Day 1534 – Water, Once Again
Yes yes, i’m fixated on water. You would be too if you lived in the high desert of Idaho in a land where many people have been killed, many fortunes won and lost, over water.
I got my water bill the other day. United Water bills once every two months: about 66 days of service per bill. Like most water utilities they bill in CCF’s or “hundred cubic feet.” For the sake of consumers who might be curious (hah!) they include, in small italic type, the equivalent in gallons. For over four years i’ve been paying this bill and every two months the gallon figure simply blows my mind.
Ok, let’s do some math:
My most recent bill is for 11 ccf’s. Using the conversion factor of 748 that results in 8,228 gallons used over 66 days. That’s 124.6 gallons PER DAY! Annette was here for about half that time, so allowing for some overlap, that puts our per capita daily consumption at about 49.8 gallons per day. That’s basically 50 gallons PER DAY. That can’t be right…. there must be a leak, the meter is faulty. Wait, how much water did i use when Annette was not here. Yeah! Maybe it’s all her fault.
Ok… so, the previous billing cycle where Annette was only here a couple of days, shows 4 CCFs used. That’s 2,992 gallons, which comes out to 45 gallons per day. Crap! I used nearly the exact same amount of water when she wasn’t here as when she is here. But this can’t be right. 50 gallons per day! We’re not home 10 hours out of ever 24 during the week… how can we be using so much water.
A quick trip to DrinkTap.org tells the story: “Daily indoor per capita water use in the typical single family home is 69.3 gallons.” These stats are probably old, but they are revealing nonetheless. The second statistic is even more revealing: “By installing more efficient water fixtures and regularly checking for leaks, households can reduce daily per capita water use by about 35% to about 45.2 gallons per day.” Hah! i’m inside the margin of good conservation and Annette and i together are only slightly above that margin.
The breakdown of usage is scary. The largest single point of consumption is toilets. What i expected to be number 2, dishwashers, is nearly the smallest segment of the consumption pie. So, we’ve already installed super low-flow shower heads, we use a front-load variable fill washer, the next thing we need to do is install more efficient toilets. Or just flush less.