As the Water & Sewer Fees and Stormwater Fees increase, the residents and business owners in Annapolis are more aware of their own water use. According to the Annapolis Department of Public Works, the average single family household uses 167 gallons of water every day.
The Environmental Protection Agency suggests 70% of household water consumption occurs indoors. With the new rates, the average increase in a water bill for a single family household would be $318 a year.
However, there are many easy ways to reduce water consumption which can result in upwards of $180 in annual savings:
- Identify and fix leaks. Leaky faucets, toilets, and other pipes account for almost 15% of water use in a home with a family of four, which could save $55 per year for a single family home in Annapolis.
- Use a bottle filled with pebbles in the tank of the toilet. This method displaces the water mimicking a full tank. The average person flushes five times a day, so if you place a half-gallon milk jug in the tank, you can save between $2.75 and $8.50 per person per year. Please make sure that the bottle is placed away from moving parts.
- Turning off the water when brushing your teeth or shaving can save over 1,000 gallons of water, or on average $6, a year per person.
- Install aerators, low-flow showerheads, and reduce showering time. Older faucets and showerheads can use up to 10 gallons per minute (gpm). Aerators cut water use by 75%, and newer showerheads only use 2.5gpm. Shortening your shower by just a minute can save on average 30 gallons of water per month. These three initiatives can save upwards of $72 a year!
- Run dishwashers only when full. You’ll pay the same amount to run a half loaded dish washer as a fully loaded one, so make sure you only run a fully loaded dish washer. Cutting wash cycles not only saves about 1,300 gallons of water (one load per week), it also saves on your energy bills. In addition, you can save up to 1,000 gallons a year by not rinsing your dishes before you put them in the dishwasher.
- Presoak in basins of water and not running water. The EPA states “Washing the dishes with an open tap can use up to 20 gallons of water, but filling the sink or a bowl and closing the tap saves 10 of those gallons.” This can save you $20 a year.
- Install rain barrels as stormwater management facilities. Rain barrels trap water from your downspouts and store it for future use (like watering your garden). If you water your plants every week between May and September, you can save between $3 and $9.30 per rain barrel. For more savings, use rain barrels every time you water.
For more information on water conservation and participating in the Annapolis Environmental Stewardship Program, email us at SustainableAnnapolis@Annapolis.gov or call us at (410) 263-7946.