August 3, 2009

EPA offers tips to cut water bill

August is a peak water-use period, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says a few simple tricks could save up to $110 annually on water bills.

Peak water use can be expensive, taxes local water systems, and threatens future water supply and quality, Peter S. Silva, EPA's assistant administrator for water, said Monday in a release. A few simple changes can help consumers reduce their water bills, and in turn, save them money.

An American household uses about 260 gallons per day on average, but the amount rises to about 1,000 gallons a day during peak water-use season, the EPA said.

Among some of the tips the EPA suggests are:

-- Water yards only when needed.

-- Considering using low-flow toilets, faucets and faucet accessories, that use at least 20 percent less water and could save $60 per year.

-- Water landscapes only when needed and only in the very early morning or evening.

-- Wash only full loads of laundry and dishes, and scrape dishes instead of rinsing when loading the dishwasher.

-- Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge instead of running the tap until it is cold.

-- Fix leaks, which could add up to about $50 in utility bill savings annually.