Nov. 16, 2020

Simple Indoor Changes Lead to Huge Savings

Indoor water use accounts for about 45 percent of the residential water use in Northern Colorado. Unlike outdoor water use, indoor use is relatively consistent year-round. Implementing a few easy changes inside your home can help reduce household water use and save money on your water bill without having to drastically change your daily routine.  

Check for Leaks

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household loses 10,000 gallons of water each year to plumbing leaks. Fixing minor leaks, such as dripping faucets, leaking valves or worn toilet flappers are easy do-it-yourself jobs that can result in significant water savings for relatively little cost.  

If you see a leaky faucet or hear your toilet running randomly, try to address it right away. For leaks that are hidden or harder to find, closely monitor your water bill or water meter during winter months when outdoor water use isn’t a factor. If your meter indicates water use during a day or period of time when no one was home, you’ve likely got a leak somewhere.  

Replace Your Toilet with a WaterSense Model

Toilets account for the largest percentage of indoor household water use, and therefore offer the greatest potential savings. If your toilet was installed prior to 1993 you may be using two to five times more water per flush than current models. Upgrading to a WaterSense-labeled high efficiency toilet could save a family of four 14,000 to 25,000 gallons per year.  

Install an Aerator on Your Bathroom or Kitchen Faucet

Low-flow faucet aerators are a very cost-effective and simple way to reduce indoor water usage. Aerators cost only a few dollars each, twist right into place on the spout of your faucet and can reduce the maximum flow rate from 2.2 gallons per minute to 1.5 gallons per minute. Be sure to look for the WaterSense label for maximum savings. This simple fix can save up to 60 gallons a month and takes no additional work beyond installation – just turn on your faucet and save! Of course, if you’re not doing so already, be sure to avoid running your faucet continuously while washing dishes and hands, shaving and brushing your teeth as a best practice.  

Install a High Efficiency Showerhead

After toilets, showers account for the second largest percentage of indoor household water use in Colorado. Replacing a standard 2.5 gallon per minute showerhead with a WaterSense showerhead, which uses no more than 2 gpm, saves the average family an estimated 2,900 gallons of water per year and $70 in energy and water costs. A top-rated water efficient showerhead costs around $30, and would pay for itself in less than six months.  

Lastly, check with your water provider to determine what types of rebates or incentive programs are available in your area. Some may even offer in-home water audits to help you identify the best ways to save both water and money.