One of a property manager’s biggest concerns can be the monthly water bill and this pertains to both commercial and residential properties. When you add in the charges for sewers, plus the potential costs of water pipe upkeep and repair, backflow inspections and many other things, the total amount of money spent can seem endless.
Unfortunately, just like with electricity, trying to monitor the potential water use of each tenant would be at the very least incredibly difficult, if not impossible. But there are many things you can do, short of shutting the water off, to save water and keep the expense down and do something good for the environment at the same time.
One of the most obvious places to start trying to save water is with toilets. You can get ones with a smaller tank, like three or one and a half gallon instead of five gallon. Low flow toilets are also very good for saving water and there are dual flush toilets. These have one flush for liquids and a separate one for solids.
Aerators for faucets will help reduce water usage. These mix water with air to reduce the amount of water without any reduction in the amount of water pressure. Most people don’t even notice the aerators or any change in the pressure, but you will notice a change in the water bill.
If you have an irrigation system, check online for a more water efficient one. This can be a major expense, especially if the water nozzles are retractable. Another thing to check with a new irrigation system is whether or not the existing pipes will supply the proper flow and pressure.
A very easy thing to do is check all faucets, toilets, pipes, hose bibs, hoses and the irrigation system for any leaks or any worn seals. It may be a time consuming task for your maintenance crew, but it will be worth it when you see the results on your water bill.
Yet another idea to try is for any hose bib not being used very often or being used too much by unauthorized people is to cap it. This may be a bit drastic and you might want to save it to use as a last resort, but it will work.
One last thing to do to help save water concerns what you have planted on the grounds. Try xeriscaping. This will involve such things as using grasses and plants that are native to your area (for instance, don’t try planting flowers that require daily watering in a desert area), using mulch and compost to help the soil retain water and placing together plants that have similar watering needs. That way no plant gets drowned or goes too thirsty because of what its neighbors need.
As you can see, there are many different avenues to take when trying to reduce your water bill and also be eco-friendly. Always keep cost factors in mind, but don’t let that stop you from trying to save water and money.
Michelle Jensen is the property manager at Versatile Warehousing in Davie, Florida.