Water isn’t free, just check your bi-monthly water usage bill. The average water bill in San Diego can range from $75 to over $200 every two months depending on how large your family is. There are generally about $50 of water service related fees and the rest of the bill is based on usage. What if you could take that water usage cost and cut it in half without changing anything about your daily routine? You’d be looking at savings of between $150 and $300 a year.
Stop Flushing Your Money Away
We’ll look at your bathrooms first. This is where about 75% of all indoor water usage happens. The toilet is the major culprit in most homes. If you have the original toilets that were installed when your home was built, they could be using between 3.5 and 5 gallons of water per flush. For the average family of four, that’s up to 60 gallons a day or 1800 gallons per month. Installing low flow toilets can cut this usage to 1.1 to 1.6 gallons per flush. That’s more than 50% less water use. Low flow toilets can cost as little as $79 at the home-improvement store.
Don’t Get Soaked by the Shower
The next place to look is at your showerhead. Older showers use 5 to 7 gallons of water per minute. Switching out these heads with new, WaterSense approved shower heads that flow at 2.5 gallons per minute eliminates at least half of your water use in the shower. You could shower for twice as long or keep your showers shorter and bank the savings. A family of four taking 15-minute showers every day will save 130 gallons of water per day – 3900 gallons per month.
Retrofit the Faucets
Kitchen and sink faucets also waste up to a gallon of water per minute they are in use. Installing aerators on each of them could save up to 30 gallons of water every day in the typical home. That’s another 900 gallons of saved water every month.
The Water Usage Savings Are In…..
In total, the average family will use 6600 fewer gallons of water every month. In terms of your bill, it would break down like this. Water bills are measured in HCFs (hundred cubic feet). 1 HCF = 748 gallons. The average family saves 6600/748 or 8.8 HCF.
The water cost schedule for San Diego in 2014 is as follows:
- 0 – 8 HCF used are billed at $3.64 per HCF.
- 9 – 24 HCF used are billed at $4.08 per HCF.
- 25 – 36 HCF used are billed at $5.82 per HCF.
- Each HCF used after the initial 36 HCF is billed at $8.19 per HCF.
The savings on the average family bill could then range anywhere from $30 to $40 per month or $60 to $80 per billing cycle. If you make all the suggested changes to your home, the initial cost should be recovered in less than two years.