We got our first water bill the other day. I nearly swallowed my tongue to see it was $160 for 17 days. Then I noticed that $80 of it was a deposit. That helped take the edge off a bit.
Still, $80 is awfully high considering I barely got to use the toilets for most of that time, and I’ve now taken a grand total of 4 showers and one bath here.
I know part of it is the contractors’ presence . Between the tilers and the painters, there was a lot of rinsing of 5-gallon buckets. Still, I’m definitely feeling proactive about water conservation.
The first step is getting some diffusers for the faucets. The guest house needs a new faucet completely, and I’m urging Nadine to get one with a pull-out sprayer. I found one for $35 — which usually gets you only the plainest of faucets — plus some cash back from Mr. Rebates.
We use the showerheads with different settings, which are diffusers in and of themselves. We got one at Tuesday Morning for $12, so they don’t have to be too expensive.
We’ll save a lot of water since we won’t garden much. We don’t want a lawn, which is a biggie. I also only want to buy plants that are native to the area and so don’t need a lot of water. The one exception will be vegetables, but I only plan to grow a small number. Also, those will be in containers; so the water has to stay put.
I already turn the water off when I brush my teeth; and we only run full loads in the dishwasher. So that just leaves the toilets.
In the past, I’ve used 1-liter bottles of water to cut down on gallons used per flush. That reduces each flush by about a quarter of a gallon. Nothing to sniff at, but I’m not sure what the current toilets’ capacities are.
According to the guy at Home Depot, any post-1995 toilet is 2 gallons or less. Before that, they could easily be three gallons or more. That’s quite a difference.
I am going to get out my tape measure in the next couple of days and try to get a rough estimate of the tanks’ capacities. Depending on those results, we may be buying toilets in the near future. I saw some $98 toilets with very respectable stats, so that’s always a good option.
It will be cheaper to just buy new toilet tanks, and I haven’t crossed that off the list of possibilities. But we’re already planning on replacing the toilet seats and lids, so the savings may not be as impressive. In the end, I think it’ll come down to the relative difficulty of replacing a tank versus a toilet. I feel like the former would be more difficult, but I haven’t done any research yet.
So those are the solutions I’ve come up with so far. Anyone have other ideas?