How Much Water Does It Take To Do Different Things?

Water is so much pivotal to our daily lives that a day can’t pass without making contact with it.

Drinking, watering your small garden, bathing, flushing the toilet, cooking, etc.… these are just a few tasks that consume this precious commodity every day in our homes.

But have you ever calculated or estimated how much water you use in these tasks and many others?

Well, I guess you haven’t.

But you should…


Let me explain:

Based on a report published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the average usage of water per family on a daily basis is 300 gallons. The average cost is $1.50 per 1000 gallons.

Doing some quick calculations will show you that by the end of every month you will have used 9000 gallons which translates to a water bill of $13,500.

Quite high, right?

Please note that in these calculations, I have assumed that you will be using way less amount of water.

With that in mind, knowing the amount of water you use for various things around your house will help you manage how your homestead water, conserver as much water as possible (and ultimately cut down your water bills).

Let's explore the 5 things that consume the most water in the homestead…

1. Toilet

Yes, you heard me right…toilets account for 24% of all the water used in the home.

Flushing the toilet uses more water per day than any other activity in your house. The older toilets use up to 7 gallons with each flush. Newer models are more economical to the point of using of using 1.28 gallons of water per every flush.

The American authorities are discouraging the huge wastage of water by older models of toilets. They have actually set the flush rate of every toilet to around 1.6 gallons per flush (the flush rate is measured using the Gallons per Flush, GPF).

The efficient toilets have a logo marked Water Sense.

Assuming that you still use the old toilet models and you flush 5 times each day, you will have used 45 gallons. That is a single person. If you more than yourself living in the house, this figure is bound to rise significantly.

The federal government is even offering rebates to those who install economic water toilets in their homes. Maybe you can take advantage of this offer.

Replacing older models with new more efficient ones is a sure best bet for saving water around the house.

2. Shower

As expected! The shower consumes up to 17% of all the water used around the house.

The longer you take in the bathroom, the deeper the water bill digs deeper into your pockets.

Assuming you spend 8 minutes in the bathroom, by the end of your shower, you will have spent 17 gallons of water on average. This is a single person. Multiplied by the number of persons in the household and considering some may take more time in the bathroom, this figure will go up.

How can you save water in the bathroom?

  • Switch off the water flow when lathering or shampooing yourself.
  • Make it a point to spend the shortest time in the bathroom.
  • Use shower heads that have the WaterSense mark. These heads are calibrated using the Gallons per Minute (GPM) unit. They also boast of the same or a superior shower experience as their standard counterparts. The standard showerhead gives 2.5 gallons per minute.

3. Washer

Another primary water consumer is your loved clothes washing machine; it accounts for 15% of all the water used around the house each day.

The old models consume between 15 to 40 gallons per full load with newer more efficient models using between 14 to 25 gallons per full load. This includes the wash and rinse cycles.

That said, here are some simple tips on how to save water when using the clothes washer:

  • Make a habit of running your machine at full load at all times, even when you ought to run it half or lower load. This will save you more gallons of water than you can imagine
  • Invest in a newer, more efficient machine

4. Dishwashing by hand

Hand washing consumes an average of 27gallons of water per every wash load.

This amount is bound to increase depending on the number of people that are using the dishes and how frequently you wash the dishes in a day.

5. Dishwashers

Although they save water more than washing the dishes by hand, they also consume a considerable amount of water during their operation.

The most efficient models of using only 3 gallons per washing load with their older counterparts using more gallons.

BONUS Tip for saving more water at your home:

Fix all the leakages in your home water piping system.

Leaking pipes around your home piping system account for more than 12% of the total water usage in your home. Leaking may occur at places where if you not keen, it may go for years without being noticed.

Piping that passes behind your house may be hard to detect if you don’t check it regularly.

Causes of leakages in your piping system:

1. Age

Old pipes will tear and wear over time and cause leaks in the system. Some of this pipes may be buried underground. This also causes corrosion.

2. Weak pipes/piping

If you pipes are weak, or the plumber you hired did a shoddy job, your system is bound to leak. This may be aggravated by the water pressure in the pipes.

3. Dissolvable materials

If hard undissolvable materials find their way into the piping system, they later cause cogging which in turn leads to leaking.

The most likely entry point of these materials is in your kitchen sinks or through the toilet.

Ways of preventing leakages:

  • Keep your water pressure at reasonable heights
  • Look out for leaks in your system
  • Kow the layout of your pipes
  • Replace old pipes
  • Invest in a good leak management technology

Final verdict

The first step to managing the water usage at your home involves understanding how much water each of the water consuming tasks use.

Our post above explains amount (percentage) of water used by the most common tasks around many homes.

Hopefully, this info will be of great help to you as you embark on taking measures to reduce your monthly water bills.

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