Reduce your water bill with low-flow toilets, showerheads

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What you pay for your water bill is rising in many places around the country, but you don’t just have to take it.

The real problem is you’re paying for upgrades to older water systems that may date back to the early 1900s. USA Today reports many metro areas have seen water bills triple in the last many years. It’s not unusual to have a water bill than can exceed your power bill in some municipalities.

Many places are under court order to improve their water and sewer systems, while others have to do it simply because the delivery system is so old there’s no other choice.

But there are ways to reduce your water bill even at a time when the cost of service is going up.

During a recent drought, I went to station management and convinced them to experiment by putting a few waterless urinals in to save fresh water. After a trial run, management decided to put them everywhere throughout the studio.

That was going great until the waterless urinals began malfunctioning one after another about a year and half after installation. It turns out the contractor who installed the urinals used sub-standard piping that had to be replaced.

Not exactly my most shining hour! Yet over time, those urinals will save money for the station. My point is you don’t have to be a sitting duck to higher water prices.

I had a low-flow toilet put into my house. I went from using 3.5 gallons/flush to 1.1 gallons/flush. Some toilets even have two buttons — one that delivers a 1.1 gallon/flush and another for 1.6 gallons/flush.

You can also install low-flow showerheads that use a blast of air to simulate a strong stream of water.

And in some places, you can get a government rebate if you outfit your home with water-efficient devices. Check with your municipality to see if they participate.

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