Monday, May 18, 2015

Rumination on drought and my utility bill

While I was paying my utility bill this morning (late as usual), I was amazed once again by how little we pay for water in Idaho Falls: $21 for an unlimited amount.

Given all that we have been hearing about the drought in California and the fines that are being proposed for overwatering lawns there, I did some research and learned that in San Diego, $21 will by you roughly 8.4 hours in the shower, 16.8 hours if you are using a low-flow shower head.

The typical single-family domestic customer has a 3/4-inch meter (some larger homes may have a 1-inch meter) and the total bill is a combination of the monthly meter base fee (which is based on the size of the meter) and the amount of water used.

For billing purposes, the Public Utilities Department measures water used by hundred cubic feet or HCF. Each HCF equals 748.05 gallons.

The bi-monthly charges for a typical single-family domestic customer are:
Base fee: $40.62
0 - 8 HCF used are billed at $3.896 per HCF.
9 - 24 HCF used are billed at $4.364 per HCF.
25 - 36 HCF used are billed at $6.234 per HCF.
Each HCF used after the initial 36 HCF is billed at $8.766 per HCF.

This is where it saves you money to have a low flow shower. If your house was built before 1980, the average flow per minute is 5 to 7 gallons per minute. Between 1981 and 1991 it’s 3.5 and after 1992 it’s 2.5 gpm.

Replacing old shower heads with new ones can save you as much as 750 gallons per month.
Do we care here in Idaho Falls? I could water my lawn all night, take half-hour showers three times a day and still pay $21 a month. Not that I would, or that many other people do.

Even though we live in a desert, our forebears had the presence of mind to build our city on top of an aquifer. The first well was dug in 1924, and there are more than two dozen now.

1 comment:

  1. hhm good one, last few moth i have surfing this same problem like my water bull, but now i have instal low flow shower head, and my problems solved.

    ReplyDelete