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In-Home Water Audit
Broward County > Water Services > In-Home Water Audit

Water Audit

"How Could We Possibly Use All That Water?!"
"Where Does The Water Go?"

Do you think your water usage is unreasonably high? Are you amazed each time you receive your water bill to find out the amount of water that has gone through your meter into your plumbing system? Do you feel sure the meter is wrong or was read wrong?

This in-home water audit is designed to help customers better understand their water use habits.

To effectively manage your water use, you'll need to determine where the water is being used and how much is being used. With a little time and a few simple calculations, you may find the answer to the "where" and "how much."


About your meter

Locate your water meter:

The water meter measures the amount of water that enters your plumbing system. It usually can be found in the front yard under the cover of your meter box. The top of the meter has a small lid you can lift. Under the lid is the meter dial. The meter measures water in gallons.

Reading your water meter:

Water meters are much like the odometer on your car. The sweep hand measures each gallon of water, up to 10 gallons. Notice the first number on the right is a stationary zero; there's no need for it to move because the sweep hand does its work. The main purpose for the sweep hand is testing. Except for the stationary zero, the rest of the number is read like the odometer.


Water meters

Water & Wastewater Services reads your meter every month. We are unable to read it on the same day every month due to different lengths of months, holidays, etc., but we do read it every 28 to 32 days. The actual date that your meter is read will appear on your bill. The increase in the reading from the previous month's reading is your "consumption" for the month and is the basis for your bill.

It's very easy to verify the accuracy of your bill by checking the reading on your meter every month and subtracting the previous month's reading. The result of your calculation should be the same as the amount of consumption on your bill.

Note the illustration above. The meter on the right shows the reading during the month of May. This reading is 1,000 gallons. The meter on the left shows the same meter in June, one month later. Now the meter reading is 11,000 gallons.

If you subtract the May reading of 1,000 gallons from the June reading of 11,000 gallons you will find that this customer will be billed for a consumption of 10,000 gallons.


The Audit

Toilet

Number of flushes daily ...........................................___________
Average gallons of water Per flush ........................... -------- x 4

Total gallons per day ...............................................___________x 30 = ________ total/mo.

Shower

Number of showers per day ......................................___________
Average length of shower time ..................................___________
Total time shower runs .............................................___________
Average gallons per minute ......................................-------- x 6

Total gallons per day ................................................___________x 30 = ________ total/mo.

Tub Bath

Number of baths per day ..........................................___________
Average gallons per bath ..........................................-------- x 30

Total gallons per day ................................................___________x 30 = ________ total/mo.

Open Kitchen/Lavatory Faucets

Minutes faucets are open ..........................................___________
(Include toothbrushing, shaving,
food preparation, clean-up,
flushing garbage disposal,
rinsing dishes, etc.)
Average gallons per minute ......................................-------- x 3.5

Total gallons per day ...............................................___________x 30 = ________ total/mo.

Dishwasher

Number of loads per day .........................................___________
Average gallons per load .........................................-------- x 15

Total gallons per day ..............................................___________x 30 = ________ total/mo.

Automatic Clothes Washer

Number of loads per day ........................................___________
Average gallons per load ........................................-------- x 30

Total gallons per day ..............................................___________x 30 = ________ total/mo.

Washing Car

Minutes water runs .................................................___________
Average gallons per minute.....................................-------- x 6
Total gallons per wash ...........................................___________
Frequency of wash per month...........___________ x ________ gal./wash =________ total/mo.

Washing Driveway/Patio Sidewalk

Minutes water runs .................................................___________
Average gallons per minute.....................................-------- x 6
Total gallons per wash ............................................___________
Frequency of wash per month............___________ x ________ gal./wash =________ total/mo.

 


How Do You Compare?

The water usage chart is a helpful tool to determine how you compare to the "average" home. Keep in mind the actual home will vary from the "average."

An Example of Household Water Usage
Family of Four - June Rough Estimate

Flushing Toilet - 4 gals/flush x 15 flushes/day x 30 days ------ 1,800
Washing Clothes - 30 gals/load x 4 loads per week x 4 weeks 480
Washing Dishes - 15 gals/load x 7 loads per week x 4 weeks 420
Taking Baths - 30 gals/bath x 4 people x 30 days 3,600
Watering Lawn - 524 gals/100 sq. Ft. x 3000 sq. ft. 5,720
Running Water until Cold - 3.5 gals/min (gpm) x 5 min x 30 days 525
Water for Drinking/Cooking & other Misc. - 20 gals x 30 days 600
Washing Car - 6 (gpm) x 15 mins x 2/month 180
Washing Driveway - 6 (gpm) x 15 mins x 2/month 180
Pool Evaporation - (estimated from University of Arizona figures) 1,500
Water for Trees/Shrubs - (est.) 500
Total 15,505


Use your meter to check for leaks

 

  1. Turn off all water in and around your home.
  2. Look at your meter and note the position of the sweep hand (similar to the second hand on a clock).
  3. Wait at least 15 minutes and check the position of the sweep hand again.
  4. If the sweep hand remains motionless, there is no water flowing through the meter, hence no leaks. If the sweep hand has moved, continue with the following steps:

•  Shut off the valves under all toilets in your home and repeat steps 1-3

•  If the sweep hand remains motionless, you may have a running toilet. If the sweep hand has moved, you may need a professional to conduct a thorough leak detection.

Please note: these are basic steps to assist homeowners check for leaks; they are not intended to serve as a substitute for a professional plumber or leak detection specialist.


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