Conservation & Efficiency

Why Be Water-Efficient


Water efficiency means using our water resources more wisely. It means adopting technology we already have so our homes, offices, industries and appliances use less water to do more and waste less. It is common sense and easy to do.


Water Quality


Due mostly to local geological conditions, certain wells provide better water quality than others. If there is adequate storage to meet demand, Concord Water can manage the system to optimize the quality of water. As demand increases, we need to activate all our water resources, including those that may provide water with a color that is objectionable to some customers.

Peak Usage Issues


The Town's water production facilities work hardest when called upon to keep up with demand during peak-use seasons (usually from May through September). During high-demand days, the water level in storage tanks my drop causing a decrease in pressure for some customers. If demand is too great, the Town may have to impose a ban on outdoor water uses to ensure adequate water for basic needs and emergency use, such as fire-fighting.


Water Withdrawal Restrictions


The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) regulates how much water we can pump from our wells and use from Nagog Pond. Controlling usage during peak periods is important to stay within permitted levels.

Cost


Concord water utilizes a seasonal tiered rate system to calculate water bills. The more water you use, the higher per unit you pay. Being water-efficient will keep your water and sewer bills low.

Reduce Wastewater Flows


Whether you have a private septic system or are part of the municipal collection and treatment system, excessive water use can shorten the life of your septic system and take up valuable capaTown at the Town's wastewater treatment plant.

Saving Water Equals Saving Energy


It takes a considerable amount of energy to deliver and treat the water you use everyday. Concord's public water supply and treatment facilities, along with the wastewater treatment plant, consume over 2 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year-enough electriTown to power 180 homes in Concord for an entire year. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), letting your faucet run for 5 minutes uses about as much energy as keeping a 60-watt light bulb on for 14 hours.

Reducing household water use not only helps reduce the amount of energy required to supply and treat public water supplies but also can help address climate change. We can avoid emitting over 160,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year if cut the amount of water pumped by 10%.

Trends in Water Consumption


Over the past 10 years, many residents have installed water-efficient fixtures and appliances and are becoming mindful of outdoor water use, resulting in a decline of water consumption. However, state regulators are looking closely at public water suppliers' summer water use, in particular how much residents use.
Water Usage Comparison Chart
The DEP has adopted new regulatory guidelines that suppliers like Concord would need to adhere to if certain standards are not met. One such standard is called, Residential Gallons Per Capita Day, (RGPCD) or in other words, how much water each resident uses in a day. The threshold established by DEP is 65 gallons; in recent years Concord's RGPCD hovered around 70 gallons. If we continue to exceed that standard, the state is likely to require the Town to adopt mandatory outdoor watering restrictions under certain conditions.

However, there is good news. Over the past decade, you, our customers, have changed water use habits and installed water-efficient appliances to the extent that average residential use the last 5 years is 12% lower than the previous 5 years' average.While progress has been made, more can be done:
  • In-ground irrigation system owners need to make sure their systems are maintained and operating properly. Find a certified contractor at the Irrigation Association website.
  • According to Town Bylaw, all irrigation systems must have an operable rain sensor that is located in a spot where it can be reached be rainfall (not under an eave).
  • Lawns don't need to be watered every other day. In most weather conditions, once or twice a week is usually sufficient.
  • Concord's relatively older housing stock means there are still a lot of old 3 to 5 gallon per flush toilets out there. Since toilets are the top water user inside the home, replacing them with new models will reduce water use, prolong the life of your septic system, and cut sewer bills for those with sewer service. This is a great time to take us up on our rebate offer.

Water Sense


Save dollars and cents with WaterSense, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) labeling program that provides information on products and programs that save water without sacrificing performance. In fact, every average household that fully adopts water efficient products and practices saves 30,000 gallons per year-enough to supply a year of drinking water for 150 thirsty neighbors.

Labeled products have significant water savings over traditional products, just as the EnergyStar label has come to represent significantly more energy-efficient equipment. Using WaterSense labeled products and services will save you at least 20% of water over average counterparts.

Right now there are currently over 200 models of high-efficiency toilets certified by WaterSense and more than 2 dozen irrigation professionals in Massachusetts who are program partners.

By looking for the WaterSense label when making purchasing decisions, you can reduce your water bills and conserve resources for future generations. As a Promotional Partner with the WaterSense program, Concord Public Works will help keep you informed of the latest WaterSense products and opportunities. For more information, please visit the WaterSense website.