Category Archives: Environment

The Water War – Part II

A while back now I started working on ideas on how to reduce my water bill. So far the bulk of what I have done was change my habits around water. Yet just last week I changed out my downstairs toilet to a 6L flush model from my old 13L flush model.

I had originally planned to install a dual flush toilet downstairs due to the daycare, yet I changed my mind. Why? The capital costs involved were not really worth it. For example, I bought a 6L flush at Rona for $129 + tax, while a dual flush would have cost $225 + tax. The difference between the lower flush setting on the dual flush is 6 L – 4.1 L = 1.9L for the extra $96. Now given my water consumption charge is $0.88 per 1000L, that would mean I would have to use the lower flush option about 57,400 times before I would break even on the cost. So if I assume a generous 9 flushes a day I would have to use the toilet for about 17 years to break even. So you get the idea. It’s not really worth doing unless you are going to live in a house for 20 years or more.

On another front I finally got most of the pieces I need to build my rain barrels. I was a bit stuck on what to use to the overflow system when I watched a rainstorm last month and saw how much water can fall in a short period of time. My downspouts looked like fire hoses. I’ve settled on using some PVC piping to do the job. So now I just need some time to put it all together and install them.

I’ll keep you all posted on the savings on these changes make on my next water bill. Oh, yes, for those who want to know the 6L, white toilet from Rona flushes down everything with no problems in one flush.

The Water War – Part I

As I mentioned a while back I’m currently updating some items in my house to see how much money I can save on my water bill. My average bill use to be about $50/month. Last month my bill came in at $43.48, so what changed? Nothing but my attitude and a few minor habits.

I basically just became aware of when I was using water in the day and trying to reduce that amount. So when brushing my teeth I fill up my rinse cup with 1/3 full of water and that’s all I use to brush my teeth. I also stopped running the water while washing my hands. I just fill the sink with a bit of water and then proceed to wash my hands and then let the water out. I’m down to perhaps two cups of water to wash my hands now. Then when washing the dishes I start with a small amount in the sink and during rinsing of objects I end up with a larger volume at the end to wash the big dirty pots and pans. I’m also letting my grass grow longer so it needs less frequent watering over the summer. That’s all I changed during that time.

I’ve also picked up a few new things just this last weekend so I will get to see the results on the next bill. I bought a few sink aerators to reduce the flow at my taps from 2.2 gal per minute to 1.7 gal per minute. These things are a good deal. I spend about $4 on the item and install it in two minutes with no tools. For the one tap I’ve put in I estimated it will save me $0.47/month just on my water bill. That doesn’t include the natural gas savings for using less hot water. So I will have a pay back period of around 8 months.

Another project I’m starting in the next week or two is making some rain barrels. I’ve picked up two 98L-garbage cans, which I’m going to convert over to rain barrels. I still need to pick up a few items to finish the project, but I’m hoping to be able to do it for about $50 for two barrels. I’ll let you know the final cost and how to build your own once I’m done.