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Letter to the Editor: Tips for reducing housing expenses

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In anticipation of the water rate increase, I would like to share some TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR HOUSING EXPENSES:


  1. If you have an old toilet, replacing the old toilet with a low flow toilet could reduce your overall water consumption by 15% or more. Another option is to install a water jug inside the tank, so less water is used.
  2. Rainwater Harvesting for irrigation is another way to reduce your water consumption.
  3. Replace your showerhead with a low flow showerhead. PSE has a program that provides a rebate.


  1. If you have an old electric water tank, you can replace it with a hybrid electric water tank that is 4 times more efficient. PSE provides up to a $500 rebate.
  2. Replace your bulbs with LED light bulbs. PSE has program that provides a rebate.
  3. Install a wall mounted indoor drying rack. It reduces the use of your dryer.


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  1. If your house has a gas furnace and have no or old insulation, Cascade Natural Gas provides rebates that pay a significant portion of the insulation replacement.
  2. Replace your single pane windows with a least double pane windows.


  1. Install ceiling racks on your garage and hopefully not pay for storage somewhere else.


  1. Construct or remodel your house and add an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit). It is a great way to pay part of your mortgage.

I have implemented all the TIPS above and they all work (leading by example). I suggest adding a pamphlet with tips and ideas with the city of Ferndale Water and Sewer bill. The City of Ferndale should do an online survey to find out how many residences have old toilets that need replacement. A toilet replacement program might be a good option for reducing water consumption citywide.

Below is an example of the water consumption I achieve on my residence. A 50% water consumption reduction was achieved.

If we assume that:

  1. 50% of the single-family residences (SFR) in Ferndale can reduce the water consumption by 30% (not the 50% I achieved).
  2. Only 50% of the above SFR elect to implement the above-mentioned water reduction options.
  3. Since most of the water consumption comes from SFR, let’s assume for this analysis that all the consumption comes from SFR’s.

Based on these assumptions the city could reduce the water consumption by 7.5%. Usage x 50% x 30% x 50%= 7.5% reduction

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It is important to assess the possibility of a water usage reduction when considering the rate increase. Water usage reduction is as important as the need to raise funds to build a new water treatment plant.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me either via e-mail or phone at or 360-815-4663.

Ramon Llanos, P.E., M.Sc, LSIT
City Council candidate

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  1. Rick Muder October 10, 2019

    Just like I said awhile back . Building more and more and we will all pay for it. They keep raising utility bills . It’s outrageous what our utility’s cost in Ferndale.

  2. Gordie Thomas October 11, 2019

    I have a better idea. Raise our rates…again and we won’t be able to afford to use water! Oh and BTW how do you harvest rain in the summer when there is none worth mentioning. And another thing why are we being charged for irrigation water in the summer on our sewer bill?

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