As a home owner, you do not have to worry about payment of rent every month but there are other bills to pay such as a water bill. Whether you are living in your own home or renting, everyone dreads a huge water bill. A few small changes can be made to reduce the high water bill in your home.
Monitoring your bill
The first thing to do in reducing the water usage your home is monitoring your water bill. If the bill comes in this month, wait for the next month and see if the bill has shot up or reduced unexpectedly. This helps you know if you have been using more water than necessary and maybe need to take caution.
Fixing leaking pipes
It is important to fix the leakages around your home because a lot of water is lost through leakage.
Erasmus Aine, a plumber, says if you do not call a plumber to have your pipes fixed, you will still have to pay for the bill and you will be paying for water that you have not used.
Installing rain water tanks
Having water tanks in your home is another way of saving water. You can buy tanks and put them up in your compound such that when it rains, you can conserve that water and use it for washing clothes, cars, shoes and mopping your house. This water is not paid for, so all you need is a tank.
Catherine Ashaba, who owns sky apartments in Entebbe, says she constructed an underground tank, which gave her more additional space for water source when it rains.
Check your water meter
Erasmus Aine, a plumber, says, it is important to check the water meter to see if the meter is reading even, when you are not using the water.
Checking your meter helps to identify if there is any pipe leakage that you are unaware of. Aine says: “You can read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used and if the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a possible leakage somewhere and it is best if you call a plumber to fix it.”
There is a lot of water wasted, which can be reused for other purposes. For instance, water used for rinsing clothes after washing can be used to do other things such as mopping the house, cleaning shoes.
“Whenever we finish washing clothes, the water we have used, we normally use it to mop the verandah and also clean our shoes,” says Beryl.
Use of flushing toilets
A lot of the water goes to waste when flushing toilets. According to the National Water and Sewerage Cooperation website: “Liquid waste doesn’t require the same amount of water to flush as solid waste.
Flushing the toilet accounts for 30 per cent of water usage so to save this, install a water saving toilet. These have two flush mechanisms, one which empties the entire cistern and one which lets out less water.”
Gracious Baluku, a dealer in selling flush toilets, says people always want cheap things but they are more costly in the long run. She says a modern toilet with two flush mechanisms is expensive but saves water and also does not leak, thus saving costs in the long run.
Also, do not use the toilet as a trash disposal system. Some people always use their toilets as a trash bin and later flush. This is water wastage, that will make your water bill go up. Use a bin for items that can be disposed without flushing down the toilet.
When washing utensils by hand, it is better to always wash them from a dish or sauce pan or big bowl, than using the sink because a lot of water is wasted when using the sink most especially when rinsing.
Beryl Aber, a resident of Kitooro, says her water bill was higher when she was washing utensils from the sink. “With time, we realised the monthly water bill was going high than usual and one of the reasons was because the people using the sink to wash utensils were using a lot of water…So we decided that instead of using the sink to wash dishes, we just use bowls for washing the utensils. The water in the bowls is limited unlike when using the sink. And this has helped us to reduce on water wastage,” Aber shares.
When washing hands
If you are washing hands with soap and scrubbing them, turn off the tap. This will reduce on water usage unlike when you scrub your hands as water is flowing.
Peter Mabirizi, a plumber, says someone who uses a pressure tap saves more water because the water is restricted. He explains that with this, the water stops automatically.
“Pressure taps are equal to a life-time of saving water at your home,” says Mbairizi.
Pressure taps cost about Shs40,000 and above.
Watering your garden
It is much better to water your garden or plants using a watering can rather than a hose pipe.
Catherine Ankunda, who owns a garden at her home, says with hosepipe, one can use as much as 1,000 liters of water an hour. It is also advisable to water your garden early in the morning and late in the afternoon to reduce on evaporation.
Allan Ahimbisiwe, an agronomist, says when you water in the morning or late evening, less water will be used because plant pores are open and water can be easily absorbed unlike in the afternoon where they are closed. He adds that when one waters in the afternoon, they will have to use a lot of water because heat absorbs most of the water.