Multi-family landlords and property managers know that encouraging tenants to use less water is not only environmentally responsible but also economically beneficial. Excessive water consumption impacts the environment and also leads to higher utility bills.
In this article, we'll explore how to reduce tenants' water usage and list effective strategies that lead to sustainability and help you save money.
Why You Should Control Water Usage in Your Rental Properties
Your rental property's water bills are becoming higher and higher. Well, that's something to raise your eyebrows at. But why should you learn how to get your tenants to reduce their water usage?
Saving Money Through Water Conservation
Reducing tenants' water usage is a practical strategy that will help you lower water bill costs. By installing water-efficient fixtures and promoting responsible water consumption, both property owners and tenants can see significant reductions in their water bills.
Low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets can result in significant savings over time. We're talking about potential savings of up to thousands of dollars per year depending on property size when you get savvy with conservation strategies, according to EPA estimates.
Long-Term Benefits for Property Value and Maintenance
For property owners, the financial advantages extend beyond reduced utility bills. Conserving water helps prolong the lifespan of plumbing systems and appliances, such as bathroom faucets, showers, and others. It minimizes the need for costly repairs and replacements.
Lastly, there’s the green angle. Water conservation helps preserve our precious resources because although 70% of our planet is covered in water, less than 1% is available for us humans to use. Cutting down on water waste ensures that future generations won't have to struggle with finding clean water.
How to Track Water Consumption in Your Building
Now that you know why it's important to reduce water usage, let's take a look at the effective ways that will help you save water.
1. Implement Water-Efficient Fixtures
One of the most straightforward ways to control water usage is by installing water-efficient fixtures in your properties. Replace traditional faucets, showerheads, and toilets with low-flow models.
For example, low-flow showerheads maintain water pressure while also reducing water consumption. This also provides a benefit to tenants, as they may experience lower water bills without sacrificing functionality. Note also that some cities and towns mandate the use of low flow showerheads.
2. Conduct Regular Maintenance Checks
You should conduct regular maintenance checks on plumbing systems. Addressing toilet leaks promptly is very important, because even minor leaks can result in significant water wastage over time.
If you stay ahead of potential issues, you can prevent water-related problems from escalating and ensure that tenants are not unknowingly contributing to excessive water consumption.
3. Identify the Biggest Consumers
Look at where the most water is going. Are the showers running endlessly? Maybe there are too many running toilets? Even a single running toilet can waste over 4,000 gallons per day! If it isn’t fixed, that one toilet can increase your water bill by $2,000 per month or more. Learn the facts by monitoring which areas are sucking up most of your supply.
If numbers make your world go round, EPA stats reveal that showers and faucets together account for around 40% of indoor use, which makes them big contenders in this watery race. But when it comes to leaks, toilets are often the biggest offender.
4. Educate Your Tenants
Information is power and you need to educate your tenants about effective ways to conserve water. Give them a visual breakdown of their usage versus others, as this can be an eye-opener.
Remind them that even small changes can lead to big waves over time. You can also consider rewarding those who keep their water use lean.
5. Implement Water-Saving Technologies
You can also choose to implement water-saving technologies for your property management. Some of the most popular water conservation ways include:
Faucet aerators: If you install faucet aerators, you can reduce water usage by up to 30%. These devices are easy to install as they don't need a toolbox, most can screw right onto existing faucets.
High-efficiency toilets: HETs use less than half the water per flush compared to older models. This proves water conservation doesn't have to be an inconvenience.
Smart water meters and sensors: These devices provide real-time data on water consumption, allowing you to monitor usage patterns and detect anomalies promptly. Equipped with advanced analytics, they can show potential leaks or inefficiencies in real time.
Learn to Control Your Tenants' Water Flow Easily
DrizzleX allows you to detect hidden leaks, such as running toilets and leaky faucets, to stop millions of gallons of waste each year. It also alerts you to excessive water overuse by tenants. Typically, buildings that use DrizzleX reduce their water bills by 25-45% or more. And you can expect a pretty quick return on investment (ROI). Buildings with DrizzleX save enough water to cover the entire cost of DrizzleX within about 9 months on average.
One of Drizzlex's solutions is usage alerts. Since many people aren't really aware of their excessive water usage, the alerts can be very helpful. With this system, you can communicate with your tenants about their water consumption habits, and back it up with precise data too.
Leaks can be sneaky because they aren't always visible. With property inspection, you can see the obvious ones. But, silent leaks will only show up on your utility bills. DrizzleX gives you water control because you can monitor the water flow in your building.
The system will notify you about where and how much water is being lost.
Once DrizzleX spots the leak, it will notify you via email. The message you receive will include all the details about the exact apartment and fixture that is the culprit, how many gallons were used, how much it will cost you if the problem isn’t fixed, and even possible causes for the water waste and how to fix it.
DrizzleX also allows you to bill your tenants. Tenants conserve water when they are the ones paying for it. You can easily create water bills based on accurate water consumption and bill them fairly.
FAQs In Relation to Controlling Your Tenants' Water Usage
How can I control my tenants' water usage?
You can install flow controllers or other water flow management devices and see real-time insights into excessive water usage.
When do I waste the most water in my apartment?
Long showering/bathing, brushing teeth, and too many running toilets waste the most water.
Can I really influence how much water my tenants use?
Yes, by guiding them with tools and information on water conservation practices.
Do I spend more water in a bath or a shower?
You use more water when you bathe. According to the EPA, baths generally require more gallons of water than showers.
Is it worth investing in water conservation devices?
While investing in new water conservation devices can seem like a lot, they will allow you long-term money savings on utility bills.