You might be wondering why conserving water is necessary, or who is truly affected by water conservation efforts? Many are under the impression that conserving water is a difficult task that requires high costs. This is not the case, there are easy solutions that save water and help support conservation.
Besides being great for the environment, you can actually save money by conserving water on your property. Even if you aren’t required by law to pay residents’ water bills, conserving water can protect you against damages, rising water costs, and maintenance costs.
Even small costs can add up to hundreds of dollars every month. An easy place to cut back on expenses is water usage. Although saving money is a major reason to conserve water for landlords, there are many additional environmental and community benefits to reducing water consumption. These benefits include:
When an effort isn’t made to conserve water, eventually the water supply will decrease. Due to the supply and demand, the water cost will quickly increase. Making an effort to conserve water will decrease your current operating costs as well as protect against future costs. This sustainability will aid your property now and in the future.
Many community amenities like restaurants, gas stations, parks, and even hospitals require large amounts of water to operate. In addition, pools, golf courses, and lakes are impacted by water consumption. Preserving resources allows the community your property is located in to thrive.
The process to transport water to your building requires a lot of energy. Reducing water consumption means that there is less pollution and more available fuel resources. Conserving water can also protect against droughts in the future. Having a sustainable and environmentally friendly property demonstrates strong values to the tenants and community.
1. Check For Leaks and Track Water Waste
Water leaks can cost you hundreds of dollars in utilities. Depending on how you bill residents for water, this could be a cost that falls on you as the property owner. In addition to water waste, the leak may cause extensive damage that you will need to pay to repair.
Some places that you should frequently check for leaks include:
Conservice provides detailed data from your utility expenses that can help track your water use and waste. We also send property alerts when an invoice is processed that has an unexpected usage increase. This feature allows you to identify leaks sooner.
2. Have Regular Plumbing Inspections
Did you know that a running toilet can waste 200 gallons of water every day? Many toilets begin leaking because the rubber flapper piece is old or broken. This inexpensive piece can be quickly discovered and fixed with regular plumbing inspections.
Avoid the headache and expense from leaks by having a plumbing service regularly check your building for leaks.
3. Install New Showerheads and Low Flow Toilets
Showers and toilets are the number one plumbing fixtures to look at when it comes to water conservation examples, Because so much water is used by these appliances, there is a lot of room for potential savings. Replacing old showerheads and toilets with low-flow fittings can cost a bit upfront, but will end up as a great investment that saves you money.
Low-flow showerheads and toilets can reduce water usage and save you an enormous amount of water costs. However, when installing these fittings it’s important not to sacrifice the living experience of your residents. Nobody wants to take a shower with a faint stream of water or have a toilet that is constantly clogged.
Old showerheads consume up to 5.5 gallons per minute (GPM). If you can find a showerhead that reduces water flow down to 1.5 or 2 GPM and still has fairly high water pressure, the swap won’t cause an inconvenience for residents.
When looking for low-flow toilets, be sure to take into consideration how well waste is removed. Bowls that are slightly taller than a standard toilet tend to clear waste better. This is because the water is held higher, giving it more distance to clear waste.
4. Strategically Care for Landscaping
Rethinking how you take care of your landscaping could start saving you money immediately without any additional cost. Check-in with your landscaping team to ensure that the plants aren’t being watered too frequently. Robust foliage is low maintenance and requires less water than other plants. Before planting any new greenery, try to select drought-tolerant plants that can thrive on less water.
In addition, smart irrigation systems can help you conserve water. These systems tailor watering schedules using upcoming weather predictions and current soil moisture. The automated system makes sure your landscaping is watered only when it needs to be.
5. Consider Installing Submeters
Many residents are unaware of how much water they are actually using. Installing submeters can show residents exactly how much water they are using, and can motivate them to use less to reduce their water bill. A study by the National Apartment Association and the National MultiHousing Council found that properties that have submeters or use RUBS utility billing consume 6–39% less water than properties that embed utilities in rent.
6. Educate Your Tenants
Residents are more likely to improve water conservation when they are educated on the positive impact they can have on the environment. Send out emails and flyers informing your residents about the reasons why water conservation is important. Some easy ways that residents can reduce water usage are to take shorter showers, turn off the water when brushing their teeth, and run the large dishwasher loads.
One effective way to motivate residents to conserve water is to set a community goal for water usage. With a reward like a $10 rent reduction or free pizza, residents are encouraged to make a habit out of using water more efficiently.
As a property owner, you have more influence on the water usage at your property than you may realize. Save money and help the environment by implementing some of these easy water conservation methods. From checking for leaks to educating your tenants, many of these ideas cost very little while having a large impact.
To learn more about metering and billing your residents for water usage, contact us today.
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