Stop the Leaks
If your water bills seem high, a dripping faucet or other unsuspected leak may be the cause. For example, a leaking faucet at 100 drips per minute will waste approximately 350 gallons per month.
The most common cause of unexpected high water bills is the "leaking" toilet. The leaking toilet is often the result of a deteriorated flush valve (flapper in the bottom of the supply tank). You can identify this particular problem by placing several drops of food coloring in the supply tank. If you see color in the bowl after 15 minutes, the "flush valve" is leaky. The toilet will also waste water when the supply tank water level is set too high, resulting in continuous water waste through the "overflow tube". The water level should be about 3/4" below the top of the overflow tube.
It is estimated that about 20% of all toilets in the U.S. are leaky. A typical toilet leak at 1/4 gallon per minute will waste over 10,800 gallons each month. This wasted volume will more than double the average water/sewer bill. In this light, correction of leaks can be well worth the cost of repair and contribute to the cause of water conservation.
Suggestions from the PSC
Wisconsin consumers can reduce their water bills by 10% by adopting a few simple changes at home and at the office, as well as installing more efficient hardware. Conserving water not only helps the environment, it also helps reduce costs on water and energy bills!
· Install faucet aerators in all sinks.
· Fix or replace faucet and toilet leaks.
· Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth or washing the dishes.
· Don’t wait for water to run cold. Instead, store water in the refrigerator.
· Take showers instead of baths and take shorter showers.
· Install water–saving showerheads.
· Use low-flow toilets and urinals or displace water in tanks with plastic jugs filled with water or pebbles.
· After flushing the toilet, make sure the valve has closed and water is not running.
· Only use washing machines and dishwashers when there is a full load.
· Scrape plates clean instead of rinsing.
· Use low-volume washing machines.
· Wrap water heaters with insulation.
· Limit watering outdoor plants and landscaping.
· Water outdoor plants and landscaping in the evening.
· Use rain barrels to collect rainwater and use for plants and landscaping.
· Incorporate native plants into landscaping. They adapt better to the climate.
· Landscape with no or low water consuming plants.
· Use mulch around plants and trees to reduce water evaporation.