Water FaucetIn our society, running water is a given. Probably the only time we give it any thought is when something goes wrong or when we get the monthly water bill. It’s a necessity, so we have to pay for it. But do we have to pay so much?

In actuality, there are a number of easy things you can do to reduce your water bill.

1. Get Everything in Working Order

Leaks – Did you know a dripping faucet can waste up to 20 gallons of water per day? One or more leaks-in the sink, the shower, or the tub-can really add up over time. By regularly inspecting your faucets, you’ll decrease your chances of leakage.

If you do find a leak, try replacing the washers. Older, often-used washers begin to let water leak; replacing them renews their efficiency. Or for a leaky toilet, replace the flange in the tank (the little piece that lifts when you flush) and make sure it fits snugly.

Insulation – Did you know insulating your pipes will make water heat faster and mean you’ll waste less water, waiting for it to heat up.

2. Simplify Your Water Use

Make this your mantra: waste not; want not. Try not to ever put water down the drain that could be used for something else. For example, cooled vegetable water can feed house plants.

Overall, see if you can find ways to use water less frequently: only do full loads of clothes or dishes; turn off the sink when you’re brushing your teeth; don’t boil a whole pot of water for one cup of tea. Avoid disposing of tissues in the toilet, where you’ll need to flush; just use a trash can instead.

Do whatever you can to minimize the amount of water you expend.

3. Upgrade

Replacing fixtures doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are a few cost-effective improvements that justify their cost incredibly quickly!

Showerhead: Looking for a way to lessen the amount of water used in your daily shower? Consider a low-flow showerhead! It reduces the amount of water used; some models even offer pause buttons to allow you to stop the flow while shampooing.

A water-saving toilet uses half the water that a normal one does in flushing. Older toilets use five gallons per flush; newer ones often reduce this to 1.6 gallons per flush. When you multiply that by uses per day, per week, per month, this can add up to big savings!