When you have a big family, there are more dishes to do, more clothes to wash, and more bodies bathing and showering. There may also be more cars to wash and more water consumed for fun in the summer. The bottom line is that your water bill will often be higher than most average-sized families, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce it.
To reduce your water bill and help out the environment in the process, here are some water conservation strategies that you can start applying at home:
Switch to water-efficient toilets
Compared to a regular toilet, a water-efficient toilet uses less water with each flush. To illustrate, water-efficient toilets use about 1.3 gallons of water per flush, whereas regular toilets use about 1.6 gallons. Older toilets use even more at around seven gallons per flush.
The average person uses the toilet around four to ten times a day. If you have a big family with more than five members, that’s about 24 to 60 flushes a day! With water-efficient toilets, you can save more than $140 to $200 per year in water costs and help conserve this precious resource for the environment. If you want to make the switch, contact your plumbing service to install new toilets.
Encourage members of your family to take fewer baths and shower instead. The average bath can use up to 70 gallons of water, while a ten-minute shower only uses about 25 gallons. Aside from saving money on water costs, you can also reduce water heating costs by taking more showers and fewer baths.
Wash only full loads
Another thing about big families is that there is seemingly an endless stream of laundry to wash, which not only contributes to water costs but also raises laundry supply expenses. A great way to save money on laundry costs is to wash only in full loads to maximize each cycle. For partial loads, adjust the water levels accordingly.
If your family members do their laundry separately, encourage them to wait until they have a full load or wash their clothes with another member’s partial load.
Consider a high-efficiency washing machine
If you’re willing to make an investment, consider a high-efficiency washing machine. This type of washing machine uses seven gallons of water per load on average, whereas regular washing machines can use up to 54. More than that, it also uses 50% energy for each cycle, which means you’re also saving money on your electric bill aside from reducing your water bill.
Buy shower timers
It can be pretty easy to lose track of time while you’re in the shower. To limit your family’s shower time to a reasonable number of minutes, buy a shower timer for each bathroom. Some shower timers can even turn off the shower within the allotted time and alert the user when their time is about to run out. Of course, this won’t stop your family members from starting up the timer again, but it can be a handy reminder for them to save water.
Don’t use toilets like garbage cans
Never flush anything other than toilet paper in the toilet, and teach your young kids to do the same. Foreign objects such as baby wipes, diapers, sanitary napkins, and other kinds of trash can waste gallons of water and even cause a blockage. Place a trash can in every bathroom so that every family member can easily adhere to the rule.
Get your plumbing checked out
Because of the high level of use of water in your house, your plumbing system may go through wear and tear a lot faster than an average-sized household. That said, it is in your best interests to get a plumber to check out your system for signs of brewing problems. Doing so can help you avoid leaks or, worse—floods—that can make your water bill skyrocket.
Fill up the dishwasher
Contrary to popular belief, using the dishwasher uses a lot less water than when hand washing dishes. That said, use the dishwasher instead of hand washing dishware, and ensure that it is filled to the recommended level every time. If you don’t have a dishwasher, make sure that the water is not running while rinsing or when you are busy lathering each dish.
Saving water should be an active effort in the household, especially if you have a big family. With these strategies (and more that you can learn for yourself), you can not only lower your electric bill—but you can also help reduce water waste and save the environment.