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Best practices for conserving water to keep your water and sewage bill at a minimum

By Cassandra Webb, cwebb@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:10:40 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 30 2013 08:31:00 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

We brought you the facts last week on how Abilene residents will see an increase in their November water bills. We wanted to know if there is anything you can do to combat those rising costs.

Water and sewer bills will go up an average of about $8 a month as a result of the city moving forward with plans to upgrade the Hamby Water Treatment Plant.

The $70 million project will pump reclaimed, effluent water back into Lake Fort Phantom.

But following a few conservation tips, you can save up to 25,000 gallons per year, which could knock off hundreds of dollars from your water bill.

First, limit your outdoor water usage.

"That's usually where you're going to see the largest amount of savings is how you manage your outdoors with that discretionary water use," said Wayne Lisenbee, Assistant Director of Water Utilities with the city of Abilene.

Time your lawn watering and use a bucket full of water when washing your vehicles, instead of letting the hose run.

As for indoors, address that kitchen sink.

You can install an aerator on the faucet for about only $3.

"You keep using water the way you've been using it, it's just as a slower rate," Lisenbee said.

When you brush your teeth, turn the water off.

Get rid of old shower heads; water-efficient shower heads can save you about 86 gallons a day.

Leaky toilets can waste up to 200 gallons of water a day, but there's a really easy test you can do to see if you have a leak. 

Put a few drops of food coloring in your toilet water tank. After about 30 minutes, if the water in the toilet bowl turns color, you'll know you have a leak.

"You know, you're not going to change the world, but you can save money on your water bill every month just with some of these basic things," Lisenbee said.

And for watering plants and your landscaping, consider rainwater harvesting.

For more tips on how to conserve water and keep those bills down, click here.