UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (40) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Next Thread
Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 128953  
Subject: Water! Date: 10/4/2012 11:19 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Our last water bill, which includes two months' worth of water and sewage, was just over $400, a 33% increase over our previous highest bill. I can understand that since our town has installed upgraded sewage lines as well as water upgrades and they're paying for it through higher rates instead of floating bond issues. But that extra $100 was mainly for watering the #$%&^@ lawn during the two hot months, with the result that the lawn looks only marginally patchier than it did in June. Let it turn brown as nature intended, I say. DW says something else.

But I was assuaged today when DW reported on a conversation with our new across-the-street neighbors who moved in a little over two months ago. Their water bill for the same period as ours was $1,400. According to the city, that did not include past owners' unpaid usage. Nor was there a leak as the meter doesn't move when everything is shut off. They don't have a pool to fill and they're sure they did nothing more extravagant than a little power washing. When we do power washing we get a little blip in our bill but nothing to get excited about. They've got four people bathing and washing clothes and dishes to our two, but still. Inquiries are afoot.

--fleg
Print the post Back To Top
Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122396 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 1:46 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 3
WOW!! Where do you live? My water bills tend to run under $25/month.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122397 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 2:23 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Where do you live? My water bills tend to run under $25/month.

I live in a suburb of Portland, thought by many to be the water capital of the U.S. Here's a breakdown of our water bill:

Dates of service: 7/16 to 9/18, two months and a few days, including the hottest days of the year.

Fixed Rates:
Water $40.06
Sewer $119.99
Surface Water $20.54
Street Maintenance $15.62
Total Fixed Rates $190.21

Water Usage:
Tier 1 $33.76
Tier 2 $ 48.32
Tier 3 $147.42
Total Water Usage $229.50

Add up the Total Fixed Rates and the Total Water Usage and you get $419.71. It's that Tier 3 water usage that's killing us -- most of which is for watering the @#$%^& lawn. Most of the year we don't need to do that.

The sewage rates went way up after the recent upgrade. And it was a huge project. They drained the lake that gives our burb its name and replaced the drainage pipe that ran along the bottom of it, as well as tearing up a lot of streets and building some new pump houses. We're paying for it now. Here's a photo of part of the project:

http://www.aaee.net/images/E32012GPDesign02.jpg

On the other hand, our gas bills were only $26 for the two-month period.

--fleg

Print the post Back To Top
Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122398 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 3:19 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
On the other hand, our gas bills were only $26 for the two-month period.

WOW!! My (all electric) bill has been running a little over 3 times that, per month, in a small 1-bedroom apartment!!

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122401 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 7:59 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
My bill is about $200/month in the dry season and $75/month in the wet season.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122402 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 9:27 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Reading these water prices puts flood insurance premiums here in the Mississippi River Valley in a significantly different perspective.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122403 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 9:52 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 4
Their water bill for the same period as ours was $1,400.

I suspect a leaking toilet or two. Those "pulse" as the water level drops slowly in the holding tank, then refill when nobody's looking. A leaking toilet can drain away 10,000 to 25,000 gallons a month. Yet if you are out at the water meter during the 10 minutes when the toilet isn't refilling, you would never know.

Red food dye in tank, come back 10 minutes later, see if it has moved to the bowl. If so, repair, usually the flapper, sometimes more.

Also, if they wait long to get hot water to a sink or shower (and turn on the water and watch it run down the drain), consider a water recirculating pump; easy to install, about $250 (IIRC) from Laing Technologies. Goes right under the sink, typically uses the hoses that are already there. Requires electricity, which may or may not be available there (but is always close by.) I have two for exactly that reason.

But that extra $100 was mainly for watering the #$%&^@ lawn during the two hot months, with the result that the lawn looks only marginally patchier than it did in June. Let it turn brown as nature intended, I say. DW says something else.

Rain barrels; 50 gallons for about $100. One time price. That's only enough to do about 100 sq ft at a time, but with one at each corner of the house maybe you can make a difference, depending on the size of your lot. And you win twice, because you are not paying the sewage price on water which doesn't go in - or out.

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122404 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 10:02 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Let it turn brown as nature intended, I say.

Our summers are hotter than Portland's. Portions of my yard go brown every summer. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on water trying to keep it green, my approach is to not water and just buy $100 of grass seed in the fall. Cheaper this way.

PSU

Print the post Back To Top
Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122405 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 10:13 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
Rain barrels; 50 gallons for about $100. One time price. That's only enough to do about 100 sq ft at a time, but with one at each corner of the house maybe you can make a difference, depending on the size of your lot. And you win twice, because you are not paying the sewage price on water which doesn't go in - or out.

For about $30, you can build your own. In this area, there are several people on craigslist selling pickle barrels and other food grade barrels for $15-$20.
http://raleigh.craigslist.org/grd/3264205445.html

Just add your own spigot and cut hole in top for downspout.

Or you can buy a finished one for about $50. Plenty of people are buying the above barrels, adding the hardware and reselling as rain
barrels.

The problem with rain barrels is that they're not that good for watering the lawn. After using all the water for the 100 sq ft of lawn, you have an empty barrel. To refill, you need rain. If you need to refill your rain barrel on a frequent basis, you need frequent rain. If you have frequent rain, you don't need to water. If you don't need to water, then you don't need rain barrels.

I view rain barrels as a source of water for flower pots and vegetable gardens. They just don't have the capacity to keep your lawn watered.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122406 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 10:43 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
The problem with rain barrels is that they're not that good for watering the lawn. After using all the water for the 100 sq ft of lawn, you have an empty barrel. To refill, you need rain. If you need to refill your rain barrel on a frequent basis, you need frequent rain. If you have frequent rain, you don't need to water. If you don't need to water, then you don't need rain barrels.

At our Chicago house we had a very small backyard, terraced with several gardens. A couple of rainbarrels would have worked fine, although during long dry stretches we would have had to supplement with house water. It isn't that it makes utility water 100% unnecessary, just that it can take care of 50% or more of the typical usage over the course of a s season.

That house also had a four-level "pond" made of railroad ties and a rather long sluiceway which was not in use when we moved in. After a month's filling and use I understood why; the splashover from the tiered levels and the evaporation made the water bill soar.

I dug a pit, added a 100 gallon rainwater collector, covered it over, added a small pump, and the problem mostly went away. If the barrel (it was bigger than a barrel, but that's what I'll call it) went dry, it could refill from the house water (I actually jury-rigged a toilet tank float to allow) but mostly there was occasional, if sometimes infrequent rain which kept the water level at acceptable levels for the pump.

I saw a system back then (which I cannot find now) which allowed for the stacking of rainbarrels atop each other; you could put as many on top of each other as you could dig a hole deep enough to hold them. Very nice for confined spaces, put three or four together, then disappear them into the ground. Completely out of sight; required a one day mammoth post-hole digger rental, and from that point it could be completely DIY. Dig the hole, fasten the rainbarrels together, slide into the hole, re-cover, done. Thought about it but didn't do it.

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: voelkels Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122407 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 10:47 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Total Water Usage $229.50

Wow! $229.50 was more than our electric bill for the month of July or August this year here in S.E. Loosiana, us. We have our own well so it only costs me around $40 or $30 a year for lime to refill our lime filter (we gots a “water hardener” to raise the pH of our well water from 5.3 to something around 8.0) plus the electric needed to run the pump.

I suspect a leaking toilet or two. Those "pulse" as the water level drops slowly in the holding tank, then refill when nobody's looking. A leaking toilet can drain away 10,000 to 25,000 gallons a month. Yet if you are out at the water meter during the 10 minutes when the toilet isn't refilling, you would never know.

Red food dye in tank, come back 10 minutes later, see if it has moved to the bowl. If so, repair, usually the flapper, sometimes more.


I gotta agree with Goofy on this, they probably gots a leak somewhere. A couple of years ago I found dye pills at Lowe’s or maybe it was at a hardware store for free. They contain Fluorescein dye (See; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescein), the same stuff that gives Prestone anti-freeze its color. You just drops it into the tank where it’ll dissolve and form a dye layer along the bottom of the tank. If the flapper valve is leaking, it’ll show up in the bowl fairly quickly. When I was working offshore I had the company buy the Fluorescein dye to aid in determining the approximate depth of tubing leaks in oil & gas wells, me.
;-)

Also, if they wait long to get hot water to a sink or shower (and turn on the water and watch it run down the drain), consider a water recirculating pump . . .

Or a tankless water heater (See; http://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mo... ).

But that extra $100 was mainly for watering the #$%&^@ lawn during the two hot months, with the result that the lawn looks only marginally patchier than it did in June. Let it turn brown as nature intended, I say. DW says something else.

Spray the brown patches with green dye. That way you don’t hafta mow it.
;-)

C.J.V. - got almost five acres of weed - I mean lawn to mow, me

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: inparadise Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122408 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 10:56 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
I've never watered the grass, even with well water. Maybe we have a different kind of grass, but when it's very dry for a long time, it goes dormant and yes, brown. Then the rain comes back and it goes green again.

Or maybe it's the weeds that go green. Don't really care. There is more to life than a trophy lawn.

IP,
who can't imagine watering this acre of lawn

Print the post Back To Top
Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122409 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 11:04 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
I agree with Gh. They have a problem. Leaky toilets very possible. Food coloring in tank is the way to check.

I got no lawn. People with lawns in Phoenix are fools, IMO. I'd even argue it should be illegal. Dumping potable water on the ground for a plant that provides no shade for the home, and you can't really eat, is bordering on criminal (at least here where it rains about 6" a year).

Our water bill this time of year is usually around $100, off from a summer peak of maybe $130. It's more in summer because we have to increase the garden water (soil dries out faster - the trees like more too). The garden is fairly large, and we grow various crops there. Presently we're at about 1/2 strength (we did some "remodeling" of the garden, so some of the beds haven't been active) and we're getting about 10 lbs of okra a week. We'll be switching to something else soon (peppers, I think). We still have about 2 months before it gets cold.

Half of our trees are fruit trees. Last year we got a few grapefruit and a lot of lemons. Hopefully this year will be better.

Four people in the house.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122410 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 11:05 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
At our Chicago house we had a very small backyard, terraced with several gardens. A couple of rainbarrels would have worked fine, although during long dry stretches we would have had to supplement with house water. It isn't that it makes utility water 100% unnecessary, just that it can take care of 50% or more of the typical usage over the course of a s season.

Sure, if you have a really small yard. 100 sq ft is the size of a small bedroom. For my yard, it would take over 3000 gallons per week to water it or over 50 rain barrels. It's not that big of a yard. Only about 5000 square feet.

PSU

Print the post Back To Top
Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122411 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 11:08 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
I got no lawn. People with lawns in Phoenix are fools, IMO. I'd even argue it should be illegal. Dumping potable water on the ground for a plant that provides no shade for the home, and you can't really eat, is bordering on criminal (at least here where it rains about 6" a year).

I guess you had some kind of religious landscaping awakening.

PSU

Print the post Back To Top
Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122412 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 11:10 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
most of which is for watering the @#$%^& lawn.

Zoysia grass loves sun, heat and dry climates.
http://www.zoysias.com/

Print the post Back To Top
Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122413 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 11:18 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
On the other hand, our gas bills were only $26 for the two-month period.

WOW!! My (all electric) bill has been running a little over 3 times that, per month, in a small 1-bedroom apartment!!


Our combined gas and electric bills have averaged $138/month for the past 12 months for a stand-alone 3200-sq-ft house. Chalk it up to a mild climate and cheap hydroelectric power. I expect the rates to increase as OR implements its mandate to get more of its energy from more expensive renewable sources which, oddly enough, do not include hydro.

--fleg

Print the post Back To Top
Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122414 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 11:24 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Zoysia grass loves sun, heat and dry climates.

I wouldn't call Portland sunny, hot and dry. More like cloudy, mild and wet.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122415 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 11:34 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Zoysia grass loves sun, heat and dry climates.

I wouldn't call Portland sunny, hot and dry. More like cloudy, mild and wet.


Why water the lawn then?

Print the post Back To Top
Author: jeffbrig Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122416 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 11:44 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
A leaking toilet can drain away 10,000 to 25,000 gallons a month. Yet if you are out at the water meter during the 10 minutes when the toilet isn't refilling, you would never know.

It's more than a simple toilet leak. You're seriously overestimating the amount of water that a toilet can move without you noticing. At 25k gallons a month, that's the equivalent of more than a full gallon flush every 2 minutes. That would be easily detectable by the homeowner. But a leaky toilet is only a partial flush, if anything, and it would need to be happening almost continuously, which the homeowner would notice.

My residential usage is about 4-5k gallons per month, and my bill is $40-50. I pay a base customer fee, trash fee, and about $5 per 1,000 gallons (water + sewer). Even when I had a leaky flapper valve, it never used more than an additional 1,000 gallons (~33g/day)

Print the post Back To Top
Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122417 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 11:46 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 2
In Seattle, Portland and other liberal dominated areas, our political lords and masters are building EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE sewage treatment plants and funding their environmental programs from water, sewer and garbage bills in lots of ways.

They don't care a fig about what it costs homeowners. Indeed, I believe they want to drive rates up as high as possible to "conserve" water and what not.

It used to be that liberals delighted in roasting utility executives over a slow fire to get the lowest possible rates for people. Now they are in a conspiracy with those utility executives --- the liberals get all their environmental programs funded through higher utility rates and utilities get to raise their rates as much as they like.

Expect more of the same until voters in major cities start voting Republican.



Seattle Pioneer

Print the post Back To Top
Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122418 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 11:47 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Why water the lawn then?

Because the wife wants him to.

Here are the mean number of days per month there are clear days in Portland.
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/htmlfiles/westcomp.clr.html

The clear days are the highest in July-Sept.

Here is the average temperatures and rainfall in Portland.
http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/U...

The warmest and driest months also coincide with the months as the number of sunny days - July-Sept.

Other that those three months, the weather in Portland is ideal for fescue - good rainfall and moderate temperatures. Personally, I'd have a grass that is best for the maximum number of days. In this case, it is my opinion that fescue is better than zoysia. For the less ideal three months period, he can either water or wear ear plugs.

PSU

Print the post Back To Top
Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122419 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 11:57 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I wouldn't call Portland sunny, hot and dry. More like cloudy, mild and wet.

Why water the lawn then?


We have a couple of hot months per year. By "hot" I mean maybe a dozen days above 90, one or two around 100 and a bunch of days in the 80s, with reasonable humidity and little rain. Sometimes September can be quite dry as well, although not as hot. That's why we live here -- we'll take many cool rainy months to avoid many hot, humid ones. We don't like to perspire. But lawns would go brown during those brief shining moments if not watered. I'm OK with brown lawns but DW would rather pay the big water bills to keep the lawns half green until the rains start again.

--fleg

Print the post Back To Top
Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122420 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 12:15 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I guess you had some kind of religious landscaping awakening.

No. I live in a desert and understand the implications of "desert".

To the OP I would recommend xeriscaping. Done properly it can be quite striking (better than a bunch of brown grass!), and would use little or no extra water than what the local environment provides naturally.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: nutsandbolts Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122421 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 12:17 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Hey fleg....let that company you spoke about in the previously post handle it. Give them a call today.
Let them relieve you of the burden of home management...lol

Reminds me of the situation I had when selling my house. A realtor took a client through and someone used the bathroom. Unfortunately, when they left, the water did not shut-off on the commode. It ran for almost a month and fortunately a meter reader who saw the house was vacant, turned the water off at the street. I got a $1797.53 bill. I had not had any problems when I lived there.

I had moved so was unaware of this until the statement arrived! Yikes.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122422 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 12:22 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
No. I live in a desert and understand the implications of "desert".

You should know by now that I have a good memory.

http://boards.fool.com/blasted-grass-27653574.aspx

Print the post Back To Top
Author: 1poorguy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122423 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 12:34 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Ah, yes. The soccer field (such as it was). It never really took hold, and didn't get a lot of use. It is presently barren dirt. We never re-seeded it after that first attempt, and the sprinklers are off. I should probably craigslist the seed spreader and lawnmower. 1poorlady is looking to convert that into another area for crops.

It wasn't going to be a "trophy lawn" (I like that term). It was utilitarian (kid practicing). But she got to the point (quickly) where the ball wouldn't stay in the grass area, so she stopped using it. The OP appears to have a spouse who wants a trophy lawn.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122424 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 1:18 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
It's more than a simple toilet leak. You're seriously overestimating the amount of water that a toilet can move without you noticing.

We have four toilets in our house. Since I don't typically keep red food dye in stock, when I notice a leak in one of the toilets, I test all of them. It's not unusual for two or more to show some leakage.

Anyway, I thought the number sounded high, but I can find cites for it around:

1 Home leaking toilet can leak 25,000 gallons per month or more
http://www.abtwater.com/MeterCalc.html

A leaking toilet could waste as much as 200 litres of water per day.
http://www.eea.europa.eu/green-tips/a-leaking-toilet-could-w...
(That's less, I know. It's still a big number. Type "leaking toilet wasted water" into Google and get a variety of answers.)

A problem that I have had is that one of the bathrooms is in the basement and not frequently visited. More than once I've found the flapper get hung up and not close, and the water just runs continuously until the next time somebody ventures in there. Yikes!

But a leaky toilet is only a partial flush, if anything, and it would need to be happening almost continuously, which the homeowner would notice.

Well, I was working under the sink in the main bathroom a few days ago when I noticed that the toilet suddenly decided to "fill." So I kept working, and about 10 minutes later it filled again. So the "I'm just sitting here doing nothing time" was about 10 minutes, and the "I'm filling time" was about 1 minute. Easy for someone to miss, especially if they're not attuned to it - and if they think they've shut everything off and the meter doesn't run for a couple minutes.

this one I fixed just by swiping a finger around the flapper and around the porcelain where it meets. There was a piece of grit which stopped the flapper from making a good seal. Happens fairly often, actually. (>1/year)

That would be easily detectable by the homeowner.

I suspect most homeowners wouldn't even notice, unless they pay attention to such things, which most don't until they get a water bill for $1400. That's why plumbers get so many calls that could be more easily remedied by homeowners themselves, if they only knew a little something about plumbing.

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122425 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 1:20 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<No. I live in a desert and understand the implications of "desert".

To the OP I would recommend xeriscaping. Done properly it can be quite striking (better than a bunch of brown grass!), and would use little or no extra water than what the local environment provides naturally.>>


Umm. We don't live in a desert around here, and understand the implications of a wet, marine climate with a summer dry spell.

Lawns are quite practical here. Done properly it can be quite striking.



Seattle Pioneer

Print the post Back To Top
Author: wecoguy Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122426 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 1:26 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
The super flusher we have uses a tower, and a flat ring of thin rubber to seal it.. Well, when we use clorox tabs to keep the bowl cleaner, it eats up that seal, so a couple times a year we'll hear it cycle, filling and I know I need to swap the seal... Easy, if I quit the bleach tabs it would be better, maybe, but the seals are pretty cheap...

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122427 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 1:33 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Our summers are hotter than Portland's. Portions of my yard go brown every summer. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on water trying to keep it green, my approach is to not water and just buy $100 of grass seed in the fall. Cheaper this way.

I do that too. Except I don't buy any grass seed, the lawn just comes back the next year. One pretty awesome thing about Seattle is that virtually no one waters their lawn in the summer. Brown lawns are standard.

Not as true in 'burbs. The poor confused people out there tend water their lawns.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122428 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 1:50 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I do that too. Except I don't buy any grass seed, the lawn just comes back the next year. One pretty awesome thing about Seattle is that virtually no one waters their lawn in the summer. Brown lawns are standard.

In my semi-shady and shady areas, the grass will come back when the weather cools and it starts to rain. That's because the grass is dormant, not dead. In the sunny areas, it will also remain dormant if there are occasional summer rains. If we get a sustained hot, dry spell, the grass goes from dormant to dead. This was one of the best years so far for my lawn. I only needed to reseed two dead areas.

PSU

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122429 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 1:58 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
For my yard, it would take over 3000 gallons per week to water it or over 50 rain barrels

Nah. You just need a bigger barrel:
http://www.merchantcircle.com/business/Austin.Gutter.Stuff.5...

Here, this one's a little better looking. (But not much)
http://solarandrain.blogspot.com/2010/05/rainwater-collectio...

Print the post Back To Top
Author: PSUEngineer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122430 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 2:01 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Here, this one's a little better looking. (But not much)

Yes, both examples you provided are quite ugly. I doubt my HOA would approve. The attractive solution is a buried tank. In my case, the best location already has a 20,000 gallon hole in the yard.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: MetroChick Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122431 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 2:58 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Our last water bill, which includes two months' worth of water and sewage, was just over $400, a 33% increase over our previous highest bill. I can understand that since our town has installed upgraded sewage lines as well as water upgrades and they're paying for it through higher rates instead of floating bond issues. But that extra $100 was mainly for watering the #$%&^@ lawn during the two hot months, with the result that the lawn looks only marginally patchier than it did in June. Let it turn brown as nature intended, I say. DW says something else.

Your bill should show amount of water used, so you should be able to compare it the prior period's bill to see if the increase was due to a rate increase. If the amount of water you used substaintially increased, then you might have a leak somewhere.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Donna405 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122432 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 5:22 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Fleg, have you thought of installing a separate meter for your sprinkler system. I did that at my house in FL, and the outside faucets as well as the sprinkler system are hooked up to it. There is a separate reading for that meter and it is far less than the inside water.

Donna

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Donna405 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122433 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 5:25 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
PSU: <<The problem with rain barrels is that they're not that good for watering the lawn. After using all the water for the 100 sq ft of lawn, you have an empty barrel. To refill, you need rain. If you need to refill your rain barrel on a frequent basis, you need frequent rain. If you have frequent rain, you don't need to water. If you don't need to water, then you don't need rain barrels.

I view rain barrels as a source of water for flower pots and vegetable gardens. They just don't have the capacity to keep your lawn watered.>>

I'm with you. I have a 60 gal rain barrel and love it. However, I use it for my potted plants, as well as a drip house to my veggies in the summer.

Donna

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Donna405 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122434 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/5/2012 9:43 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
Gee, I'm replying to my own post. Speaking of water, our condo complex received the Sept. water bill from the City of Columbia (SC). Last month, my building (6 units) incurred at $157.06 water bill for an entire month. This month it was $942.33. It appears that the City has some computer problems. In any event, I have written the City and advised that they have a TREMENDOUS problem, and we expect it to be fixed prior to our water bill being debited from our HOA bank account. According to the "Press Release", the City advises it will not refund any money. We have requested a re-reading, and I do expect the City to call me regarding this.

If not, I advised them that we would seek legal help from our attorney, who used to be an Assistant City Attorney, due to the fact the City said no refund.

This is ridiculous. As a note, about 8 buildings out of 21 incurred an increase of 300% or more.

Donna

Print the post Back To Top
Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122440 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/6/2012 9:46 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
<< We have requested a re-reading, and I do expect the City to call me regarding this. >>



I'd start by reading the meter yourself to see if there has been an error.


Seattle Pioneer

Print the post Back To Top
Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 122445 of 128953
Subject: Re: Water! Date: 10/6/2012 1:51 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 4
Portland dodged a bullet in terms of soaring water bills a couple of years ago. This article explains the situation it faced:

Portland water ratepayers to pay up to $500 million to prevent a rare drinking water threat

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2011/03/port...

In spring 1993, hordes of microscopic cryptosporidium parasites traveled undetected from Lake Michigan through a drinking water filtration plant in Milwaukee and into the guts of the city's residents. At least 69 people died. An estimated 403,000 people came down with cryptosporidiosis, a severe stomach illness spawned by the chlorine-resistant parasite.

Congress leapt to action. It ordered the EPA to require the most stringent feasible treatment to thwart the microbe, as a federal appellate court later said when rejecting a 2006 lawsuit by the city of Portland, "regardless of its own or the public's views about whether the benefits justify the costs."

Eighteen years later and 1,700 miles west of Lake Michigan, the strict rules are slated to hit Portland and its relatively pristine water system full force.
_________________________

For a long time the EPA wouldn't even allow Portland to test its own water for cryptosporidium. And its own field office wouldn't do it, either. It took one of OR's senators pushing hard to get a top EPA official out here to view the watershed from a helicopter. After that, OR's health department was allowed to test the water, to reveal an absence of cryptosporidium. The watershed is a federal forest where no human or agricultural activity takes place, thus keeping the water pure, but Portland almost got nailed by the one-size-fits-all mentality of the federal government.

--fleg

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (40) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Next Thread
Advertisement