When in doubt, ask. Here’s an interesting question and answer that I think all homeowners can take advantage of.
Q: 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, 3 full baths; a 1/2 bath. There are 3 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??
A: 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!
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 for leaks
- Listen for running backwash water around water treatment appliances
- Check to see if your irrigation timer has been set properly
- Check to make sure you are watering properly with our Landscape Watering Guide
- Check 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-tips at Water – Use It Wisely
- Take our Home Water Challenge, then visit the links at the end to see how you can reduce your water use
Another helpful brochure is our High Water Use Action Plan. It can help you figure out where all that water might be going.
Good luck and I hope you’re well on your way to reducing your water use at your home.
Donna DiFrancesco is a Conservation Specialist 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.