in habitually water short areas. Much British water is still flat rate not metered (yes we do have droughts and are close to measures like banning hosepipes as we speak).

And people believe groundwater is "theirs" and don't realize that groundwater comes from somewhere else. Even in a California the groundwater laws are apparently in a total mess.

Last Vegas doubled in population without using any more water. The woman who became water commissioner in Cook County in the 80s drive that thru. The legal "draw" on the Colorado River was based on an unusually wet period of flow and thus exceeds it's flow, and LV is at the almost end of that chain of water rights (the legal doctrine is one of prior use rather than riparian right, the latter comes from common law and is more prevalent in the eastern states).

The big revelation to me is that a Home Ownership Association can *require* you to water the lawn. Lawns are themselves an English 18th century conceit (meaning I have enough servants and sheep to keep the grass short) that has no place in most of North America or Australia where long periods of drought are much more frequent. And they are ecological deserts.

Btw Michael Sandel, the philosopher, wrote a book "The Limits of Markets". People are more likely to conserve a scarce resources if it is *not* priced. See Elinor Ostrom's Nobel Prize and riposte to Garrett Harding.

But we have seen how this movie ends. In late Roman times, Libya, the breadbasket of the Empire, dried up. The cities took huge efforts to store and conserve water. Forums slanted to drain all the water into underground cistern s which stretch for 10s of city blocks. You can still walk in them today. Eventually though the cities collapsed into the desert. Dusty ruins. Phoenix Arizona sits on a vast network of canals built by the Haokam people c 800 years ago but eventually soil salination and drought beat them.

Civilisations either find ways to collectively face these challenges, or they go under. Modern water desalination technology offers local solutions but has its own energy and pollution issues. "Toilet to Tap" recycling of waste water offers more hope but you still lose water in the cycle.

Our kids and grandkids will be amazed at what we wasted just as we find videos of the air in 1970 Los Angeles or Tokyo or the 1952 Fog of London (men w electric torches guided London buses through the smog and c 10k people died of respiratory ailments) hard to understand now.

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Smorgasbord
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by Smorgasbord » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:34 pm

My family of four is at 3-4,000 gallons per month. Considering that I live less than 1,000 feet from a reservoir that holds 20% of the world's liquid fresh water I should probably increase my irrigation usage, but I despise grass.

HereToLearn
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by HereToLearn » Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:01 pm

I would say that you are doing OK for a family of four with two teens at 7000 gallons/month.

When there are three of us in the house for the entire month, we consume 8000 gallons. It is almost impossible to find a month when one of the two college students is not home for a long weekend, so the lowest months of 3000 gallons would probably be a bit lower if one or the other were not home for fall break.

No irrigation but showers that are far too long!

drawpoker
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Re: Monthly Water Usage

Post by drawpoker » Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:14 pm

A440 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:45 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:30 am
A440 wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:26 am
We have two teens
There's your answer. Tell them they can't take 4 hour long showers each anymore.
They have a 20 minute limit. I have easy access to the whole house water shut-off :D .
You must have one of those tankless hot water systems.

With a conventional 40-gal hot water tank, taking a hot shower is going to use up the hot water before the 20 minutes is up.
At least it used to with my teenager.
Not sure how long you would get with a 55-gallon unit (?)
Still, a consistent 7,000 a month reading seems high to me for your household as described. What is the age of your water meter? I would ask the city for a check of it anyway Some models can go out of whack, the dial delivering falsely high readings.

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