Go With the (Low) Flow

By Dr. Mark LeChevallier – November 4, 2011 – Comment

When I describe my job to people, they’re often interested in environmental stewardship and issues facing the water industry today.  Even more often, though, they have a very specific question for me: “What’s the best way to keep my water bill as low as possible?”

“Check for leaks!” I answer. “If you avoid wasting water it’s good for the environment and good for the home budget.”

More specifically, I urge people not to throw money down the toilet.  That is to say, the quickest and easiest first check is often in the bathroom.  Check your toilet for leaks by placing just a few drops of food coloring in the tank.  If food coloring appears in the toilet bowl after 15 minutes or so, you have a leak. Most often, this is the result of a worn toilet flapper. Replacing the rubber flapper can save a home up to 200 gallons of water per day.

Better still, consider a water efficient (formerly known as “low flow”) toilet or shower fixture.

You can find information on low-flow fixtures endorsed by the EPA’s WaterSense program here.