Almost 70% of household water use goes indoors to toilet flushing, laundry, showering and so on. Calculating your indoor water use may help you identify ways to conserve water and start saving money. Water conservation begins with you! Being conscious of your water use, changing water-wasting habits, replacing water-guzzling fixtures with more efficient models, and repairing leaks all contribute to making a positive difference to the individual and the community.
Ways to Save
Water conservation includes both water saving fixtures and changing behavior. Both of these reduces drinking water demand and the amount of water diverted from the source. Lower demand for drinking water also means reduced water and wastewater treatment costs because less water is pumped, purified, and pushed through the system. As Bellingham moves to metered water for all residential properties, customers will be able to reduce the water portion of their utility bills by reducing home water use. Try these Indoor Water Use Tips (PDF).
Appliances, Fixtures, and Devices
Replacing water-guzzling fixtures can reduce home water consumption by up to 27 gallons per person per day. The City of Bellingham offers a rebate program and free Water Conservation Kits, one kit per household, to our water customers. The kits contain one low-flow showerhead, a kitchen and a bathroom faucet aerator, and toilet leak detection tablets. The kits can be obtained from the Finance Department in City Hall at 210 Lottie Street or mailed directly to you by requesting a kit from firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The City is an EPA WaterSense partner. An easy way to identify water-efficient products is to look for the WaterSense label on toilets, faucets, and showerheads: these products perform well, help save money, and the program encourages innovation in manufacturing.
- When buying water-related household appliances, look for ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR rating. High-efficiency plumbing fixtures and appliances save about 30% of indoor water use and can yield substantial savings on water and energy bills.
- City staff compiled a list of websites offering financial incentives and information (PDF).
- The City offers a rebate program for certain water efficient toilets and washing machines.
Leaky pipes, toilets and faucets are often the biggest water wasters around your home. On average, leaks account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted per home, per year–enough to fill a backyard swimming pool.
Fortunately, checking for leaks is simple and repairs are usually minimal. While wet and audible leaks are most common, sometimes leaks can be hidden and silent. If you are a metered water customer, check your meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If your meter reading has changed, there is a leak. Without a meter, it is important to inspect each water fixture in and around your home. The links below provide some easy tips to help you detect and repair a leaky faucet or toilet.
- H2OUSE, Water Saver Home
- Water, Use it Wisely
- Winterize Your Water System (PDF)
- Water Consumption Calculator
- Water Utility
- Water Metering Program
- Water Conservation Rebate Project
- Resources for Students and Teachers
- Alliance for Water Efficiency
- Whatcom Water Alliance
Please contact the Operations Division of the Public Works Department if you would like more information about water conservation.