Water and Sewage Charges
(By-Law & Charges)
Check faucets and pipes for leaks
A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger
leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.
Check your toilets for leaks
Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to
appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired
immediately. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install.
Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks
Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being
used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.
Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators
Inexpensive water-saving low-flow shower heads or restrictors are easy for the
homeowner to install. Also, long, hot showers can use five to ten gallons every
unneeded minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and
rinse off. “Low-flow” means it uses less than 2.5 gallons per minute.
Also, all household faucets should be fit with aerators. This single best home water
conservation method is also the cheapest!
Put plastic bottles or float booster in your toilet tank
To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two
plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and
put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. This may
save ten or more gallons of water per day.
Replacing an 18 liter per flush toilet with an ultra-low volume (ULV) 6 liter flush model
represents a 70% savings in water flushed and will cut indoor water use by about 30%.
Take shorter showers.
One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn
it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.
Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush
There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your
brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.
Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads
Automatic dishwashers and clothes washers should be fully loaded for optimum water
conservation. Most makers of dishwashing soap recommend not pre-rinsing dishes
which is a big water savings.
With clothes washers, avoid the permanent press cycle, which uses an added 20 liters
(5 gallons) for the extra rinse. For partial loads, adjust water levels to match the size of
the load. Replace old clothes washers. New Energy Star rated washers use 35 – 50%
less water and 50% less energy per load. If you’re in the market for a new clothes
washer, consider buying a water-saving frontload washer.
When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing
If your have a double-basin, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you
have a single-basin sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a
spray device. Dual-swivel aerators are available to make this easier. If using a
dishwasher, there is usually no need to pre-rinse the dishes.
Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables
Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water. Use a dual-setting aerator.
Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge
Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful. Store drinking water in
the fridge in a safe drinking bottle.
Water conservation in the yard and garden…
Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants
Many beautiful shrubs and plants thrive with far less watering than other species.
Replace herbaceous perennial borders with native plants. Native plants will use less
water and be more resistant to local plant diseases. Plant slopes with plants that will
retain water and help reduce runoff. Group plants according to their watering needs.
Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants
Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth. Adding 2 – 4
inches of organic material such as compost or bark mulch will increase the ability of the
soil to retain moisture. Press the mulch down around the dripline of each plant to form
a slight depression which will prevent or minimize water runoff.
Water your lawn only when it needs it
A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If it springs back
up when you move, it doesn’t need water. If it stays flat, the lawn is ready for watering.
Letting the grass grow taller (to 3A) will also promote water retention in the soil.
Most lawns only need about 1A of water each week. During dry spells, you can stop
watering altogether and the lawn will go brown and dormant. Once cooler weather
arrives, the morning dew and rainfall will bring the lawn back to its usual vigor. This
may result in a brown summer lawn, but it saves a lot of water.
When watering the lawn, do it long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots
where it will do the most good. A light sprinkling can evaporate quickly and tends to
encourage shallow root systems. Put an empty tuna can on your lawn –when it’s full,
you’ve watered about the right amount.
Set up a rain barrel. You can collect rain water from your eaves to water your garden.
Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks
Leaks outside the house may not seem as bad since they’re not as visible. But they can
be just as wasteful as leaks indoors. Check frequently to keep them drip-free. Use hose
washers at spigots and hose connections to eliminate leaks.
Water conservation comes naturally when everyone in the family is aware of its
importance, and parents take the time to teach children some of the simple watersaving
methods around the home which can make a big difference.