26 February 2013

Water

It is the time of year when we start to receive some of the bills we will have to pay for the coming twelve months, one of these is our water bill.  We live in a small terraced house which does not currently have a water meter fitted, this means that the bill is calculated on the rateable value of the house which is fairly low.  The rateable value is the amount of money we pay to a local council to provide services such as libraries, road maintenance and swimming pools.

We have worked hard over the last ten years to reduce our gas and electric bills to minimum but have never really given any thought to our water bill.  The size of this bill got us thinking about ways we could reduce it.  As we don't currently have a meter we researched whether this would see a reduction.  We found a few water calculators online whereby you input various details and it gives an estimated bill.  The estimate was higher than we currently pay.

The completing of these calculators highlighted to me the staggering amount of water we use in a year.  It made us realise how lucky we are to be able to turn on a tap to receive it rather than having to walk to collect it, or devise our own methods to collect water and it made us think about ways we could reduce our consumption.

Our very reliable washing machine (perhaps I should not say that!), is fairly old and therefore uses a lot more water than those you can buy now.  I would not consider replacing it just to reduce our water bill but when the time comes an important consideration will be the water consumption.

The other massive use of water in our household is the toilet.  Again it is old we have a volume reducer in it, some old household bricks, but still it uses about 10 litres a flush.  We are at home most days so based on 10 flushes a day this amounts to 34 000 litres a year!  This seems such a waste to me and got us thinking of how we could reduce this.  In the long term we will at some point replace the whole bathroom suite, it was in the house when we moved in ten years ago.  I have long wanted to replace the toilet with a dual flush one, even better one that uses rainwater like my parents have installed in their new house.  This would be a huge but not impossible project.  Our other thought was a waterless toilet.  We have no idea whether these are available, how much they cost or whether they could be installed in a first floor bathroom.

This will be a long term project but, much like our gas and electric bills, we will work towards reducing our water consumption and reduce our bills.

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