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Save on water bill

Updated on March 30, 2008

Bigger your house, higher water bills

My wife read through the water bill, this was the first time we received the bill.

She lifted up her head and asked: "how much is 350 divided by 12?"

"Your math is supposed to be better than me?" I said, "Is that £350 a year? if £360, then £30 per month, so it's 29 and half something. "

The water bill include the cost of water supply service BASED ON THE RATEBLE VALUE OF YOUR PROPERTY. it also states the service charges for sewerage, again based on RATEBLE VALUE. Sewerage charges cover rain water (surface water) and used water charges.

The RATEBLE VALUE depends on location, floor space and number of rooms, this decision is made by local council valuation office.

"We should have baught a smaller house," my wife said, "This house is too bigger for us, and more higher bills, too."

Can we have a water meter fitted?

My wife continued reading, then she lifted her head and asked again:"How many bath do you take every week?"

"What?" I feel a little bit surprised.

I wouldn't tell you how many bath or shower do we take per week here (a little privacy *_& ). But after I knew why she asked my shower frequency, I told her. She was doing water use calculation! The average person uses 50 cubic meters each year, she wanted to find out if we are using less than this , if less, then we should have a meter fitted.

Annual use of water in Cubic Meter can be calculated by adding those varieties: (Number of people in household) x 15 + (Number of baths taken per week) x 6 + (Number of showers taken per week) x 2 + (Number of toilet flushes per day) x 3.5 + (Washing machine loads per week) x6* (x3**) + (Dishwasher loads per week) x 2* (x1**) + (Garden sprinkler use hours per day) x 1

in which * means washing machine or dishwasher machine over 10 years old, ** means under 10 years old.

Although this calculation is not sophisticated, but we haven't got washing machine and dishwasher, and did count the toilet flushes and other parameters, so we don't know how much exactly.

This reminds me of those Chinese-Style water cost saving methods. My parents know how constant dropping wears the stone, or many a little makes a mickle. It's said that water meter hands wouldn't move if you let the tap keep dropping but not running. My mother puts a big container under the tap, turns on the tap a little bit and let it keep dropping before goes to bed, next morning they will find the container is full of water, that container can last a day's water usage. Sometime overflow will happen because the water pressure changed during the night, the water dripping becomes faster.

My parents-in-law share a two bedroom apartment with others. One kitchen and one toilet. They both have a water meter installed, but never used toilet flush tank. They recycle and re-use water very wisely from hand-wash basin or washing clothes or washing vegetables. They save those waters in a big red bucket, and flush the toilet whenever they need it!

But I cann't imagine if we have a meter installed. My wife asked her colleague how much did he pay for water, his colleague answered: I never care, I have more important things to worry about. I just use Direct Debit, never know how much.

Penny wise, pound foolish, he is right, maybe! But look after you penny, your pound will look after themselves, that's right, too.

What can I do? Have a meter installed or not, that a question.

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