Water is one of the most important, if not the most important, resource that humans use. Here in New York State, we generally have enough water to satisfy the demand in a typical year. However, many years are not typical, and unpredictable weather patterns of a changing climate can have drastic consequences. Conserving water at home not only helps save this precious resource but also helps Chemung County consumers save money. Sewer bills are calculated based on water usage. If you would like to lower your sewer (and water bills), conserving water is the easiest way to do it.
Here are 10 simple ways to save water and your wallet:
- Fix leaky faucets, toilets, appliances, and sprinklers. Leaks vary in amount, but they can account for a lot of wasted water over time. One drop per second can waste as much as 25 gallons a week!
- Turn off the water when brushing your teeth. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this simple act may save more than 200 gallons of water in a single month.
- Use less water when doing laundry. Your washing machine can swallow gallons of water, so make sure you use it wisely. Wait until you have enough clothing for a full load of laundry before starting the washer. If you need to wash a small load separately, adjust the water level on your machine accordingly.
- Take a shower instead of a bath, and take shorter showers. As reported by the EPA, if you shower for five minutes or less you will use about 10 to 15 gallons of water. Compare that number with baths, which use up to 70 gallons of water. If you do take a bath, try reusing some of the water in your garden.
- Install a low-flow shower head. They use half the water that regular ones use, and can save $2 a month per family member.
- Fill a bottle with water and sand and put it in the toilet tank. This displaces the water and makes the toilet use less water with each flush.
- Practice smart lawn watering. Water your lawn at optimal times of the day and make sure your sprinkler system is watering the lawn and not the sidewalk. Also, mow your lawn to a taller height, which will help keep moisture from evaporating as quickly.
- Fill the dishwasher. Wait until you have a full dishwasher to run the machine. This will not only save water, but also electricity. If you just need one item, a quick hand wash will use less water than running the dishwasher with just a few items in it. Don't leave the water running if you wash by hand.
- Purchase water-efficient faucets, laundry washers, toilets and dishwashers. If you have the means to purchase these yourself or are eligible for a program that will help you, purchasing water- and energy-efficient appliances can save you not only on your water bill, but also on your electricity bill.
- Have a home energy audit. Professionals can catch places where water is being wasted that the average consumer might miss.
NYSERDA offers free energy audits and efficiency improvement assessments to families in New York State.