Last month, the Thomasville City Council voted to implement new utility rates for water and wastewater services, which went into effect February 1st. However, customers can take steps to reduce their water usage, which can result in savings for water and wastewater.
“Conserving water is a great way to reduce your monthly utility bill, both on water and wastewater rates,” said Sheryl Sealy, Director of Marketing and Communications, “Simple changes can yield big savings, and many are very easy to implement.”
There are several small changes you can make within your home to reduce your water consumption. Some simple changes include:
- Put weighted plastic bottles, a float booster, or tank bank in your toilet tank. Using a bottle, booster, or tank bank can save 10 or more gallons of water a day. Just make sure there’s still plenty of water for your toilet to flush properly.
- Purchase an adjustable toilet flapper. Adjustable toilet flappers can usually be purchased for around $10 and allow for water adjustments with each flush. You can then adjust the flush rate to a minimum per flush setting, making sure your toilet still flushes, but with the least amount of water needed.
- Ensure your existing toilet flapper is working properly. A good indicator that you have a problem is a toilet that constantly runs. This is releasing a steady stream of water, using several more gallons a day than what you should be using.
- Check for leaks in your toilet. A little food coloring in the toilet tank is an easy way to spot a leak. Put food coloring in your tank and, if within 30 minutes the color appears in your bowl, you have a leak that needs to be repaired. Repairing these leaks, which are typically easy and affordable, can save you money on your monthly bill.
- Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month by doing so. If you do need to wash a partial load, adjust your water level to match the size of the load you’re washing.
- Install water-saving showerheads or low-flow faucet aerators. These items are fairly inexpensive and easy to install. They also reduce the flow of water, meaning you’re using significantly less water per shower.
- Cut down on your shower time. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20-40 gallons of water. A shower timer can also help to reduce water consumption by shortening your shower.
- Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Composting vegetable food waste instead of putting it down the disposal saves gallons of water.
- Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush. Running the water while you brush your teeth can use up to four gallons of water. Those small amounts add up over time!
- Use the dishwasher instead of hand washing. Washing dishes by hand uses much more water than a dishwasher. In fact, the EPA estimates that an efficient dishwasher uses half the amount of water of traditional hand washing, saving up to 5,000 gallons of water each year.
- If you do wash your dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running when you’re rinsing your dishes. If you have a double-sided sink, fill one with soapy water and one with rinsing water. If you have a single basin, gather your washed dishes until their all clean and then rinse them all together.
- Check your faucets and pipes for leaks. A dripping faucet can use as much as 20 gallons of water each day. Larger leaks in pipes can waste hundreds of gallons each day. Some leaks are hard to find, but if you dry an area thoroughly and notice wetness afterwards or see water collecting around faucet handles, you most likely have a leak.
- Use your water meter as a reference. Read your meter once and record the reading. Don’t use your water for a few hours, and when you come back to check it, if the reading isn’t exactly the same, you have a leak that needs to be located and addressed.
“The City of Thomasville gives customers access to their meter readings through our Utilities Online portal on Thomasville.org and also through our mobile app,” said Sealy. “Monitoring your usage is a great way to spot a spike in your usage that could signal a problem before it gets too costly.”
The City of Thomasville also offers free energy audits, which take an in-depth look not only at your electric consumption but also on ways to reduce water usage. “These free home energy audits have produced real results for our customers who take into consideration the recommendations we provide,” Sealy said.
For more information on reducing your water usage and reducing your monthly utility bills, or to request a free energy audit, contact our Customer Care department at 229-227-7001.