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Old 11-09-2008, 04:15 PM   #41
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not so fast! most of last year my usage was one hundred cubic feet per month, about 750 gals, 25 gals/day. during that time i was mindful of my use, challenged to see how low i could get it, and more importantly was living alone. have some house quests now, but the last bill was only 2 hundred cubic feet, 50 gals/day.
Excellent!! This is inspiring.
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:48 PM   #42
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My main water use is cleansing my manhood. Takes a lot.

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Wow - Where is All the Water Going!
Old 11-09-2008, 05:05 PM   #43
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Wow - Where is All the Water Going!

I can't believe some of the numbers I see in this post! I realize many of the amounts include irrigation and that is a significant user. But anything more than 50 gallons/person/day seems excessive.

My wife and I average 36 gallons/day/person. When I tally the number every few months I account for days we were on vacation and days when we have guests. We have a low flow shower head, front loading washer, we let it mellow if it's yellow, we very seldom us the dish washer, and we use the condensate from our air conditioner for watering outdoor plants.

I'm considering adding a recirculating pump to our plumbing system so we don't waste water waiting for the shower to water to become warm. You simply activate the pump a few moments before you take a shower so the pump recirculates the water in the lines and you don't waste water by letting it go down the drain. I think waiting for warm water at the shower accounts for approximately 15% of our water usage.

We have an RV that is self contained so we know how much water comes in and how much goes out. In the RV we use 3.75 gallons/person/day. We don't have a clothes washer in the RV, and the hot water heater is right next to the shower so that's instant. RV toilets use very little water.

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Water Usage
Old 11-09-2008, 05:44 PM   #44
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Water Usage

My Wife and I live in a 2,400 sq. ft. home about 40 miles NW of Phila. We use a washer, dishwasher, and water softener, but not to excess. No water used for gardening or lawn. Between us we use about 220 gpd. Our monthly water bill averages just about $60.00 for 6,600 gallons. Our water company is Pennsylvania-American Water Company (foreign owned, but I love the irony of their name). I was amazed that so many other people pay so much less than us and yet use more water than we do.
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:58 PM   #45
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My wife and I average 36 gallons/day/person. When I tally the number every few months I account for days we were on vacation and days when we have guests. We have a low flow shower head, front loading washer, we let it mellow if it's yellow, we very seldom us the dish washer, and we use the condensate from our air conditioner for watering outdoor plants.

I'm considering adding a recirculating pump to our plumbing system so we don't waste water waiting for the shower to water to become warm. You simply activate the pump a few moments before you take a shower so the pump recirculates the water in the lines and you don't waste water by letting it go down the drain. I think waiting for warm water at the shower accounts for approximately 15% of our water usage.
Is this to "go green" and be water friendly, or to save money on the water bill? I have a hard imagining the lengths you go to result in a rewarding amount of financial savings all by itself.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:00 PM   #46
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I have noticed I use more water in cold weather, as I wait for it to warm up. In summer I just wash hands, face in cold water.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:55 AM   #47
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115 gallons per day on average, 2500 sq. ft. house in suburbia, 2 people. Monthly water bill: $7.50 on average.
Approx. 1.5 gals per day, 1 person, living on a boat.
Also use no electricity, I have solar panels, and have used about 75
gallons of diesel this past year, I mostly sail.
I should get a reward from greenpeace ;-)
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Old 11-10-2008, 12:00 PM   #48
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I have no idea how much water we use because, get this, we only have ONE water meter for 45 residences. When they put our condos in they just gave us one water meter for 9 buildings.

As you can imagine, this is not conducive to conservation. We try to conserve because it's important (our area averages 17 inches of rainfall a year, mostly between November and March), but we have no way of knowing if our efforts make any difference.

We looked into installing submeters for each building/unit but it would be ridiculously expensive due to the way the complex has been designed. Forget it.
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Old 11-10-2008, 01:49 PM   #49
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Our water bills indicate that for the past few years, we've used about 150 gal/day. In this neck of the woods, 150 gal/day results in a $60/mo water/sewer bill that is roughly $20 for water and the rest bookkept under sewer.

We're anticipating we will drop to 100 gal/day since DS completed his BS degree in Elect Engineering, got a job, and moved out in Sept...

nvestsly and Dreamweaver... Last year I looked into using a circulator pump to automate the process of getting hot water to our main shower. It seemed to take forever to get hot water out of the showerhead. I also thought it was wasteful when either of us would start the water in the shower and then get tied up on some other task while hot water was gushing out of the showerhead. One choice is to have a timed circulation of hot water directly to the shower; this requires a separate insulated return pipe from the shower back to the water heater as well as a timed circulator pump. I decided to go for a special circulator pump installed under DWs sink closest to our shower. Both types can cost $500 and up when installed by a plumber which caused me to decide to look for alternate sources. I looked on Ebay and discovered a supply of special circulator pumps at a delivered price of about $70. I bought a couple hoses, fittings and a doorbell switch and have had hot water at the showerhead in less than two minutes. The circulator pump turns on when I hit the doorbell switch and pumps water until there is hot water at the sink. Installation details at
http://www.taco-hvac.com/uploads/FileLibrary/102-140.pdf .

After a year of using this we are pleased with the results but I cannot see any difference in our water usage... so I think that any benefits are in the satisfaction of having another efficient device.

JohnP
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:17 PM   #50
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Approx. 1.5 gals per day, 1 person, living on a boat.
Also use no electricity, I have solar panels, and have used about 75
gallons of diesel this past year, I mostly sail.
I should get a reward from greenpeace ;-)
TJ
That must be one quick shower.
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:21 PM   #51
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That cannot include a shower. A person who is prone to have kidney stones like myself is encouraged to drink around 3 quarts a day. With a total of 1.5 gal, after other uses, I would be lucky to have enough left for a sponge bath!
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:11 AM   #52
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That cannot include a shower. A person who is prone to have kidney stones like myself is encouraged to drink around 3 quarts a day. With a total of 1.5 gal, after other uses, I would be lucky to have enough left for a sponge bath!
One person living alone on a boat may not need to shower. Maybe a quick hop overboard works.

We're on a well too, so I'm not sure of the amounts. We irrigate (required by HOA) so I'm sure we use a fair amount. But I'm trying to minimize it, 3 times/wk in the summer, once/week in the fall. We have to keep the grass (or whatever is growing out there) green, but it bugs me to be throwing water away. The gray water is processed and used to water the golf course, so there's some tiny environmental savings there. We've got a front loading washer and energy efficient dishwasher. The geothermal system heats the hot water for free (in the warm months) so we're saving a little on electricity, but I love my long hot showers so I'm not helping the water usage there. I'm not home right now, so I can't check the sewer bill. I'm sure I'll be bummed out by the numbers.
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Old 11-11-2008, 07:49 AM   #53
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One person living alone on a boat may not need to shower. Maybe a quick hop overboard works.
Maybe, if the boat is on a lake. As one who lived on a boat on saltwater back in the 1960's, I can tell you for a fact that salt is really itchy and irritating! Freshwater showers are a necessity. However, there were showers and toilets at the marina, so we only had to lug drinking and cooking water to the boat. Maybe that is what the other poster was referring to.
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:46 AM   #54
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That must be one quick shower.
Yea, a "navy shower", use enough water to get wet, turn it
off to soap up, use enough water to rinse. Similarly with washing
dishes, no running the faucet, I use raw water to soak the dishes
to remove most of the grime. It doesn't count laundry that I do ashore.
I only have 65 gal. water tank, which is probably less than most
people use in 1 shower, which lasts up to 6 weeks.
TJ
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:27 PM   #55
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After a year of using this [water circulation pump] we are pleased with the results but I cannot see any difference in our water usage... so I think that any benefits are in the satisfaction of having another efficient device.

JohnP
We have turned our hot water circulation pump off because 30 years of hot water circulating through our copper, slab-buried pipes has resulted in three leaks in the past six years. These are extremely unpleasant due to the fact that our pipes are encased in the concrete of our slab foundation, and so the only way to fix them is to jackhammer them up and then cut out stretches to replace.

The leaks were all at bends in the pipes, or far points of the recirculation loop, where the years of hot water running by wore the copper thin. We soften our water, so it's probably a little aggressive, which I'm sure contributed to the problem as well.

If you have a regular raised foundation with crawl space underneath it's an easier fix, but for those of you with slab foundations and buried pipes you might want to consider the extra (even if minimal) pipe wear and tear involved.
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:06 PM   #56
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A few months ago we moved into a new house and I noticed after the first couple of bills that are water usage was ridiculously high (~600 gallons/day) for just DW and I. After recording the water meter over a 48 hour period it was clear that the sprinkler system was the culprit, gulping down about 1000-1300 per usage.

That seemed quite surprising to me, esp since we have less area to water than the old house and the duration of the entire watering was less than what we did before. Regardless we cut back to watering from 4x per week to 2x and that reduced our bill dramatically.

Any suggestions on how to resolve or diagnose what potential problems might be in our irrigation system? Is there a way to test if some of that water is simply going down the drain before even making it to the sprinkler heads?

I guess I need to first do the basic math on and verify it's not a mistake but I just can't see how it uses 1000+ gallons in less than 30 minutes with so few sprinkler heads per section. The old house didn't use nearly this much.
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:44 PM   #57
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A few months ago we moved into a new house and I noticed after the first couple of bills that are water usage was ridiculously high (~600 gallons/day) for just DW and I. After recording the water meter over a 48 hour period it was clear that the sprinkler system was the culprit, gulping down about 1000-1300 per usage.

That seemed quite surprising to me, esp since we have less area to water than the old house and the duration of the entire watering was less than what we did before. Regardless we cut back to watering from 4x per week to 2x and that reduced our bill dramatically.

Any suggestions on how to resolve or diagnose what potential problems might be in our irrigation system? Is there a way to test if some of that water is simply going down the drain before even making it to the sprinkler heads?

I guess I need to first do the basic math on and verify it's not a mistake but I just can't see how it uses 1000+ gallons in less than 30 minutes with so few sprinkler heads per section. The old house didn't use nearly this much.
Do you get charged for sewer fees, and if so is there a submeter on the irrigation feed line?
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:38 PM   #58
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1 person, water savers removed from all faucets and especially from shower (i gotta great shower). 1,000/gal month for $24.58 & the city presumes all that water went into the sewer for an additional charge of $11.17.

i see on this bill that they charged me $0.20 as a drought surcharge on that 1,000 gallons, even though the last few storms recharged lake o to normal levels.

looks like there's also a storm water charge of $3.50, particularly bogus because we have no storm sewer system on my street. flooding is never a problem with only a few inches building up on the very worst of storms which are then quickly absorbed into the sugar sand of the dune upon which this area was built. i've rocked in both my driveway and the city easement, have no lawn, just garden and mulch, so that all rain water--even gardening & car wash water--is recaptured into the soil and filtered back down to the floridan aquifer.

the garden gets watered by mother nature and a well/pump/irrigation system. fixing & hooking up the irrigation system was my very first task upon purchasing the house and has served the garden well since.
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:28 PM   #59
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A few months ago we moved into a new house and I noticed after the first couple of bills that are water usage was ridiculously high (~600 gallons/day) for just DW and I. After recording the water meter over a 48 hour period it was clear that the sprinkler system was the culprit, gulping down about 1000-1300 per usage.

That seemed quite surprising to me, esp since we have less area to water than the old house and the duration of the entire watering was less than what we did before. Regardless we cut back to watering from 4x per week to 2x and that reduced our bill dramatically.

Any suggestions on how to resolve or diagnose what potential problems might be in our irrigation system? Is there a way to test if some of that water is simply going down the drain before even making it to the sprinkler heads?

I guess I need to first do the basic math on and verify it's not a mistake but I just can't see how it uses 1000+ gallons in less than 30 minutes with so few sprinkler heads per section. The old house didn't use nearly this much.
Yes, sprinkling systems use a ton of water. I have 4 zones of 6 heads at approx 3gpm each that I run twice a day at 8 minutes per zone. So 4 zones x 6 heads x 3gpm x 16 minutes = 1152 gallons per day at my place.

In your case, I would try to figure out the gpm rating of your heads (from the manufacturers website, etc) and then figure out your projected flow from that. I also believe there are flow meters you can put on your main sprinkler line to measure actual usage. From this data, you should be able to compare what you are using to what you should be using. If there's a huge difference, you may have an underground leak. You can probably measure zone by zone to track down a possible problem
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Old 11-13-2008, 09:46 PM   #60
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Yes, sprinkling systems use a ton of water. I have 4 zones of 6 heads at approx 3gpm each that I run twice a day at 8 minutes per zone. So 4 zones x 6 heads x 3gpm x 16 minutes = 1152 gallons per day at my place.

In your case, I would try to figure out the gpm rating of your heads (from the manufacturers website, etc) and then figure out your projected flow from that. I also believe there are flow meters you can put on your main sprinkler line to measure actual usage. From this data, you should be able to compare what you are using to what you should be using. If there's a huge difference, you may have an underground leak. You can probably measure zone by zone to track down a possible problem
Great idea....I'll put pencil to paper this weekend and see what's going on. I'm surprised that many sprinkler heads are 3gpm, though. MY (inefficient/normal) shower head is only 2.5 gpm and seems to have a much higher volume.

More to come....hopefully it's not a leak (!)
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