When in doubt, ask. Here are an interesting question and answer about home water use that I think all homeowners can take advantage of.
You asked …
I have a concern about high water usage. We have lots of mature landscaping, but artificial turf (no grass), a fairly large pool, hot tub, three full baths, and a 1/2 bath. There are three people in our home; I am home a lot during the day. Is 24,000 gallons of usage for the month of August something to be concerned about? It seems like an awful lot. What can we do?
We answered …
Thank you for your interest in saving water and concerns for your household water use.
Let’s look at your daily per person usage. If you used 24,000 gallons, we’ll divide by 3 people = 8,000 gallons per person per month. Let’s divide 8,000 by 31= 258 gallons per person per day. Yep, that’s a lot! By comparison, the photo at right shows our traveling water tower, which is made up of 120 one-gallon jugs and represents the average amount of water used per person, per day in Arizona.
Of course, August is a very hot month and I suspect that a lot of the water is being used in the landscape or swimming pool (glad to hear you don’t have grass though).
You can easily be losing 3,400 gallons in your pool alone during August due to evaporation and about 17,000 gallons would be typical water needs in August for a very large landscape of about 10,000 square feet. Add the two together and you already have over 20,000 gallons, so your outdoor use might be why your bill was so high. However, I’m just guessing on your landscape size and I’m not sure if you live in Arizona or another climate. There are always other things to check.
- Look around indoors and outdoors for leaks (this guide will help).
- Listen for running backwash water around water treatment appliances like softeners and RO systems.
- Check to see if your irrigation timer has been set properly.
- Check to make sure you are watering properly with our Landscape Watering Guide.
- Be sure to test your toilet for leaks, trickling sounds, or water moving in the bowl.
- Check your pool for leaks, especially if you have an automatic pool refiller.
- Browse through our 100+ Ways to Conserve for easy tips.
- Take our Home Water Challenge, then visit the links to see how you can further reduce your water use.
Check with your water provider
Another helpful tip is to see if your water provider offers a water calculator. Anyone is welcome to try ours at the City of Mesa’s Know Your H20 Water Calculator. Enter information about your household, and we’ll estimate how much water you should be using for the different months of the year. The outdoor water use calculations are adjusted for an Arizona desert climate. Some water providers also offer home water audits to help identify inefficiencies.
Good luck and I hope you’re well on your way to reducing your water use at your home.
Donna DiFrancesco is a conservation coordinator with the City of Mesa, Environmental & Sustainability Division where she educates Mesa, Arizona residents about xeriscape, water conservation, living green, and sustainability. She is also a member of the Water – Use It Wisely regional campaign steering committee.