I like big butts!

 It’s water bill time again!!! Oh the joys of it all. Every three months I feel the need to plot and plan as many ways as possible to not have to buy my water from South West Water. I’ve been very frugal with water this quarter and we’ve used 21 cubic meters of water. I now have a bowl under every tap, even if we run the tap to get hot water, we save the water. Even if we just wash our hands, we save the water. I’ve had no more than a bath a fortnight and we just leave the car to sit in it’s own filth. Clothes are sniffed, if they have no smell, then we carry on wearing them. Towels are thrown over the banister and used over and over.  Toilets are never flushed with brand new water, but we used second hand water. Even with all that water scrimping and being really really good. Our quarterly bill was still £105.07! PLEASE!!

Now I sit and start to work out the costs of butts, pumps and grey water systems. My neighbour has six water butts in tandem next to his bungalow with an electric pump inside the house and has a header tank in his loft, which he pumps the rain water into. I have serious big butt envy. I’m going to put a water butt on a stand in my utility room and then pump the water from the machine in that and use that too, especially as I need to keep water for the garden.

We all have those, if I won the lottery moments and mine would be to ‘green’ my house. I would produce my own energy and harvest my own water for everything but drinking and stop paying so much for utilities. If any of you readers have a grey water system, then share the know how with the rest of us. I’m off for a sunbathe and a dream of big butts!

Until tomorrow,

Froogs xxxxx


26 thoughts on “I like big butts!

  1. I'm on holidays for 10 days!!! Yay!!

    I want to get my act together and look at using my grey water from the washing machine rinse and spin cycles straight onto the garden. Nothing fancy just a hose I can add to the tube somehow.

    Water is not very expensive here and we are not on restrictions like the rest of Australia. But that means most people waste it. I can't stand the waste and each cent counts towards my early retirement.

    I look forward to hearing what you do and the advice you will get via you commenters.


  2. I don't have a big butt; our nearest one is the Butt of Lewis (ha ha). Because we get so much rain, the water here isn't metered – they daren't do that because we'd all go back to using our wells, springs and burns. Our water charge is also about a third of yours, which means no worries about flushing, watering the garden, and we can wash our clothes as much as we like! All we need now is some of your ration of sunshine. 😦


  3. We have our own well and septic system but we are water frugal because we need electricity to pump the water from the well. Each time we use the taps or flush it costs us in electricity. We have rain barrels everywhere to use on the veggy patch, and we use water from the pond ( a large one) when the barrels are empty.
    My dream if we had lots of $$$$ would be to be totally off grid and independent.
    Jane x


  4. Our water bill is $34/month (water and sewer combined). Our plan is to harvest and use grey water. It's in the book, just not implemented…yet. Definately post your progress.


  5. You need to live in Yorkshire Froogs, our water meter costs us £21 per month, only two of us here. My son lives in Plymouth and with 2 adults 3 teenagers and 1 littlie their bills are horrendous so I do sympathise. We have 3 water butts for the garden and in severe drought we bucket the bathwater through the window and onto the garden. We do live in a bungalow, so that helps!

    Karen x


  6. The composting loo design is taking shape – that will stop the toilet flushing totally, and will also make beautiful compost for the garden… I like the idea of re-using grey water more. We have water butts on 3 out of 4 downpipes on the house, that are worth their weight in water for the garden.
    I wonder whether our dishwasher saves or uses more water than handwashing?? FMx


  7. Are you able to cobble something together in true DIY fashion using an old fashioned lidded dustbin- my friend found an old dustbin chucked in the river and made one for himself when funds were tight and water bills were high


  8. We have 2 water companies – 1 for the water supply and one that deals with waste water and sewage. Combined my monthly Direct Debit is currently about £44 over 10 months of the year. We aren't metered at the moment but meters are being fitted in this area during 2011. I'm really worried as I have a house full of teens and 20 year olds. DH and I are already careful with water, and bath water must do at least 2 people at a time, but its impossible to keep tabs on what everyone uses. And being young people they like to look just right so hair gets washed frequently and clothes aren't always dirty when they get put in the basket.I'm expecting my bill to maybe double and as DH's job is uncertain its a real concern.
    Oh, well, sure we'll manage somehow…I'll just have to persuade them all to leave home. Or turn the water off at the mains at strategic moments!


  9. We stack our dishwasher to the limits and always use it rather than hand washing. It uses 14 litres of water per cycle so more efficient than the sink if you'd have more than one load of washing. You can also get dishwashers that only use 7 litres, but I won't be changing mine until it breaks.


  10. This is something that I am really worried about. We have moved into a house with a meter and the water company want us to be metered for a month to see how much we use before we can change tarrif. With seven of us I'm really concerned that my bill is going to be huge so it's helpful to see how others save water.

    Looking forward to reading any advice you get here 🙂


  11. Do some serious research on the subject of grey water Froogs. It is something you don't want to be storing for long because it can often breed disease and illness and get smelly. Beware using it anywhere that you grow food crops for the same reasons and also because any chemical residues in it may harm your plants. Keep a rainwater barrel or several for these.

    Grey water is best for flushing the loo unless you have a Willow patch or reed bed of course.

    Even rainwater can carry stray toxins, particularly like us if a lot of pigeons use the roof so should only be used where close contact to senstive areas such as eyes etc is not likely. Otherwise you need a really expensive to buy and run filter system so you trade one cost for another.

    I have done a fair bit of reading about this topic as it is one that I really need to get on top of to be self sufficient.

    Any other pointers from anyone would be great!


  12. Hi Broc xxxx still love the beard! Grey water is a tricky one, I will mainly use it to flush the loo. I use washing machine water to water the garden, I use natural homemade soap so nothing but PH7, with plant based ingredients, I use the same to wash us and very diluted shampoo and all harsh chemicals such as bicarb goes down the loo. I've attached a hose to the washing machine down pipe today and watered the flowers and lawns, I will tell you if anything dies. I've tipped washing up water into the veg all last summer and lived, I'll experiment and let you know it I survive. p.s. I'm touched that you care xxx


  13. ooh, that's my “when my ship comes in” dream too! wouldn't it be something to have a solar hot water heater, a green roof that would not chemical-contaminate the runoff water, a cistern, thick insulated walls, triple pane windows… oh, a girl can dream, can't she?!


  14. I was able to buy from the hardware store a hose that fits onto the washing machine water outlet. This I then put out the window and the water is then pumped straight out into the garden. We have tanks under every downpipe too. As I live on land this has saved me thousands of dollars and helped me grow my food. I only used the recycled water on the lawn and rose garden.


  15. It is illegal here in the Mid-West to discharge grey water onto the ground. They are concerned about pathogens in water that has been used for washing babies diapers and also some kitchen sink water leeching into ground water. You can use that for flushing toilets though and maybe recycle it into the washer a second time or use it to bathe the dogs etc.


  16. I will watch with interest as we waste so much water – feeling really guilty typing this. Now the kids have moved out, trying to motivate hubbie to care about this but I am sure that he only cares about this when I am watching. Our garden has slowly adapted to mostly the water it gets from rain, except for the lawn, which we have cut back. Big advantage in having native plants mainly, they like the water but manage pretty well with very little.

    Have to say when I read the title I wasn't thinking of water saving, made me giggle.

    Have a lovely break if you are having one.
    xxx Teresa


  17. I actually found my plants did better on grey water! I'm in Western Australia and it's very dry here but the water bills are very reasonable…for now.
    One thing I do is have 2-3 plastic buckets in the shower to catch run-off water…this can go in the washer or on the garden, wash the floors etc.

    I wish it would rain lol!!



  18. I;m very lucky here in Brisbane as I'm in a new house that was built with a plumbed-in water tank. So rainwater is used to flush the toilets and for the washing machine. Luckily we have had quite a bit of rain lately so it is kept topped up. Just had solar panels fitted a couple of day ago so waiting for energex to come and connect me to the grid. You can only do this though if you plan on living there long term as we found in our last house that solar power doesn't add anything to the value of the house, it's just a point of difference.



  19. The one thing no one has mentioned here is toilets. Here in the U.S., the only new toilets you can buy flush with 1.6 gallons of water. I was surprised how much water the toilets used in England…which was still a fraction of the amount used by Irish toilets! I would think a new, low-flush toilet would pay for itself rather quickly, and installation can be DIY. (It was for us, and my husband HATES plumbing).

    The early 1.6 gallon toidies weren't very good; often, you had to flush twice. But that was then (20 years ago) and this is now–the new ones are a lot better. We just replaced a 13-year-old toilet with an American Standard Champion, which advertises it will flush a bucket of golf balls. I haven't tried the golf balls, but we haven't had a clogged toilet since. The new toilet cost around $200, and it was well worth it. It probably uses half or less the amount of water of most toilets I saw in England.


  20. Hi Mikemax,

    We use grey water to flush the loo, I use washing up water, water i've had a head to toe wash with, to pour down the loo, we also operate on a 'if it's yellow' policy, we have water hippos, you can look those up in our loos too, we also operate a bucket and chuckit system where we use urine in our compost….DB, just goes outside and pees straight into it.


  21. We are with Anglian water and currently pay £27 per month, we are metered and I know we could do more to save water. I have never used grey water to flush to toilet, but will give it a a go, thanks x


  22. Hi i have been trying to get my hubby in on the grey water saving for months..well he is now on board and we have spent the last few days doing it..we have pipes all over looks a bit untidy but it works and thats what counts.
    take care froogs


  23. FG, I wish I could share our free water with you.It began raining here a week before Easter Its been heavy storms.
    We have 35 gallon barrels at each drain spot and these have been
    filled several times. We use it for the garden, and indoor plants.
    I hope you soon get rain to assist
    with your lovely gardens and vegetables.


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