The citizens of Dallas have saved more than 376 billion gallons of water since 2001, but it’s always good to think about how to better use it efficiently. Here are some things to think about.
Start by taking a look at the water bill and compare usage this month to the same month last year. This will give us an idea if we’re using more water than usual. Dallas uses a four-tiered rate structure, meaning the more water we use, the higher our rate. For example, for the first 4,000 gallons, we’re charged $1.90 per 1,000 gallons. But on the fourth tier, which is anything above 15,000 gallons, we’re charged $8.55 per 1,000 gallons. That’s not counting the $5.31 per 1,000 gallons for waste water (sewer) treatment. We can take a closer look at the water rates at DallasCityHall.com/departments/waterutilities and access the DWU calculator to estimate our monthly bill.
Repair any leaks, because a one-drip-per-second leak can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. Check your toilet by adding a couple of drops of food coloring to your toilet tank. If after about 10 minutes, the water in the bowl changes color without having flushed, we need to replace a leaking flapper. Be sure to replace it with a flapper for the specific toilet model. The wrong flapper may increase the gallons per flush. Visually check faucets and showerheads. Use WaterSense-labeled fixtures and appliances. For example, washing dishes by hand can waste more than 5,000 gallons of water per year compared to washing a full load with an efficient dishwasher.
If we’re unable to locate a leak, but suspect one, check the water meter to make sure no water is running inside or outside the house. Check the leak indicator in the meter, and if it is running, there is a leak. The leak indicator is typically a small red triangle embedded in the face of the meter display. Or, call 214-651-1441 and a representative will come to check for leaks.
Remember that we are limited to twice weekly watering in Dallas (even numbered addresses, Sunday and Thursday; odd numbered, Saturday and Wednesday), but water only if the lawn needs it. If it has rained during the week, adjust watering accordingly. Weekly watering advice is available at WaterIsAwesome.com/weekly-watering-advice. Operate an automatic sprinkler system on manual. Irrigation systems on automatic use up to 47 percent more water.
Request an irrigation system check-up, the city of Dallas provides the service free of charge. Request the service at SaveDallasWater.com/rebates-and-incentives/irrigation-check-ups.
Mulch around trees and plants, this helps retain moisture. When adding to the landscape, use drought-tolerant native or adaptive plants.
For more information, call 214-670-3155 or visit SaveDallasWater.com.
For more stories like this read Natural Awakenings Dallas-Ft Worth magazine at NADallas.com