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Tips for Saving on My Water Bill

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Why is my water bill high so high?

A high water bill may indicate you have a leak. Even a small leak can waste enough water for you to notice an increase on your bill. If there is a leak anywhere within your plumbing system, the person named on the utility bill must pay for the water used. Fix your leaks promptly to avoid paying for them each month.

Each person living in Berthoud uses an average of 117 gallons of water each day or about 3,500 gallons a month. Outdoor watering can double or triple your water bill.

If you do not have a water leak and your bill seems high, consider these questions:

  • Did you use more water keeping the grass green?
  • Did you go on vacation and leave someone else in charge of your lawn watering?
  • Do you have an automatic sprinkler system with a broken head?
  • Have you put in a new lawn, sprinkler system or pool recently?
  • Were your children playing with the water?
  • Did you do extra loads of laundry before or after a vacation?
  • Did you have friends or relatives staying with you?

Ideas to help you find water leaks:

Most leaks are easy to find, but some can go undetected. Here are some ideas to help find a water leak in your home.

Toilets

  • Listen and look for running water.
  • Put a few drops of food coloring into the tank. Or pick up free dye tablets at Town Hall located at 807 Mountain Ave. If color shows up in the bowl within ten minutes, the valve or support assembly may need to be replaced.
  • See if the ball valve drops squarely into the drain opening. If not, clean it out or replace the ball valve if it is worn.
  • Check the flush handle to see if it is stuck in the flush position.
  • Bend the float arm to lower the water level to at least one-half inch below the top of the overflow tube.
  • Replace the overflow tube if it has holes below the water level.

Faucets, Bathtubs and Showers

  • Replace worn gaskets and washers.
  • Replace washer-less faucets.
  • Tighten waterline connections and valves.

Air Conditioner/Humidifier

  • Check for water leaks.

Water Heater

  • Replace the pressure and temperature valve, if leaking.
  • Tighten the drain valve.

Dishwasher/Clothes Washer

  • Look for water drips or stains underneath or in back of the machine.

Water Service Connection

  • Look for drips or wet areas in the crawl space.
  • Place a screwdriver on the service line and listen. No noise means water is not running.

Outside Faucets

  • Replace worn gaskets and washers.

Sprinkler System

  •  Disconnect hoses from outside faucets to protect against freeze damage.
  • Winterize your sprinkler system according to the system's instructions.
  • Check for any damage to sprinkler heads.

Make sure that all drain plugs are closed.

Additional Water Conservation Tips

To use water wisely, examine activities that use the most water. Keeping the grass green uses the most water. Next in line is water used in the bathroom. Flushing the toilet and taking a bath or a shower account for over 70 percent of the water used indoors. Here are some tips to help you use your water wisely.

Keeping the grass green

  • Water your lawn only when needed. If you step on the grass and it does not spring back, it is time to water.
  • Irrigate slowly, deeply and infrequently to encourage a deeper root system. Add only the amount of water necessary.
  • The best time to water is early in the day.
    —After 10 a.m., evaporation robs the soil of moisture; so any watering that you do after that time doesn't get absorbed efficiently. Also, water droplets combined with the presence of hot sun create a magnifying effect that can actually burn blades of grass.
    —Running sprinkler or watering at night can lead to root rot and creates excessive moisture that can lead to lawn disease.
  • Do not water on a windy day.
  • Adjust your automatic sprinkler schedule based on the need for water. People that haul a hose for irrigation use less water for irrigation because of closer control of water use.
  • Check for leaks in pipes, hoses and faucets.
  • Plant drought-resistant trees and plants.
  • Place a good layer of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture and discourage weed growth.
  • Incorporate organic material into the top 6 to 8 inches of soil before planting to develop a strong root system that requires less water.

Learn more water saving tips »

Saving water in the bathroom

  • If you have a toilet that uses 5 to 6 gallons of water per flush, put plastic bottles filled with pebbles and water in the tank to lower water use.
  • Install low-flow shower heads.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Take baths. A bathtub partially filled uses less water than all but the shortest showers.
  • Use the bathroom wastebasket, not the toilet, to dispose of trash.
  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth. Use water in a glass to rinse your mouth.
  • Rinse your razor in the sink, not in running water.

Other tips

  • Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. Waiting for cold water from the tap, wastes water.
  • If the clothes washing machine is not full, use only enough water for the clothes you are washing.
  • Run the dishwasher only when it is full.