Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission
Water conservation is essential to keep your bills and rates low.
As we cope with higher and higher water bills, water conservation is an alternative to paying higher costs for water. Water companies struggle in their efforts to provide enough water to meet customer needs at a reasonable cost. Building new water systems is expensive, and those expenses are passed directly to customers. By conserving water, you have more control over your bills and can help delay the need for expensive system upgrades that lead to higher rates.
Below you will find some easy, low cost ways to reduce your home’s water consumption.
Test for a leaking toilet by adding food coloring to the tank, if any color appears in the bowl after 30 minutes, your toilet is leaking. A leaking toilet wastes 200 gallons of water a day.
Use water conserving plumbing fixtures and water flow constrictors on sinks and showers. If you don’t have a low-flow toilet, place two half-gallon plastic bottles filled with water in your toilet tank. This saves one gallon of water each time you flush.
Run your dishwasher and wash clothes only when you have a full load.
Take short showers instead of a bath. Baths can use 30 to 50 gallons of water. Showers use five gallons of water per minute, less if a low-flow shower head is installed.
Don’t run water continuously when washing dishes, brushing your teeth, washing your hands and face, or shaving.
Avoid using a garbage disposal, as they use a lot of water. Add your garbage to the compost or trash instead of putting it down the garbage disposal.
Repair leaky water faucets. Thirty leaked drops of water a minute can waste as much as 50 gallons a month.
Water lawn and gardens during the coolest part of the day, in the morning or at dusk. Use drip irrigation to apply water slowly exactly where it is needed.
Collect rain from the gutter system on a house in a rain barrel to use for watering.
Use a bucket of water and a spray head on the hose to wash your car. A running hose wastes over 100 gallons of water in the time it takes to wash the car.
Check your water meter while no water is being used. If the dials are moving then you have a water leak.
Choose plants that are native to the area you live or plants that are drought resistant for landscaping and gardens. Native plants are used to the natural amount of precipitation that occurs in their native area and normally do not require any additional watering, this is known as Xeriscaping.
The UTC regulates privately-owned water companies, that serve more than 100 customers or have charges that exceed an average of $557 per customer per year. The commission does not regulate the rates or services of city, town or county water systems, Public Utility Districts, cooperative or homeowners’ associations.