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How I Cut My Water Bill In Half

The water bill for the last three months (Nov 05 – Jan 06) arrived in the mail today and the total hit was a quarter shy of fifty bucks, something that sounds more reasonable than the Benjamin it cost us to enjoy the benefits of Howard County, Maryland water and sewer services the three months previous [3]. According to their measurements, we used less than half the amount of water (8,229 gallons versus 19,449 gallons) despite not really changing our water usage habits.

Item Consumption
(100 cu. ft)
Water Usage 11 $1.01 $11.11
Water User Charge $7.60
Sewer Usage $1.61 $17.71
Sewer User Charge $5.80
State Bay Restoration Fee $7.50
Total: $49.72
3 mo. Difference: -$41.90

I found it interesting that the water rate in the winter was ten cents cheaper than in the summer, but that’s reasonable since the demand for water is much higher in the summer.

Did we change our behavior to try to use less water? I think we only did so marginally (tried not to leave the water running when we were brushing teeth, things like that) but we didn’t do anything extraordinary to get our bill down. I still want to do the whole water displacement trick for the toilet water tanks (where you just get a rock to take up a little space in the water tank and thus use less water per flush) but haven’t actually done it.

One other issue I thought of was that we shut off the water to the outside faucets because we were afraid they’d freeze and crack in the cold temperatures. Is it possible that there is a crack somewhere in the wall that I can’t see? There doesn’t appear to be any flooding anywhere inside the house, the ground isn’t perpetually wet outside, and I can’t think of any other symptoms to look for. If there was a small leak, it’s very possible that could be the culprit for the higher water bill.