Saving water is not difficult, even in significant amounts.  It will lower your utility budget and place less strain on your plumbing and also the water supply in your town. For a little over two thousand dollars I had three new commodes installed, a new dishwasher, and a new washer installed, and I was able to replace all of my aerators and shower heads. The washer and dishwasher represented well over half of that.  Each had failed and needed to be replaced anyway.

            The cost savings are significant enough to appreciate.  I estimate the pay back to occurs at about 4 years.  I did not include the cost of the appliances into my figures since they needed to be replaced. Payback may be sooner since we are a growing family. Four children will be taking longer showers more often and washing larger clothes more often, etc. And remember, if you are on a sewer system that your bill is likely metered by your water consumption.  So every gallon you save on the water bill is also a gallon you are not billed on the sewer usage. That gives you twice the incentive to look for ways to conserve.

Saving water is easier if you live in an older home, which may have older fixtures. There are a couple of different approaches to reducing water consumption: examine the fixture, examine the user. Living in a newer home most often tackles most issues related with the fixture, as they are newer.  However, even in new homes parts wear and fail so maintenance is important.

           In older homes, we are more likely to find water thirsty fixtures and appliances.  If these are systematically changed over time, they can be replaced or retrofitted cheaply for even the most budget conscience person.  And conserving does not have to impact your lifestyle. 

            The cheapest way to get started is to replace old aerators.  Often the water flow in sink fixture is not being used, so it makes sense to restrict the flow.  Some aerators are widely restrictive and others are mildly restrictive.  You may prefer different flows for different sinks.

            Also change out shower heads.  This can be a major source of savings too.  Low flow shower heads are designed to perform and often function better than old water guzzler heads. This is an easy project.

            The next time your commode needs repair, consider replacing it altogether.  New units are not expensive and they offer water savings and multi flush options that use more or less water as needed.  The cost of a service call can be the most expensive part of working on a commode.  Have a new one installed if you can pay a slight bit more.  I suggest speaking to plumbers, family, and friends, about referring good models.  Also consider reading reviews on line.

            As your appliances start to fail, plan to replace your clothes washer and dishwasher.  These are large users of water.  Newer models are water savers.  Again go with referred models and consult on line reviews.

            The user can train himself to conserve also.  I found most of my water wasting habits had no relation to my lifestyle; I could save water without changing my lifestyle.  For instance, I would turn the water on while brushing teeth.  I turned on the shower and went to choose my shirt and tie while I waited for the water to run warm.  Not only did I waste water, but I wasted warm water.  Running the water at full during hand washing or dishwashing is not needed.  If letting the water run, have it at low flow unless pressure is needed.  Certain articles of clothing did not need washing after every use, such as jeans or sweatshirts.  And encouraging my family to participate was important as well.

            Saving water is a multifaceted endeavor.  There are many ways to achieve success. Small changes add up over days, weeks, and years.  Looking at your personal habits might yield opportunities to conserve.  Identifying older components of your home may also yield big results. It is likely something you can tackle over time. Waiting for things to break naturally presents the perfect opportunity to upgrade and conserve. The best part of my experience is that I have not sacrificed or lowered my quality of life.


Bobby Jankovic, Broker/Owner

RE/MAX Capital 

1166 Jamestown Rd. Williamsburg, VA 23185

Licensed in Virginia #0225055091

cell (757) 291-1114