toothbrushing, lawn watering, laundry, and showering

    Published: April 28, 2017

    Can You Guess How Much Water It Takes to Complete These Everyday Tasks?

    You’ve undoubtedly heard numerous times that water conservation is one of the most effective ways of sustaining the environment. In addition to saving you money on you monthly water bill, limiting the amount of water that you use every day reduces overall water pollution and it saves thousands of dollars that would have been spent on decontaminating the wastewater at water treatment facilities.

    But do you understand how much water is actually used when you perform common tasks and activities around the house? For example, how much water goes down the drain each time you flush your toilet? Wrapping your mind around figures like these helps quantify the severity of water waste, and illustrates how important conservation truly is.

    See if you can guess how much water is used during these daily tasks:

    Flushing Your Toilet 

    We’ve already mentioned this major contributor to water waste, but exactly how much water is used per flush? Depending on how old your toilet is, the answers can vary. The federal standard has now been lowered to 1.6 gallons per flush, but older toilets could use anywhere from 3 to 7 gallons of water per flush. 24% of the water used in your home is used by the toilet exclusively, so it’s wise to be proactive in conserving water.

    But how do you conserve water? You can’t change how often you use your toilet, after all. The best option is to upgrade your toilet to a modern model to reduce the amount of water used per flush. You should also periodically check your toilet and plumbing for leaks.

    Taking a Shower

    While your toilet use isn’t something you can adjust, it’s quite easy to conserve water by shaving off minutes from your daily shower. An 8-minute shower runs through 17 gallons of water, and many Americans spend more than 8 minutes in the shower. Come up with a system to reduce the time you spend showering, whether it’s playing music, setting a timer to keep you focused, or installing a low-flow showerhead.

    Many Americans actually shower too often, which increases oil production on your face and in your hair. Don’t shower more than once a day, and if you have an office job or don’t routinely exercise you may find that showering once every other day is actually more beneficial to your complexion.

    Doing the Laundry

    The three main culprits that account for your water use are your toilet, your shower, and your washing machine. Can you guess how much water is used in just one load of laundry? Depending on the age of your washing machine, your washing machine may be using 45 gallons of water per wash.

    For a family of four with an old washer, this means an average use of 12,000 gallons per year just to do the laundry! Luckily, there are more efficient models of washing machines on the market that can cut your water usage for laundry in half, saving an average of 6,000 gallons of water per year per family. Shop around to find a water-efficient laundry machine, and only run full loads of laundry.

    Watering Your Lawn

    The average American family uses about 320 gallons of water per day, and those with lawns use 30% of their water on outdoor use. About 50 gallons per day is used just to water the lawn and plants! There are many methods of reducing water waste outdoors: research efficient watering methods, and purchase hoses and equipment that reduce the amount of leaks.

    Many homeowners are radically changing their landscaping in order to drastically reduce their water waste. Switching to rock landscaping means you don’t have to use gallons of water per day keeping your lawn lush and green. And you save time on chores like mowing!

    Make changes in your daily routine to conserve water and give back to the environment. For more tips on water conservation you can visit our blog here.