Every Drop Counts!
We are lucky here in York to have a beautiful watershed area that provides us with both clean drinking water and recreational resources at the same time. We encourage everyone to use what you need, but at the same time always be mindful of waste. Conserving water should be a year-round effort, not only to save money on your water bill, but also to save water for times of drought when it isn't plentiful and conservation measures are being called for in order to prevent a crisis situation.
Occasionally we will get inquiries from customers asking why their water bill has noticeably gone up. In fact, we here at the York Water District will point out a marked increase in usage to a customer compared to the same billing cycle in years past. A failed water meter is sometimes blamed in these situations, but very rarely found to be the source of an increased bill (the fact of the matter is, mechanical meters typically under report usage, as they wear, they don't speed up). When one of our technicians responds to help pinpoint a potential problem, by far the majority of the time the problem is a leaky toilet.
According to the American Water Works Association, toilets account for 27% of the water used in a home on a daily basis. When there is a leak, this number can skyrocket. A medium toilet leak can easily waste 200 to 300 gallons a day; that's an astonishing 18,000 to 27,000 gallons of water for one 90 day billing cycle. As a homeowner, verifying that your toilets are leak free is simple and perhaps the easiest way to conserve water and save money.
We have toilet leak test kits available here at the York Water District upon request, but this can also be done with a few drops of food coloring from your pantry; learn how here. If a leak should be found, repairs are both easy and inexpensive compared to the cost of an undetected toilet leak possibly adding big dollars to your water bill (and sewer bill).
If you can hear the water running or can see it running in either the tank or bowl when not in use, there is a substantial leak which needs to be addressed. Smaller leaks can be detected using the test method suggested above. Starting with this most common and easily corrected source of leaks can potentially have the biggest impact on your water bill, and at the same time make the biggest difference in our communal effort to conserve water. We look forward to sharing additional ways to conserve in future postings. Together we can make a difference, because "every drop counts."
Visit the US EPA WaterSense website for more information on saving water.
Rain Barrels and Conservation
On average the Town of York receives 48.1” of rainfall per year. Did you know that you can calculate the amount of rainfall that can be collected by the size of your roof?
Example: One inch of rainwater falling from 1000 square foot roof = 625 gallons of water.
625 X 48.1 = 30,062.5 gallons of free water in one year!
The water accumulated can be used for many of your outside watering needs. You will be conserving water and saving dollars on your water bill.
Reminder from the EPA: As rainwater flows over a roof surface, it can pick up pollutants such as bacteria from birds and other animals, and chemicals from roof materials - factors to consider when thinking about using rain barrel water on edible plantings.
Usually, you can find rain barrels at your local hardware or home improvement store.
Courtesy photos above.