Monday, November 10, 2008

Saving On Water and Sewer Bills

Now is a good time of year to consider ways to reduce water use. Your sewer bill, which you pay through your property taxes, is calculated each year from your winter water bill. The logic is that, since you aren't watering your lawn in the middle of January, all the water you use in winter goes down the drain. A winter bill, therefore, provides a good measure of how much water you're sending to the wastewater treatment plant year-round.

If you reduce your winter water bill, you will save for the next year on your sewer bill. So, for instance, if you've been meaning to buy a low-flow toilet, put aerators on your faucets, or get a low-flow shower head, now's as good a time as any. If you don't want to replace all the toilets, just replace the one that gets the most use. Designs have improved so much that a water-efficient new toilet works far better than the old water-guzzling varieties. Consumer Reports compares some models. I've heard Eljers are good, and Toto, too. Toto has a 1.28 gallon E-Max model that is excellent. I'm sure there are many others that work well. Gravity flush is more than sufficient. No need for pressurizing chambers, etc.

Another way to save on water bills, and heating as well, is to adjust your water heater so that the water is just the right temperature for a shower. This makes for much less fiddling with hot and cold during showers, and makes it easy to adopt the "navy shower" approach ( Maybe we should call it an "energy security" shower.

(Initial draft written Feb. 8, 2012)

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