So by now it’s pretty much set in stone that we will be having some pretty large increases in our water and sewer rates (40% and 60% respectively). Yes, that sucks for those of use that are suffering financially in the aftermath of the recent recession, but with the threat of a state takeover of our water utility looming, there was really no way to avoid it. I subscribe to the old adage “light a candle or curse the darkness”, so I’ve decided that instead of fretting about how much this is going to cost my family, I would take some simple, cost effective steps at home to help reduce our water usage, thereby offsetting the rate increase.
There was one project in particular that I had been meaning to get to for a couple of years now that I knew would help me in this respect- insulating the pipes in our crawlspace. Often, especially in the wintertime, it seemed as if I had to run the hot water tap for ever and ever before it began to come out of the pipes even lukewarm.
Fortunately, there is a pretty simple fix for this. You can purchase 6′ sections of foam pipe insulation at a local home improvement store for a little over $1 each (more if you buy the self-adhesive version), and these slip right over your hot water pipes. Now, I am lucky to have a rather roomy crawlspace, so it was a very easy job for me that only took 10-15 minutes (my house is also, shall we say, cozy, which means there just isn’t that much pipe to insulate). It was also a very affordable project that will end up saving me water and electricity, especially during the colder months.
Here are a few more easy water saving tips:
- Another quick, easy fix is installing low flow aerators on the bathroom and kitchen faucets. These are usually under $3 a piece and they will restrict the amount of water flowing from your faucets. Flow rates of 0.5 to 1.0 GPM in the bathroom and 1.5 GPM in the kitchen work best. That being said, I have had trouble finding 0.5 and 1.0 GPM aerators locally. If any of our readers know where to get some, leave us a comment!
- Install a low flow shower head, and turn the water off while you soap up.
- Water your lawn before 8am, and use drought tolerant grass varieties when overseeding or planting new lawn.
- And of course, let it mellow if it’s yellow. The average toilet uses 3-5 gallons per flush.
You can find 100 water saving tips at WaterUseItWisely.com. And of course, feel free to share your own tips!