The annual budget for Water and Sewer expense for this year at Park Tower is $422,700. To give you an idea how expensive that is, our bill for Natural Gas to heat the building and heat your kitchen and bathroom water is expected to be $440,000. Now, City water and sewer prices have gone up dramatically the past several years, with the City passing increases between 15-25% every year since 2010. AND, it is fair to point out natural gas costs have come down. BUT:
What is $422,700?
Works out annually to $574/unit and $282/person.
Works out monthly to $48/unit and $23.50/person.
To figure how much you pay, multiply the units % of ownership by $422,700.
For example Unit 7C (the Office) would be .109% x $422700=$460/year.
How much water?
Last fiscal year Park Tower consumed about 52,837,500 Gallons.
That’s about 71,210 Gallons per unit.
That’s about 35,225 Gallons per person.
How does this impact assessments?
Just considering assessments, water/sewer is about 9% of our expense.
Every 10% water expense moves, would move assessments about 1%.
The difference varies nearly directly; save 10% water, save 1% assessments!
A recent survey conducted by the Management Company, DK Condo, estimates Park Tower Owners pay about $225 to $250/per unit per year more than the average at other highrises.
That means about 27,500 Gallons per unit more on average. And about 15,000 Gallons more per person.
Our management and engineering team are looking at ways internally we can cut back, and trying to identify any maintenance issues that need to be addressed. Of course this may help lower the expense.
But Park Tower residents and owners who live here are the folks who could do the most to move the needle and bring this cost down. We estimate the building could save about $100 to $150 per unit per year by reporting drippy faucets and running toilets sooner, using water efficient fixtures and incorporating water-saving practices.
Following are some simple and smart steps to reduce water use.
Report Maintenance Issues Right Away! The drippy or leaky faucet, or that toilet that constantly runs…that’s money constantly running down the drain! Call the office and put in a work order. We don’t charge labor to address most issues like this. Yes, if you need to replace your faucet or toilet, the owner will need to foot some of the cost. But over time, if you need to replace your toilet, that could pay for itself within the first year the new one is in place!
Turn It Off! Whether you are washing dishes, brushing your teeth or running the shower or bath, don’t let water needlessly go down the drawn. Sure, if it takes 30 seconds to brush your teeth, that’s just 30 seconds. But if you brush your teeth at least twice a day, that’s 6.1 hours per year. If you leave the water on while you brush, at that rate it’s like leaving the water running for over 6 hours.
Improve Your Flush! Consider installing a high efficiency labeled toilets, some of which use 20 percent less water than the average toilet, while offering equal or superior performance. Compared to older, inefficient models, some of the toilets available today can alone save $90 annually per household, and $2,000 over their average lifetimes.
Also – even if it does not seem like your toilet is constantly running, if you are really adventurous you check for toilet leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 15 minutes. (Make sure to flush as soon as the test is done, since food coloring may stain the tank.)
Replace or Accessorize Your Faucet! There are aerators available which reduce water use and that can be a very cost-effective ways to save water. Also consider replacing the entire faucet with a high efficiency labeled model. Either way, you can increase the faucet’s efficiency by 30 percent without sacrificing performance.
“Water Sense” is a label you can look for, for faucets and fixtures which are considered efficient by the EPA.
And, we can’t tell you enough not to ignore dripping faucets and showerheads. A drip rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year.
To Shower or Not To Shower? A full bathtub can require up to 70 gallons of water, while taking a 5-minute shower uses only 10 to 25 gallons. Mic dropped.
Lighten Your Loads! Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes or lower the water settings for smaller loads. Also, consider replacing your old washing machine with a high-efficiency, ENERGY STAR® labeled model, which uses up to 50 percent less water and electricity.
What’s Park Tower doing?
The Condo Association is doing several things to identify ways to save. Our maintenance team is laser focused on catching any pipes, pumps or equipment which may be leaking or wasting water. And many of the plumbing improvements we have done over the past decade have incorporated efforts to save water such as installing high efficiency toilets during the riser projects.