How Much Water Do American Households Use Each Day?
Water is an essential part of our day-to-day lives and a vital resource. But, how much water do we use on a daily basis?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water each day. The majority (around 70%) is for indoor use, including faucets, toilets, showers, and washing machines.
Below you will see a table that show estimated water usage for the most common daily activities. Note that older homes and older appliances are not as efficient and, in that case, your usage will likely be higher. Newer appliances, fixture, etc. are more water-efficient and can save a significant amount compared to older.
*Most water estimates from USGS.gov
The EPA claims approximately 30% of household water use is from outdoor activities (especially in the summer months), such as watering the lawn and garden as well as outdoor cleaning.
How Much Water Are You Using?
To track and learn about your household’s water usage, you can collect and review your water bills if you have municipal water supply. The bills list the gallons of water used over the billing period. Take that number and divide the number of gallons by the number of people in your household – then divide by the number of days in that billing cycle (typically a month).
Example: A household of three people used 6,000 gallons in July.
- 6,000 / 3 = 2,000 gallons per person for the month
- 2,000 / 31 = 64.5 gallons per person, per day
The US Geological Survey estimates the average water used by Americans is 80-100 gallons per person, per day. Estimates vary greatly between different organizations and depend greatly on the habits of the individuals within your home.
How Much Water Do the Neighbors Use?
Contact your local water utility to see if they provide neighborhood comparison data. (Not all utility systems have the capability to capture and share this data.)
Things You Can Do to Reduce Water Usage
Look for and Stop Leaks
Leaking faucets and running toilets are one of the biggest culprits of water waste, losing you hundreds or even THOUSANDS of gallons a month.
Regarding toilets, you may hear it running and filling constantly. To easily check your toilet for leaks, open its tank lid and drip a few drops of food coloring in the water inside. Do not flush it, but wait about 30 minutes. If you find colored water is now in your toilet bowl, you have a leak.
Upgrade Your Showerhead
Most showers use about 2.5 gallons of water per minute, but water-saving showerheads with the EPA’s “WaterSense” seal use no more than 2.0 gallons per minute. Newer showerheads provide high water pressure while using less water. It’s good to know that using less hot water also decreases demand on and use of your hot water heater, saving you money on power to heat the water.
Installing and using a water softener system may also help you save water because you can shorten the amount of time in the shower. When you shower in soft water, your soap and shampoo more easily lather and clean.
Turn off the Faucet When You Brush
By leaving the water running while you brush your teeth, you may be wasting a gallon of water or more. Save that water by turning the faucet off between wetting your toothbrush and rinsing.
Only Wash Full Loads
A top-loading washing machine uses an average of 40 gallons of water per load. Running that washing machine for small or partial loads can waste hundreds of gallons of water unnecessarily over time. Similarly with dish washers – save water by running it only when it’s full.
Upgrade Your Appliances
Replacing older toilets and faucets can have a huge impact on your water use over time. Newer water faucets use 40% less water than those manufactured before 1995. Newer toilets are also often more efficient – including many models with light-duty flush options for liquid waste.
Energy-efficient dishwashers and front load laundry machines use far less water than conventional appliances. Appliances labeled with the “WaterSense” or “Energy Star” rating from the EPA can save water and power. Energy Star washing machines use often 30% less water and Energy Star dishwashers use 18% less water (per load).
Does Water Usage Matter?
As population increases and more people live in dense areas, local water resources become stressed. Personal water conservation can help alleviate the effects of water shortages in your community – and save you money on your utility bills!
In-home water usage also uses energy – to deliver water to your home, heat it, and process the wastewater via your local sewer district. So, water usage does matter greatly!
How Much Water Does Your Water Softener Use?
Water softeners clean and recharge themselves through a process called “regeneration.” A typical water softener may use between 25 to 65 gallons of water during regeneration (depending on design, size, etc.). This water rinses away the hard minerals built up in the water softener, making it reset itself and begin collecting more. How often a water softener system regenerates depends on capacity, amount of water you use within your home, and how hard the water is that is being softened.
For example, you have a total water hardness of 10 grains per gallons (GPG) and a medium-size water softener with a total capacity of 36,000 grains. Your household uses 300 gallons of water per day, then your system will regenerate approximately every 12 days.
Our state-of-the-art Evolve series water softeners, utilizing the patented Water Efficient Technology® (W.E.T.) will not only save how much water it uses to regenerate, but the amount of salt you’ll need to purchase and fill. The unit’s technology calculates the amount of capacity used, then proportionately scales its cycles to target and refresh the media inside that needs it. Savings!
If your current water softener system that is fully exhausted typically uses 40 gallons of water during every regeneration to rinse away the minerals of an entire tank, it will use that full amount of 40 gallons to regenerate even if it’s exhausted only half way. But, water softener systems using W.E.T. knows that it’s only half exhausted, and use approximately half that much water (20 gallons).
When it comes to residential water consumption, water softener systems use very little water when you compare it to your other appliances including the washing machine, dishwasher, etc.
The benefits of having a water softener system are great and can contribute to your conservation goals in many positive ways. Softeners help prevent “scaling” inside appliances – a hard water mineral buildup that can greatly reduce appliances efficiency and shorten its overall life.
If you are interested in your home’s water quality and considering the most efficient treatment system available call our water experts at Futuramics Clean Water Center. We can come out to your home, review your options, and develop a plan to meet all your water goals.