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Karen

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My water bill keeps going up and up and I want to do some analysis. (it's the engineer in me...)
I am going to dig out my old water bills and compare to my occupancy for each month and come up with a metric: gallons per guest-night, which I will record for the past couple of years.
I also need to check the town's rates to see how much increases are contributing to my bigger bill.
Is the cost of water an issue for your B&B? How many gallons do you estimate each extra guest uses?
Has anyone ever done this? I'd be interested in what you found.
 

EmptyNest

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We were/ are on a well. So no additional costs for water for us..other than once having to replace the well pump. Ours is substantial well and we never had an issue with enough water. Though some in our area...have had that problem in times of drought.
Yes, Best to check with your town on the rates... I don't think there is a standard you can say a guest uses. Consider some have showers, some have huge whirlpool tubs etc etc. I don't think you can realistically out right limit their water use. Though you can install low flow showerheads, low water useage toilets etc etc. You just have to do your part. Then charge enough to cover your costs.
 

white pine

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Hi Karen!
E-mail recently came to our architect from the co. health dept. re. water usage rates. Can't say it makes a lot of sense to me, but you might ask them about formulas or google them.
Apparently for an 8 unit motel 16 person peak usage, they used:
1) The Fixture Method & came up with 28-33 gallons per min.
2) The Fixture Count Method--28.6 gal per min.
3) The Residential Unit Method--15.1 gal per min.
This does not include laundry or kitchen. Hope this helps--
 

gillumhouse

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First check your toilet tanks. Leaking toilets account for most water increases.
My city has a minimum use of 2000 gal per month and it goes up from there. We only have 3 rooms but the most useage I can eger remember is 5000 for the month. Our rates went up due to an upgrade to the system and the same is going to happen with our sewer rates forthe same reason - both upgrades were overdue.
I track all my utilities and can comepare from 2007 on (prior records were lost when the C-drive decided to devour itself) and I also try to include the rate per unit if it changes.
 

JBloggs

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Karen, welcome to the forum.

Welcome to blogging as well. You are off to a super start!
I love your list about 66 things to do, I have a list of FREE things to do - which I have set to post on the blog in a month or less.
Has your town upped the ante on water in this economy? Ours has, but we still pay a flat rate here.
You are not too far from me actually, 2 1/2 hr drive. Email me off the forum (from my ID if you wish to trade blog links) my only requirement is that the blog is updated regularly which looks like you have promised to do!
 

Joey Camb

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Hi we make sure all our toilets of the old style have (we call them hippos not sure what the equivalent is in America) its like a balloon thing that goes in the toilet tank to use less water each time you flush which saves changing to duel flush toilets (we have a few of this new style but they just seem to press both buttons anyway do have not seen a gain) Also we have put in little adapter things in the showers (this may be a low flow shower head) but this is about an inch and a half long and fits where the shower unit meets the tube to the shower head and it makes the shower use less water but you don't loose pressure and can't tell you are using less water. You can also upgrade your washing machine (especially if you do your own laundry) as the latest models use a lot less water and electricity. We also try and recycle water where we can ie we have a condensor tumble dryer (where all the water is stored in a bottle which has to be emptied) we use it to water the pots. But if you go to your local hardwear shop I am sure they will be full of ideas and advice. Also there are a ton of web sites dedicated to saving you money through saving water/gas/electric its a good place to start.
 

Karen

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This is a great forum! Everyone - thanks for the comments and the tips. I think my first step is to see if we are using more water than we used to. Then if we are, to try & figure out why if possible. Then institute some water conservation measures.
We renovated in 2000 so all the toilets are low-water usage (relatively). Far as I know there's no leaks anywhere. Like everyone else we do a lot of laundry. We do have two big tubs (75 gallons) but I should be able to account for those in my analysis - I can see when those rooms were occupied.
I will report back!
 

swirt

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Hi Karen,
I am so glad you listed your location in your signature ... If I ever get the timing right to go take a class at Roy Underhill's Woodright school I wood definitely try and stay with you. If you haven't made friends with Roy and the other teachers at the school, you should consider it. Woodworkers from all over the country are being drawn to your town for his classes. And the kind of people he would be attracting are not your average weekend warriors ...they are old time hand tool (no power) enthusiests who for the most part would make better than average guests.
Sorry... i got off topic. We are on a beach well for a huge lake so water is pretty much unlimited. As has been suggested, check your toilets. The other thing is that you can now get, relatively inexpensive dual flush controls for #1 and #2 (the #1 setting uses less water ;) )
Showers are a big user in hotels and B&B's. The nicer the shower experience, the longer they will stay in, unfortunately.
 

swirt

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Hi Karen,
I am so glad you listed your location in your signature ... If I ever get the timing right to go take a class at Roy Underhill's Woodright school I wood definitely try and stay with you. If you haven't made friends with Roy and the other teachers at the school, you should consider it. Woodworkers from all over the country are being drawn to your town for his classes. And the kind of people he would be attracting are not your average weekend warriors ...they are old time hand tool (no power) enthusiests who for the most part would make better than average guests.
Sorry... i got off topic. We are on a beach well for a huge lake so water is pretty much unlimited. As has been suggested, check your toilets. The other thing is that you can now get, relatively inexpensive dual flush controls for #1 and #2 (the #1 setting uses less water ;) )
Showers are a big user in hotels and B&B's. The nicer the shower experience, the longer they will stay in, unfortunately..
oops.... i just noticed you are already listed on the school's website as a place to stay.. well done.... I hope you've had some great guests as a result of it.
 

Copperhead

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Hi Karen,
I am so glad you listed your location in your signature ... If I ever get the timing right to go take a class at Roy Underhill's Woodright school I wood definitely try and stay with you. If you haven't made friends with Roy and the other teachers at the school, you should consider it. Woodworkers from all over the country are being drawn to your town for his classes. And the kind of people he would be attracting are not your average weekend warriors ...they are old time hand tool (no power) enthusiests who for the most part would make better than average guests.
Sorry... i got off topic. We are on a beach well for a huge lake so water is pretty much unlimited. As has been suggested, check your toilets. The other thing is that you can now get, relatively inexpensive dual flush controls for #1 and #2 (the #1 setting uses less water ;) )
Showers are a big user in hotels and B&B's. The nicer the shower experience, the longer they will stay in, unfortunately..
Swirt - have been looking into duel flush toilets lately. Do you know if these controls work well? Sure would be a big cost saver for us if they do. Two of our toilets need replacing anyway but could save us on the other 5.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Hi Karen,
I am so glad you listed your location in your signature ... If I ever get the timing right to go take a class at Roy Underhill's Woodright school I wood definitely try and stay with you. If you haven't made friends with Roy and the other teachers at the school, you should consider it. Woodworkers from all over the country are being drawn to your town for his classes. And the kind of people he would be attracting are not your average weekend warriors ...they are old time hand tool (no power) enthusiests who for the most part would make better than average guests.
Sorry... i got off topic. We are on a beach well for a huge lake so water is pretty much unlimited. As has been suggested, check your toilets. The other thing is that you can now get, relatively inexpensive dual flush controls for #1 and #2 (the #1 setting uses less water ;) )
Showers are a big user in hotels and B&B's. The nicer the shower experience, the longer they will stay in, unfortunately..
Swirt - have been looking into duel flush toilets lately. Do you know if these controls work well? Sure would be a big cost saver for us if they do. Two of our toilets need replacing anyway but could save us on the other 5.
.
I've had the duel flush toilets installed and they work really well.
 

JBloggs

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I would be worried with dual flush as they aren't the norm in the states and people would not understand how they operate.
I have had guests shower for 30 minutes. I am amazed by it.
 

JBloggs

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PS Could it be housekeeping using all the water?
 

swirt

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Hi Karen,
I am so glad you listed your location in your signature ... If I ever get the timing right to go take a class at Roy Underhill's Woodright school I wood definitely try and stay with you. If you haven't made friends with Roy and the other teachers at the school, you should consider it. Woodworkers from all over the country are being drawn to your town for his classes. And the kind of people he would be attracting are not your average weekend warriors ...they are old time hand tool (no power) enthusiests who for the most part would make better than average guests.
Sorry... i got off topic. We are on a beach well for a huge lake so water is pretty much unlimited. As has been suggested, check your toilets. The other thing is that you can now get, relatively inexpensive dual flush controls for #1 and #2 (the #1 setting uses less water ;) )
Showers are a big user in hotels and B&B's. The nicer the shower experience, the longer they will stay in, unfortunately..
Swirt - have been looking into duel flush toilets lately. Do you know if these controls work well? Sure would be a big cost saver for us if they do. Two of our toilets need replacing anyway but could save us on the other 5.
.
Personally I can't say. Haven't put one in yet. The reviews of it on Amazon seemed to be quite good though and I have seen it promoted as a good option on "Ask This Old House" (not that it means anything).
Like Joey I would be a little concerned that people may not get the concept. I've seen two versions: the one that I linked to which has a two push buttons. I think that is totally unique and would cause people to stop and think about it for a minute. The other one I've seen uses what looks like a normal flush handle that you twist one way for #1 and the other for #2. That one I think would go right over people's heads... they would just use it like the one they always use in their house without thinking about it, or without even knowing that it works two ways.
 

Copperhead

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I would be worried with dual flush as they aren't the norm in the states and people would not understand how they operate.
That is our delema. DH has been joking about putting a brass plaque above the toliets that says "Works with the kindergarden phrase; press the appropriate button"
 

EmptyNest

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Hi Karen,
I am so glad you listed your location in your signature ... If I ever get the timing right to go take a class at Roy Underhill's Woodright school I wood definitely try and stay with you. If you haven't made friends with Roy and the other teachers at the school, you should consider it. Woodworkers from all over the country are being drawn to your town for his classes. And the kind of people he would be attracting are not your average weekend warriors ...they are old time hand tool (no power) enthusiests who for the most part would make better than average guests.
Sorry... i got off topic. We are on a beach well for a huge lake so water is pretty much unlimited. As has been suggested, check your toilets. The other thing is that you can now get, relatively inexpensive dual flush controls for #1 and #2 (the #1 setting uses less water ;) )
Showers are a big user in hotels and B&B's. The nicer the shower experience, the longer they will stay in, unfortunately..
Swirt - have been looking into duel flush toilets lately. Do you know if these controls work well? Sure would be a big cost saver for us if they do. Two of our toilets need replacing anyway but could save us on the other 5.
.
Personally I can't say. Haven't put one in yet. The reviews of it on Amazon seemed to be quite good though and I have seen it promoted as a good option on "Ask This Old House" (not that it means anything).
Like Joey I would be a little concerned that people may not get the concept. I've seen two versions: the one that I linked to which has a two push buttons. I think that is totally unique and would cause people to stop and think about it for a minute. The other one I've seen uses what looks like a normal flush handle that you twist one way for #1 and the other for #2. That one I think would go right over people's heads... they would just use it like the one they always use in their house without thinking about it, or without even knowing that it works two ways.
.
Dual flush is everywhere in Europe. But the first time I used one, I had to ask my husband..what is this for??? But we did see the same show you did...and I think this should be the way to go and will be as we replace our toilets down the road....very shortly for a few.
 
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