Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Water War - Part I

As I mentioned a while back I'm currently updating some items in my house to see how much money I can save on my water bill. My average bill use to be about $50/month. Last month my bill came in at $43.48, so what changed? Nothing but my attitude and a few minor habits.

I basically just became aware of when I was using water in the day and trying to reduce that amount. So when brushing my teeth I fill up my rinse cup with 1/3 full of water and that's all I use to brush my teeth. I also stopped running the water while washing my hands. I just fill the sink with a bit of water and then proceed to wash my hands and then let the water out. I'm down to perhaps two cups of water to wash my hands now. Then when washing the dishes I start with a small amount in the sink and during rinsing of objects I end up with a larger volume at the end to wash the big dirty pots and pans. I'm also letting my grass grow longer so it needs less frequent watering over the summer. That's all I changed during that time.

I've also picked up a few new things just this last weekend so I will get to see the results on the next bill. I bought a few sink aerators to reduce the flow at my taps from 2.2 gal per minute to 1.7 gal per minute. These things are a good deal. I spend about $4 on the item and install it in two minutes with no tools. For the one tap I've put in I estimated it will save me $0.47/month just on my water bill. That doesn't include the natural gas savings for using less hot water. So I will have a pay back period of around 8 months.

Another project I'm starting in the next week or two is making some rain barrels. I've picked up two 98L-garbage cans, which I'm going to convert over to rain barrels. I still need to pick up a few items to finish the project, but I'm hoping to be able to do it for about $50 for two barrels. I'll let you know the final cost and how to build your own once I'm done.

5 comments:

telly said...

I guess this isn't going to help you specifically CD but for any of your Ontario readers (Union Gas customers), you can pick up your Energy Saver Kit from Home Depot this weekend.
http://www.uniongas.com/home/ngforhome/energysavings/eskPromo.asp
It's valued at $35! We picked up one for our home and for our two rental houses and have already installed everything including the low flow shower head which we were planning to buy anyway. :)

Anonymous said...

I guess I have a typical bill. Here in Calgary, I'm on metered water. I checked last month's bill and, for the two of us (adults) we used 13 cubic meters over 33 days. The bill was $49 and covered water, sewer charges and drainage service charges. How many cubic meters did you use?

Canadian Dream said...

Telly,

Well thanks for the tip. Even if it doesn't apply to me there are a large number of ON readers who can use that.

Anon,

Good point. I should mention my bill was for 12.03 cubic meters over 28 days. It's nice to hear what someone else pays for water is similar.

CD

telly said...

Yikes!!! I just checked our water bill and just my husband and I used 34 cubic metres last month!! It's a good thing we installed the low flow shower head and a couple aerators.

Wow...I feel horribly guilty. Looking forward to Water War Part II - apparently we could really use the tips!! :)

Canadian Dream said...

Telly,

Actually the big user for a lot of people is the washing machine. Those top load washers are a huge water hog. Our front load washer is saving me lots of water. It also leaves your clothes less damp so they dry faster.

CD