Before I answer this myself, I’d like a few of you homeowners (or those that pay a water bill) to answer: how much water does your household use monthly?
(My wife just told me how much our last two bills are, and they seem way too high. After I get a few answers, I share our numbers.)
For comparison: We have a 3 person (wife, husband, and 2 1/2 year old), 2 bath household. We don’t water the lawn (natural rainfall is normally enough), and car washing isn’t a priority. We have a 1000 gallon pool, but we only filled it once at the beginning of the summer (rainwater seemed to have kept it at a good level).
WOW!! I live alone, and I average about 1500 gallons per month, year 'round. Low-flow shower head, of course, and a low-consumption toilet (one of the ones with a pressurized tank, so it actually flushes with only one shot). Even without those (a few years ago), I never topped 2000 gallons in a month.
Our bills for the last two months have been for 9000 and 13000 gallons. A calculator I found after I asked this question said we should use about 2000.
So on my honeydo list for today is to go under the house and find a leak. Trouble is, replacement piping is rare because our house was outfitted with that crappy plastic piping from the 1980’s that’s now outlawed. And I certainly can’t afford to replace the piping throughout.
I’m not sure on the gallonage, but when we replaced our downstairs toilet with a new model, we saved over $100 on our quarterly water bill. I didn’t realize a running toilet could use that much water. We don’t use our downstairs bathroom much, so we didn’t realize it was running. So even little leaks can add up in the long run.
You can still buy similar pipe and fittings (called Qest I think), which is fine to use. I’ve been told by a plumber that he preferes the compression nuts as opposed to the crimp rings, even thought he nuts say not to use them behind a wall. The Qest fittings can be used on just about any type of pipe. You may only need to replace the fittings since those are what was part of the class action suit. Both types of fittings have been modified and so far no problems with either. Check this page out or google for qest pipe.
Now to answer the question. If we don’t water, we use around 5000 gallons a month (I think, I can’t remember what our base amount for certain). If we water heavily during the summer we can use as much as 5000 - 10000 additional gallons per month. Since we’ve had the baby and are doing laundy all the time, this has gone up slightly. This corresponds to between $20 and $60 for our water.
I live alone (except for 5 dogs and 2 cats) and generally use about 1000-1200 gallons per month. My water bill is $13.72/month. Little things like not running the water while I brush my teeth and relatively short showers help.
I also live alone and during the summer I average about 7000 gallons watering the front lawn only three days a week. I couldn’t tell you what that is in the winter as I have never really paid attention because we are now officially in a drought.
I run the dishwasher about once a week, shower every other day – too drying on the skin, flush every other pee and every (you know) and do about 2 full loads of laundry a week.