5 Ways to reduce your water bill

Living in the desert, you hear quite a lot about water conservation. Most of the homes built after 1989 have installed water conserving fixtures as standard equipment, so some of these tips may not apply to your home.

  1. Replace old appliances - This is the most expensive option that will, of course, save the most water. Old appliances, especially clothes washers and dishwashers use a lot more water than newer models. That coupled with the fact that newer appliances also use less power make them number one on the list. If you can only replace one, replace your clothes washer with a newer, front loading unit. They use less water and get your clothes cleaner. Another benefit is that they spin the clothes faster, reducing the amount of time you'll need to run your dryer.
  2. Aerators - Install low flow aerators in your faucets and shower heads. You can save upwards of 1,000 gallons of water per faucet per year. You can pick them up at any hardware or home improvement store. You want to get 1.5 gallon per minute (GPM) aerators for your bathroom faucets and 2.0 GPM aerators for your kitchen faucet and shower heads. If you end up replacing your old fixtures, check the GPM on the replacements. Not all new fixtures will be a water conservation friendly as others.
  3. Toilets - Your toilets use roughly 27% of the water in home. Older toilets use several gallons per flush. The best option is to simply replace them with newer, water conserving models that use a little over a gallon per flush. Barring that, you can do a couple of things. You can install a refill diverter, replace the flapper to make sure it has a nice, non-leaking fit and you can displace some of the tank water from filling. Simply put a sealed water bottle filled with sand inside the toilet tank to help take up some of the volume when the tank is refilling. It will let fill value to fill the tank with less water without affecting the flushing power by too much.
  4. Pool covers - Over the course of a year, thousands of gallons of water are loss to evaporation, especially during the warm months. A pool cover is the cheapest and easiest way to save water in your pool. A solar pool cover will also help keep the water warmer by several degrees as well as keeping it cleaner. You may be eligible for a rebate as well.
  5. Drip irrigation - Replace older style mushroom head bubble sprinklers with drip heads for shrub water. During the summer months, water between the hours of midnight and 4 am to reduce evaporation. Check your other sprinklers and adjust the spray when necessary to make sure you are watering the grass and not the sidewalk.

Of course this just a short list and there are a lot of other things you can do. The Southern Nevada Water Authority has a list of available rebates and money saving coupons on their site. There is a list of participating stores around the valley on the site.