Understanding Your Water Usage
On average, each American uses 60 gallons of water every day. You can reduce your water use by as much as 30% if you are efficient.
Tip: If you don’t have a low-flow toilet, use plastic bottles filled with water and pebbles to displace water in tank. Don’t obstruct the float. Don’t use bricks. Source: Detroit Water & Sewerage Department.
How to Read Your Water Meter
One way that you can keep an eye on your water usage is to read your meter regularly. Most of the homes that are connected to the Township water supply will find their meters in the basement. As you will see in the picture, the meter head looks similar to a car odometer. The standard meters can be read by using the first four numbers on the left. These four numbers can be subtracted from your current bill to get the number of units.
The red triangle under the N in Neptune is a low flow detector. If this triangle is spinning, that will tell a resident that there is a small amount of water being used, which could be helpful in determining leaks in the home.
(back to top)
What Causes Low Water Pressure?
During the summer months, the Orion Township water supply sees an increase in water usage which can cause temporary low water pressure throughout the Township. This increase in demand can be due to irrigation systems, watering of flowers and gardens, power washing, and children playing in sprinklers and pools. A water main break and water used to fight a fire can also cause temporary low pressure.
In some situations, a home can experience low pressure on an ongoing basis. This could be caused by the elevation of the home (meaning the home is on a hill and/ or sits higher than the water main). It also can be caused by the plumbing lines inside of your home. In older homes, the lines could have built up sediment leaving little room for the water to flow through them. Sometimes low pressure within the home can be caused by a plugged faucet aerator that simply needs to be cleaned.
(back to top)
Water Conservation Tip
Water conservation measures are an important first step in protecting our water supply. Such measures not only save the supply of our source water, but can also save you money by reducing your water and sewer bills. Here are a few suggestions.
Conservation measures you can use inside your home include:
- Fix leaking faucets, pipes, toilets, etc.
- Replace old fixtures, install water-saving devices in faucets, toilets and appliances.
- Wash only full loads of laundry.
- Do not use the toilet for trash disposal.
- Take shorter showers.
- Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing your teeth.
- Soak dishes before washing
- Run the dishwasher only when full.
- Water the lawn and garden in the early morning or evening
- Use mulch around plants and shrubs
- Repair leaks in faucets and hoses
- Use water-saving nozzles
- Use water from a bucket to wash your car and save the hose for rinsing
Water Safety During an Emergency
Having good information about water safety could help your family get through a winter storm or other emergency situation. It is recommended that at least one gallon of water, per person per day, be stored for emergency purposes. It is further recommended that a two week supply of water be stored in clean plastic, glass, fiberglass or enamel-lined metal containers. Never use a container that has had a toxic substance in it. Make sure all containers are sealed tightly and store them in a cool, dry space. You should also rotate your backup water supply every six months.
If a water main break occurs, you may be without water for a period of time and a ‘BOIL WATER ALERT” may be issued. A “BOIL WATER ALERT” is issued when the purity of the water in the lines is questioned. The water should be brought to a rolling boil for five minutes. Let the water cool, then pour it back and forth between two clean containers to add air for improved taste. The water will then be safe for cooking and drinking purposes.
In the event your water service is completely lost for an extended period of time, there are sources of water within your home that are safe for consumption. Water in the pipes of your home can be drained and used. You can also access the water in your hot water tank in an emergency situation. Begin by making sure the electricity and gas are shut off. Open the drain at the bottom of the hot water tank and turn off the cold water intake at the top of the tank. If there is a hot water faucet, turn it on, and the water should begin draining. When your water service is restored, fill the tank back up. Do not turn the electricity or gas back on when the tank is empty, wait until the tank is full – otherwise you could damage your hot water tank.
(back to top)