How Not to Pour Your Money Down the Drain

Where is all this water going?!?!?

That’s the hundred-dollar (literally) question I’m asking myself after going through my most recent 8 months worth of water bills.

It’s week number two of the summertime consumtion challenge. This week’s task is to get a better understanding of what your current water usage really is.

Facts and figures

Gather up your bills and put together a simple table showing your monthly consumption and the breakdown of your monthly water bills. Here’s mine:

water chart

It’s an odd pattern, partly because we were traveling for a couple months this winter. But why’s it been so high lately? And how high is too high?

To put it in perspective, divide your monthly total consumption by the number of days in the month and the number of people in your house, and you get the average amount of water each person in your house uses each day. Here’s mine:

per day usage

I found this exercise really eye-opening. I can come up with no reason why our usage would exceed 200 gallons per day for each of us, let alone over 400! It’s rained a lot so we haven’t even irrigated our lawn. I am thinking I probably have a leak.

To further investigate I made sure all the water in the house was off, popped open the water meter cover in the parkway, and sure enough, the little red triangle was spinning, indicating water running somewhere in my house.

I wish I could report that I’ve found the source of the problem, but I haven’t gotten that far yet. Unfortunately the little spinning triangle doesn’t tell you exactly what’s wrong, just that there’s a problem somewhere. I suppose that’s what makes it a challenge.


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