What is the average water bill and how to reduce it?

Find out how to save on your water bill.

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Between showers, toilets, dishwashers, washing machine and outdoor gardening, the average American household uses over 300 gallons of water every day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

In total, this equates to an average of $1,000 per year (or just over $83 per month) on water costs. Your typical bill may be lower or higher than this, depending on your location, water consumption habits, water saving technology and other factors.

Whether you’re concerned about rising utility costs or looking for ways to be more economical, adjusting your water usage is a smart way to lower your monthly expenses. In this article, we tell you how to change your habits to conserve water and save money.

Read more: Avoid taking a bath and save a lot of money

Check for water leaks around the house

If you’ve noticed spikes in your water bill (but haven’t changed your habits), a leak may be to blame. Before changing your water consumption habits or investing in new appliances, take the time to check for leaks around the house. Look for puddles around your toilet, under sinks and dishwashers, and around your washing machine.

If you spot any leaks or water spots, be sure to fix the problem right away (whether that means fixing it yourself or calling a plumber). You can also install smart leak sensors to help detect future water leaks.

Make your faucets more efficient

If you have older faucets, adding an aerator will make them more efficient, saving you water and money. Aerators are small circular objects that screw onto the head of your faucet and infuse air into the stream of water. As a result, the water is compacted and creates a more consistent flow — while reduce water consumption by 30%.

Alternatively, if you’re ready to take on a slightly larger project, you can replace your old faucet with a new WaterSense certified faucet. These products are EPA authorized and guaranteed for use at least 20% less water than older models.

Use less water with each flush

In a typical house, the toilet represents almost 30% indoor water consumption. There are several ways to reduce the amount of water your toilet uses, including switching to a low-flow toilet. According to the EPA, these water-efficient toilets can help your family save up to $140 a year.

Looking for a cheaper or DIY option? Add a weighted plastic bottle to your toilet tank. The idea is that the bottle will take up space in the reservoir which is usually filled with water, so less water is wasted on each flush. To do this, fill a half-gallon bottle with sand and place it inside the tank, making sure it sinks to the bottom. Replace the tank lid and rinse normally.

Run your dishwasher (but only when it’s full)

You may be surprised to learn that running your dishwasher is actually more water efficient than washing dishes by hand – as long as you do a full load. On top of that, if you have an Energy Star dishwasher, it can save up to 5,000 gallons of water every year compared to washing dishes by hand.

If you have a newer dishwasher, you can also skip pre-rinsing your dishes to save extra. 6,000 gallons of water per year. As long as you throw away the big chunks of food, most modern dishwashers can handle the rest.

loading a dishwasher

Running your dishwasher is actually more energy efficient than washing dishes by hand.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Change your shower habits

The typical American spends eight minutes in the shower, which equals 20 gallons of water per shower. If everyone in your household tries to take fewer or shorter showers, you could save hundreds of gallons of water each month.

You can save even more water on your showers by installing a water-efficient shower head. In fact, the EPA estimates that the average family can save $70 in annual water and energy fees by switching to a WaterSense-approved showerhead.

Small changes can make a big difference

As you’ve probably already noticed, the best ways to save on your water bill are to use less water and switch to more efficient appliances. From installing a faucet aerator to making your showers shorter, each of these small changes will help you become smarter about your water use, which benefits your wallet and the planet.

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