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Water Usage - How Low Do You Go?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by vgrund, Dec 27, 2006.

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  1. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    We average about 120 gallons per day at my house (2 adults and 2 very young children). I think that is quite good.

    How about you?

    Victor

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  2. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    Consistently around 500 gallons per month, one person. I do shower mostly at the health club, though...
  3. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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  4. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    123 gallons a day this past billing cycle. Usually I am lower, like 100 or so.

    Just me and her. You are doing pretty good with that crew!
  5. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks. We have a front loading washer, a miser dishwasher, and very low-flow showerheads. We're on a well and we have a septic system. Conserving water saves me $$ pumping and heating it, and it reduces hydraulic load on the septic system. :)

    My water softener recycles when it reaches 0% softening capacity or when 14 days have passed since the last regeneration. I've never seen it recycle due to low capacity. I'd set it to regenerate at 3 or 4 weeks but my softener dealer urged me to go no longer than two weeks. It is supposed to prevent bacteria from building up on the resin beads. My brine tank needs refilling maybe once a year, but I do it every 6 months just to keep size of the job manageable.

    Victor
  6. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder Minister of Fire

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    no idea, I have no meter at my house, nor does anyone in our neighborhood. When I bought the house 8 years ago the city billed us around $90 every 2 months for water/sewer, now it is $117 every 2 months for water/sewer. I can use as much water as I want, have to pay the natural gas to heat it if I want it hot
  7. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I guess we average about 5,000 per month - which is about 80gal per person per day. Much like electricity, I don't know where it all goes! We have low flow shower heads, low flush toilets, etc. I guess the biggest guzzler is washing. We do seem to dirty up clothes fast and have to get them clean!

    Corey
  8. tutu_sue

    tutu_sue New Member

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    The two of us used 3,200 gallons last quarter. That's 35 gallons per day? Seems kind of low, doesn't it? Our water/sewer bills are ridiculously high so we're extra careful. Runs about $140 to $150 per quarter. Since we moved in we have done all we can to reduce our water usage including replacing with new high efficiency washer, dishwasher, toilets, faucets, shower heads.
  9. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder Minister of Fire

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    so you get billed every 3 months? if it's $150 for 3 months ($50 per month) thats cheaper than my $117 for 2 month set price bill for water / sewer
  10. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    In my last house, in Massachusetts, I recall one quarter getting a $550 water bill (MWRA district, still paying to clean up the bay). However that included watering a very tiny yard with in-ground sprinklers. I often appreciate the fact that I have a water well in New Hampshire. Since we have a septic it's not like we're consuming much of anything. We borrow it for a while and it goes back into the ground. This appeals to my green instincts.

    Victor
  11. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    I have no idea how much water we use... we have a well. The water filtration & softening system is set to cycle every 5000 gallons, but I don't even know how often it goes off, its programmed to happen at 2:00 AM. I can tell you this though... in the summer, with 12 zones of sprinkler system running for 3 hours per day, I bet its a LOT. :gulp:

    -- Mike
  12. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Might want to clarify the question...many peoples "water bills" are really combined water AND sewer rates!

    I live near Dayton Ohio and we get billed every 3 months and it's a combined bill. My average usage for any three-month period between Sep-May is about 1800 cubic feet of water used in three months (150 gallons/day for my wife and I). I just got my Sep-Dec water/sewer bill the other day and I used about 1600 cubic feet of water over this 3 month period (133 gallons/day). My bill was $39 for water and $68 for sewer for this 3 month period for an average of $36/month for water and sewer combined. In the summer period (Jun - Aug) it spikes to about $140/3-month period for water and sewer

    FYI: watering lawns consumes HUGE amounts of water......an open hose flows about 4 gallons per minute and at that rate it takes about 3 hours to consume 100 cubic feet of water. SO, in my example where I use 1600 cubic feet in 3 months, that could easily double if I were to water only about 30 min per day (30 min per day over 3 months is 45 hours of running the hose which is about 1500 cubic feet of water which doubles the water used)!
  13. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Just thought of another way to reduce your water/sewer bill. If you look at your bill, they really hit you for "sewer" charges. They "assume" that all the water you use is for inside the home use and that it all goes through the sewers and gets processed, hence they charge sewer rates based on the total amount of water you use. However, when you water the lawn, you use huge amounts of water that DON'T go into the sewer system yet they charge you for water rates AND sewer rates on this water used to wash cars, water lawns and for other outside activities that DON'T go into the sewer system.

    To prevent this you can do one of two things: 1) get a second (separate) meter used only for outside water and you'll only get billed for water rates on water used from this meter or 2) dig a well and use well water for outside usage in which case you'll won't get billed for water or sewer rates on water used from this source.
  14. tutu_sue

    tutu_sue New Member

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    Yeah, in the town we moved from, we were used to paying $35 per quarter for water.

    If I told you what we pay for property taxes, you would surely gasp, unless you're familiar with the taxes in NJ - ridiculous!!
  15. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Ok...enlighten me about NJ and taxes. My home in Ohio is a ranch style, about 1,700 sq foot and is on a 0.75 acre lot in the city within 200 feet of a large 60 acre park and houses MUCH bigger and MUCH MORE expensive than mine was (mine was about $140,000 7 years ago) and my taxes are now $2,100/year. What are yours and for what size house/lot?
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Our water comes from a small water system that has tiered usage pricing. Use a lot, pay a lot. We invested right away in low flow shower heads, a water-conserving toilet and a new, front-load washer. As a family of four we averaged 115/day. In the summertime, when the gardens are cranking away, it's double that amount. Some of this is lifestyle, we take quick showers, wear clothes for one more day, recycle water when possible and let it mellow if it's yellow.
  17. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    I'll bet NH will rival many jurisdictions. We have no sales or income taxes. Property tax is the primary vehicle for funding government. However there are some places in MA that reach NH property tax levels (Lexington comes to mind), and those poor folks have sales and income taxes on top of it.

    When I was in MA my water bill was a combined bill. Sewer was 50% of it.

    Victor
  18. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    Do you at least turn your underwear inside out on day 2?
  19. tutu_sue

    tutu_sue New Member

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    Our lot is 131 ft. x 176 ft. The house is just under 2,500 sq. ft.. House and lot are assessed at $171.000. Our property taxes are $8,200 year.

    Oh and they tacked $72 to our taxes for the wood stove we put in last year.
  20. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    A guy 4 houses from me has a 5,000 square foot house he bought in 2003 for $519,000. It has an in-ground pool and it all sits on one-half an acre and he pays $8500/year in taxes.
  21. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Well, I don't know about NJ, or NH, or anywhere else, but I can tell you this... so far none of the annual tax numbers posted above come close to half of what we have to pay here... and I don't have the nicest house on the road.

    They say we have a nice school system... well, we sure as hell better have, because they spend more per student than I paid for my doctorate. Good Grief... how the hell did anyone over the age of 30 ever grow up to be literate without the super-school-systems of today???

    -- Mike
  22. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Mike,

    You telling us that your annual property taxes on your home exceed $17,000?
  23. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Yep, and then some. And the disgusting part is, that's not uncommon around here, at all. We have plenty of homes taxed from 20-25K. Not sure what the "average" home is taxed at around here, but it is definitely somewhere between 14 and 15K, especially with that shiny new school they are building, and the $39MM bond they took out to pay for it... and who knows HOW much water the school is going to use. :ahhh:
    And they wonder why so few of the kids from around here can afford to move back in and buy a home for their new families once they graduate college.

    -- Mike
  24. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    Or you can build yourself a couple rain barrells....

    Attached Files:

  25. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

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    Rain collection is a very effective form of water conservation for gardens and landscaping. If I didn't have a well and or had concerns about drawing too much from it, I'd certainly look into it.
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