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Clean water is in limited supply, especially in the summer. To save some of this precious resource, use it wisely and equip your apartment with some water-saving upgrades.
As of January 2017, single family homeowners paid an average of $1,000 annually for their water, while apartment dwellers shelled out a steep $700 per year. How can you conserve water to reduce these expenses?
Image by atr_Fireheart /Flickr
1. Check Your Toilet
According to the Grace Communications Foundation, toilets typically use the most water in a residence. In fact, your daily flushes make up for roughly 28 percent of your total water usage. Did you know that older toilets (those made before 1995) can use between 3 and 7 gallons per flush? Upgrading to a modern and eco-friendly toilet can reduce the gallons per flush to a figure as low as 1.28.
If you can’t switch out the toilet, installing a tank bank or float booster can save you up to 10 gallons a day. You can also place a heavy object like a large rock into your tank to take the place of some water.
2. Do Full Loads of Laundry
If you have a washer and dryer in your unit, be aware that on average, laundry makes up 22 percent of your total water usage. To minimize wasted water, consider running only full loads and/or upgrading to an Energy Star washer. These washers use 25 percent less energy, and they also use 45 percent less water per load.
3. Change Your Shower Routine
For most households, showering is the third greatest water expense, hovering around 19 percent of your bill. Here are some quick shower facts. The average shower lasts around 8 minutes. Also, the typical shower head has a water flow rate of 2.1 gallons per minute, resulting in 17.2 gallons used in the average shower.
If you start adopting water-friendly shower habits, you can save on your bill. For example, by turning off your water when shampooing, shaving, or using conditioner, you can reduce a few gallons during your shower. If you prefer a continual water flow, consider setting a timer to limit your showers to 5 minutes or less.
There are also gadgets that can help you save money during a shower. WaterSense® showerheads can be found at any local hardware or home improvement store. Using higher pressure to reduce the water flow rate, these eco-friendly showerheads can save you up to 2,900 gallons a year.
4. Check For Leaks
When your bills are still mysteriously high even after making water-conscious decisions, check for leaks. Leaky pipes are sneaky money pits that make up for a whopping 14 percent of your water bill when left unaddressed.
5. Limit Unnecessary Water Flow
You’d be surprised how often you leave the water running when you don’t really need it. When brushing your teeth and washing dishes by hand, it’s easy to forget how much is actually going down the drain. When sink usage makes up for 16 percent of your bill, you should try to reduce unnecessary water flow.
Every step you take to be mindful about how you use water in your apartment will take the edge off New York’s high water bills. If everyone does their part to save water this summer, we can do something good for the environment while also saving money.