Fortunately, when we want fresh, clean water, all most of us have to do is turn on a faucet. On average, our direct indoor water use (water you use from your tap, toilet, dishwasher, etc.) adds up to about 60 gallons of water a day per person.
Here’s how indoor water use breaks down:
- Toilets (28 percent)
- Washing Machines (22 percent)
- Showers and Baths (19 percent)
- Sinks (16 percent)
- Household Leaks (14 percent)
That last number is surprising – it’s almost 10 gallons of water per person per day lost to leaky toilets and faucets.
Conserving Water with Water-Efficient Toilets, Showerheads and More
Fortunately, saving water around the house is easier today than ever before. Newer (low-flow) toilets, showerheads and faucets are designed to be more efficient than older models and can save your household gallons every day. For example, older toilets use up to 7 gallons per flush, whereas low-flow toilets use 1.5 gallons or less.
Likewise, older showerheads flow over 4 gallons per minute, while low-flow models can flow as low as 1.5 gallons per minute. Be careful what showerhead you purchase, though, because some fixtures, especially those with multiple nozzles, exceed the federal limit of 2.5 gallons per minute. If you use one of those, consider cutting back your shower time.
Check out EPA’s WaterSense website for water- and energy- saving products. In addition, you can find energy- and water-saving appliances like dishwashers and washing machines through DOE’s ENERGY STAR label. By switching to water-saving fixtures and appliances you can reduce your indoor water use by a third on average.
Heating is a Water and Energy Hog!
In most households water heating is a huge energy user, after indoor heating and cooling, appliances, electronics and lighting. So sadly, long hot showers waste both water and energy! Although modern fixtures and appliances are a great way to save gallons, it’s still important to simply turn off the tap.
By taking simple steps to reduce your water use at home you can save gallons, energy and dollars every day! To find lots of ways to save water and energy visit the Water Saving Tips page.
Did You Know? Washing dishes by hand takes about 20 gallons per load but Energy Star dishwashers only use 4 to 6 gallons. Even standard machines use only 6 to 8 gallons. If you do wash dishes by hand, turn off the tap until you’re ready to rinse.