Personal Finance

How Much Does A Bottle Of Water Cost

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 11 minute read

In July 2021, drought conditions ranged from moderate to exceptional throughout more than half of the United States. Due to diminishing resources, millions of Americans must immediately implement water conservation measures at home.

However, water conservation is still a good idea even in regions that are now experiencing above-average rainfall. A family of four in the United States using 100 gallons of water per day collectively spends $875 a year in water and sewage fees, as reported by Statista in 2019.

Don’t let your hard-earned cash go down the drain every time you wash dishes or brush your teeth by leaving the water running. It will cost even more if you run the hot water tap constantly, as this requires energy.

You may save money and even help prevent a local drought if you reduce the amount of water your home uses. The good news is that saving the earth and some cash often requires making just minor adjustments.

Ways to Conserve Water at Home

The most effective location to begin conserving water is in one’s own household. The EPA reports that the typical American household uses more than 300 gallons of water per day, with 70% of it being consumed inside the home.

While most water is used in the bathroom, it is possible to reduce use in any space. And that includes the bathroom, the basement, the attic, the basement, the kitchen, and the laundry room.

Locate and Repair Leaks

Finding and fixing plumbing leaks is an important step toward water conservation at home. If a little leak isn’t fixed, it might lead to significant water loss over time. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that annual water loss from plumbing leaks is around 10,000 gallons per home. The average home loses 90 gallons of water per day due to leaks, and this number rises to around 10% in dry areas.

Minor leak repairs, such as those involving dripping faucets, leaking valves, or damaged toilet flappers, can be handled without calling a plumber. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that fixing these common leaks may reduce monthly water costs by as much as 10 percent. Plus, it prevents the tiny leaks from becoming the kind of problem that would call for a plumber.

During the winter, when you aren’t using as much water outdoors, you may check your water bill to see if you have any leaks. According to the EPA, a leak problem exists if a household of four uses more than 12,000 gallons of water each month.

You may also check the water meter in the morning before everyone leaves and again when you return home. During the day, when no one is using the water, if the meter shows a consumption change, a leak must be present.

You need to locate the source of the leak once you’ve established that one exists. If water is visible on the exterior of your faucet gaskets or pipe fittings, you may have a surface leak.
Put a few drops of food coloring into the toilet tank to see whether there is a leak. Look to see whether any of the dye has leaked into the bowl after 10 minutes. If you don’t want to discolor the toilet tank, flush it immediately after this experiment.

Immediately after discovering a leak, correct the situation. DIY instructions and videos can help you accomplish it even if you have never done it before. Do a quick search on Google and you’ll discover them. Leaky faucets, toilets, and showerheads may be repaired with the help of the many resources linked to from the EPA’s website.

Bathroom Water Conservation

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that the bathroom accounts for more than half of a typical household’s indoor water consumption. In a typical household, the toilet is responsible for over a quarter of the water consumed. Consequently, the bathroom should be the starting point for any effort to reduce water use at home.

There are a number of easy things you can do to significantly reduce the amount of water you consume in the lavatory.

Turn off the water

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a typical bathroom faucet uses roughly 2.2 gallons of water each minute. It’s possible to waste as much as 200 gallons of water every month just by letting the bathroom faucet run while you shave or brush your teeth.

It’s better for the environment and your wallet if you turn the water off after you use it to wet your razor or toothbrush. To prevent waste, block the sink after you’ve finished rinsing your face and reuse the water to clean your razor.

Take brief showers

Hunker reports that a typical American bathtub can hold anywhere from 62 to 78 gallons of water. And the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the average showerhead wastes 2.5 gallons of water every minute. Thus, a shower that is shorter than 25 minutes long conserves more water than a bath.

However, this does not justify a 25-minute shower. The shorter your shower is, the less water and money you will waste. You may save 375 gallons of water per month if you take a 5-minute shower rather than a 10-minute shower.

Taking shorter showers is good for the environment, but you can do more by turning off the water after you’re done. After getting your body wet, turn off the water while you lather up (or shave/wash your hair), then turn it back on to wash away the soap and water. You may save an additional 150 gallons of water each month by turning off the water for two minutes every day while you shower.

Change or Improve Your Toilet

If your home’s toilets were put in before 1994, each flush might use as much as 6 gallons of water. However, that cost can be minimized in a few methods that do not involve a complete toilet replacement.

A toilet tank bank is a bag of water that fits into the tank and may be hung there to reduce the need to flush and replenish the tank as often. A fill cycle diverter is another option for updating an outdated toilet. To ensure that the tank and bowl are both filled at the same time, this cheap plastic gadget diverts water from the bowl into the tank when it is refilled.

A video produced by the Regional Water Providers Consortium demonstrates how to set up any of these devices, which together may reduce water use in the bathroom by half a gallon each flush. In the event that you are unable to locate a toilet tank bank or fill cycle diverter from your water company, you can achieve the same level of water savings using a no-cost, temporary solution: Fill the tank with two 1-liter plastic bottles’ worth of water.

If you have an older toilet, upgrading to one that consumes only 1.6 gallons every flush will help you save even more money. Instead, go for a WaterSense model that needs no more than 1.28 gallons every flush. To conserve even more water, install a dual-flush toilet, which uses 1.28 gallons each flush for solid waste but as little as 0.8 gallons per flush for liquids.

The EPA estimates that a family of four could save roughly $110 annually in water expenditures and 13,000 gallons of water by upgrading their old toilet to a WaterSense model. A new WaterSense toilet may be purchased for as low as $250, and its initial investment would be returned in less than three years.

Install Aerators for Bathroom Faucets

Bathroom faucets may be easily modified to reduce water flow and consumption for very little outlay of time and money. Investing in a faucet aerator (which just costs a few dollars and twists on to the end of your faucet) is an easy way to reduce your faucet’s maximum flow rate from 2.2 gallons per minute to 1.5 gpm. The Environmental Protection Agency has produced a video demonstrating the procedure.

If you want to save the most money, look for the WaterSense label on an aerator for your sink. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a family of four may save up to 700 gallons of water per year by switching to WaterSense-certified appliances.

Purchase a Better Showerhead

The initial investment of a WaterSense showerhead, which consumes no more than 2 gallons per minute, is more than that of a normal showerhead (2.5 gallons per minute), but the long-term savings might be substantial. Inexpensive and well rated low-flow showerheads may often be found for under $30.

One WaterSense showerhead may save a typical household 2,700 gallons of water each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The 330 kilowatt-hours (or the equivalent in gas or oil) needed to heat that water would also be saved by the household.

Avoid wasting water in the kitchen.

You also use water frequently in the kitchen. In order to do things like wash dishes, rinse vegetables, prepare food, or just fill a glass for drinking, you turn on the kitchen faucet. These are all necessary activities, but they may be accomplished in a way that conserves water.

Install Aerators for Kitchen Faucets

A low-flow faucet aerator can also be useful in the kitchen. It is possible to reduce the amount of water used in each dishwashing by adjusting the flow rate. Some aerators for kitchen sinks include additional functions, such the ability to switch between a stream and a spray, or a swivel that allows you to point the water in any direction, making it easier to clean the sink.

Use Less Water When Washing

When washing dishes by hand, fill the sink or a basin with hot, soapy water instead of letting the water run continuously. Angi (formerly Angie’s List) estimates that you may save between 200 and 500 gallons of water each month with this simple tip. Instead of utilizing the running water from the sink, fill a second basin with clean water and use it to rinse the dishes.

Rather than scrubbing dishes under a running faucet, it’s best to first scrape off any excess food before you begin. Soaking your soiled pots and pans may help remove stubborn food particles.

Employ Your Dishwasher Effectively

It’s more time and energy efficient to use a dishwasher if you have one than than wash dishes by hand. Washing complete loads in the dishwasher saves more water than even the most effective hand-washing methods, according to a research published in Environmental Research Communications in 2020.

However, much as with hand-washing, the method you choose makes a difference. You can save some water by not rinsing the dishes before placing them in the dishwasher, but still scraping off the extra food. If you believe Consumer Reports, current dishwashers are powerful enough to clean dishes without pre-rinsing, saving you up to 20 gallons of water every load.

Replace your old dishwasher with a new Energy Star model that consumes no more than 3.5 gallons of water every cycle, and you’ll save even more water. Consumer Reports says that for less than $500, you can get a new, high-quality Energy Star dishwasher.

Cook Less Water

Water may be saved in several ways during the food-preparation, cooking, and serving processes. Do not put fruit and vegetable peels or scraps through the dishwasher into the garbage disposal. Put them in a compost pile and use the resulting compost as free soil amendment in your backyard garden.

Place produce in a basin of water rather than wasting water by repeatedly running the tap over it. After that, the water in the pan may be used to water houseplants. If you drop an ice cube on the floor instead of in the sink, you may use your plants to break it up and recycle the water.

If you need to thaw food, don’t run water over it; instead, give it a night in the fridge or pop it in the microwave. According to the USDA, thawing food in hot tap water is not only inefficient, but also dangerous, as it encourages the spread of bacteria.

When preparing food, it’s important to choose a vessel proportionate to the task at hand. It’s possible to waste water if you use a container that’s too large for your needs.

Even at mealtimes, if you store a pitcher of water in the fridge, you may reduce your water usage. When you want a drink of cold water, you won’t have to wait for the water to cool down by running the faucet.

Make the Most of Your Laundry Room

The average American family washes 392 loads of laundry a year, as reported by ClearlyEnergy. Cleaning all that laundry by hand would need more than 12,000 gallons of water and 295 kilowatt-hours of energy every year. On the other hand, there are a few options for reducing them.

Only full loads should be washed.

Delaying laundry until there’s enough to fill the machine will reduce the number of loads you do and, in turn, the amount of water and energy you consume. ClearlyEnergy reports that a single load of laundry consumes around 31 gallons of water, thus skipping only five loads per month may save over 150 gallons.

To get the most out of your front-loading washer’s water efficiency, it’s best to wash just full loads. In order to reduce the amount of water used each load while using a top-loading machine, you may either perform smaller loads or use a lower water level.

Only use cold water to wash.

The amount of water used won’t decrease, but the amount of energy saved from using cold water instead of hot will. Consumer Reports claims that washing clothing in cold water is equally as effective and saves as much as 90% in energy costs. According to the United States Department of Energy, the only time you should use warm or hot water is when washing garments with greasy stains (DOE).

According to ClearlyEnergy’s findings, you might save $30 annually by forgoing the cost of heating your water. According to the Smithsonian, washing garments in cold water results in reduced shrinkage and improved color retention.

Upgrade Your Washing Machine

Clothes washers with the Energy Star certification are more water and energy efficient, much like dishwashers with the same designation. They are estimated to save 25% on energy costs and 33% on water usage compared to non-Energy Star certified ones.

Affordable Energy Star washing machines may be found for under $500. However, the Energy Star website claims that throughout the course of their lives, you may save roughly $370 on energy bills. That won’t buy you a new washer, but it’s enough to make you think twice about ditching your old machine in favor of a new Energy Star one.

Bottom Line

Replacing outdated appliances and plumbing fixtures, two of the most effective water-saving methods, can be expensive up front. It would take 20 years for a $700 dishwasher to recoup its initial investment by reducing annual utility costs by $35.

Although some suggestions for conserving water don’t cost anything, they won’t save you nearly as much. Although every drop counts, reducing your water usage by rinsing fruits and vegetables before eating them won’t have much of an impact on your water cost.

There are, however, water-saving methods that provide a high return on investment. Without any out-of-pocket expense, you may save 150 gallons or more of water each month by taking shorter showers, washing just full loads of clothes, and washing dishes in a basin. In order to get the benefits, you need just make a few adjustments to your routine.

It’s true that it might be challenging to alter one’s behavior. Nevertheless, the longer you maintain your new, water-conscious lifestyle, the simpler it will become. Over time, it becomes automatic to turn off the water while shaving. And when you look back on your previous utility bills in comparison to your new, much reduced ones, you will shake your head in disbelief.

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