It’s easy to forget that water is actually a precious resource. When we turn a tap on, it just magically appears, in seemingly endless amounts. Because of that, we sometimes make the mistake of thinking it’s should be free.

But water is important for our daily survival. It only seems easy because we’ve put enormous amounts of effort into making it easy for Americans to access. Your water is worth every penny you pay for it, but we have some tips to help you not waste it, and keep your bills lower every month.

Fewer Baths, More Showers

ShowerMake taking a bath a special treat, rather than a regular occurrence. Every time you run a bath, depending on the size of your tub, that’s 20-50 gallons of water you’re paying for. Showers, however, use a fraction of that water.

A modern shower head gives you about 2.5 gallons of water in a minute, without compromising on pressure. If you have a shower head from before 1992, it might not have this same level of water efficiency and use more, but it’s easy to switch this out and make an upgrade.

Use Grey Water for Gardening

Water PlantsTaking care of lawns and plants in a garden can be very water intensive, especially if a dry summer with little rain arrives. But if you collect the water you’ve already used in cleaning or cooking, otherwise known as “grey water,” you have an alternative.

While greywater is no longer so safe for drinking, it’s still quite acceptable to plants. Recycle your water this way, or be even more efficient with a rain barrel. This can literally save you on gallons of water that you would otherwise pay for out of your garden hose or sprinkler to keep your plants alive.

Use a Self-Service Car Wash

Car WashThe usual argument goes that washing your car at home is cheaper because you’re not paying all that money for automated washers to do the job. However, you are paying for gallons of water at the end of the month. You’re also sending soapy, chemical-laced water straight into the sewer.

A self-service car wash, however, is a very different thing. If you live near one, not only is it much cheaper than a regular car wash, it’s also more environmentally friendly. That soapy water is now caught and recycled instead of going straight down the drain.

Fix Leaks in Your Plumbing

Water LeakIf you have a leak somewhere in your home, this is a big drain in your water, because it never stops, and it’s constantly being registered by your water meter as water you used.

So even if you didn’t, drink or use that water, your bill at the end of the month says you have to pay for it anyway. If you want to put a stop to this, first confirm you have a leak.

Your water meter will either have a leak indicator, or, if it’s older, just take a reading, wait 10 minutes to an hour without using water, and see if the meter’s gone up.

If it has, you’ve got a leak, and if your plumbing technician fixes it, you’ve just saved yourself some money. Be smart about your water usage. Cleveland, OH can be a great place to live, but that doesn’t mean you should waste water just because it comes easy. Respect your water usage and be rewarded with lower bills.

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