How can I reduce water usage in my home?

Water Usage Facts:

  1. An average person uses 69 gallons of water per day
  2. A household of 4 persons uses an average of 276 gallons per day
  3. Biggest contributor of water use-
  4. Toilet Flushing accounts for more than ¼ of home water usage
  5. Clothes washer accounts for about 1/5 of home water usage



  1. Faucets – A typical family of four uses 36 gallons per day from faucets throughout the house.  Faucets typically use 1.2 gallons of water per minute.
  2. Dishwasher – A typical dishwasher uses between 8 and 15 gallons per load (with an average of 9.3 gallons).

To cut usage by 15%

  1. Repair leaks
  2. Low-flow devices can save about 4 gallons per day for a family of 4, which amounts to an 11% saving of water use.
  3. Use faucet only when necessary. For example, don’t let it run if you are brushing your teeth or washing dishes by hand; wash vegetables in a bowl instead of under running water.
  1. Don’t rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.  That can save as much as 20 gallons of water, or 55% of daily faucet water use for a typical family of 4.
  2. A high-efficiency dishwasher uses between 5-7 gallons. On average, that would save 35% per load on water use.
  3. Use the “water saver” mode, if your dishwasher has one. That can use as little as 5 gallons per load- as much as 46% less than average.

Laundry Room

  1. Clothes washer- a traditional clothes washer uses about 41 gallons of water per load.  Nationally, a family of 4 averages using 59.2 gallons per day to wash clothes with a traditional machine.

To cut usage by 15%

  1. High efficiency machines typically use 23 gallons per load, 44% less water than a traditional washer.
  2. Use the “water saver” mode, if your clothes washer has one. That can use as little as 30 gallons for a large load, or 27% less than an average load in a traditional washer.


  1. Toilet-The 1994 Federal Energy Act requires new toilets to use 1.6 gallons per flush.  However, many toilets installed before 1994 use 3.6 gallons per flush.  A family of 4 uses about 75 gallons of water per day flushing the toilet.
  2. Shower-An average shower lasts 8.2 minutes.  If your shower head uses 2.2 gallons per minute, that’s 18 gallons per shower, and 72 gallons per day for a family of 4; if your showerhead uses 2.5 gallons per minute, that’s 20 ½ gallons per shower and 82 gallons per day for a family of 4.

To cut usage by 15%

  1. High efficiency toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush, so a family of 4 would use about 34 gallons per day or 55% less than most toilets.
  2. Fix leaks. Plumbing leaks in general account for 14% of home water use, and toilet leaks can use up to 200 gallons of water per day-almost ¾ of daily water use for the average family of 4.  To figure out if your toilet leaks, put food coloring in the tank water and wait at least 15 minutes.  If the coloring appears in the bowl, there’s a leak.
  3. A family of 4 that takes 5 minute showers would cut water use to 44 gallons (using 2.2 gallons per minute); or 50 gallons (using 2.5 gallons per minute).  That’s a 39% reduction in water use.


  1. Hose-A typical hose uses 5-8 gallons of water per minute.  That means watering plants or the lawn for 15 minutes would use between 75 and 120 gallons of water.


To cut usage by 15%

  1. Watering for 10 minutes would use 50-80 gallons, a saving of up to 33% in water use.
  2. Soaker hoses can cut water use by 20 to 50%.


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