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1st County Water Bill Arrives

I just received my water bill from the county and it turns out that over the last 93 days (August 8 – November 9), my girlfriend and I consumed 19,449 gallons of water – approximately 209 gallons a day! For the pleasure of temporarily using the county’s water, the bill comes out to be $91.62. I’ll include the itemized bill below (for your viewing pleasure) but it seems to be that thirty dollars a month seems awfully high considering I used to pay about $10 a month in my apartment and I hardly believe my water consumption has increased considerably. Incidentally, in my county, the summer rate per 100 cubic feet of water (~748 gallons) is $2.71 ($1.11 for the water, $1.61 for the sewer usage).

Item Consumption
(100 cu. ft)
Water Usage 26 $1.11 $28.86
Water User Charge $7.60
Sewer Usage $1.61 $41.86
Sewer User Charge $5.80
State Bay Restoration Fee $7.50
Total: $91.62

I didn’t think I was consuming 104.5 (209 total, half for me, half for my girlfriend) gallons of water when usually I’m only home for about 12 hours a day? A typical household of four consume approximately 260 gallons a day (University of Minnesota [3])! A flush of the toilet costs around 6 gallons, a ten minute shower takes 50, dish washing costs 15, and finally using the faucet (brushing teeth, hand washing, etc.) costs about 2. When you add that all up, I can sort of understand my consumption reaching 104.5 gallons a day but when you first look at it… it seems high.

Anyway, so given the bill, that puts the cost of a gallon of water (and sewer, plus the fixed user charges and State Bay Restoration Fee) at $0.00471, which means now we can play some fun math given the figures from Minnesota:

Activity Est. Gallons Cost
Toilet Flushing 5 2.8 cents
Bathtub 30 14.1 cents
Shower (10 mins) 50 23.55 cents
Laundry (top loader) 60 28.2 cents
Dishwashing 15 7.0 cents
Teeth-brushing 2 0.94 cents
Hand-washing 2 0.94 cents

Incidentally, that U of Minnesota page also has some water conservation tips that I’ll probably be looking into.

Photo courtesy of Handcolored [4].