Water. We all seem to take it for granted seeing how it is so easily accessible all over North America. We get water bills every month and may scoff at the costs but often do little to take action to reduce our consumption. Rather than take a stance about water usage that sees that we desire to use less, perhaps it makes more sense to break down how much water we are really using in our day-to-day lives.
Let’s take a look at how much water we use and what we can do to minimize our waste and our bills.
Brushing Teeth: Dentists recommend that we brush our teeth at least twice a day for at least one minute per cleaning. If you are the type of person who brushes their teeth with the water turned off, hats off to you! You only use about .25 gallons per brush. If you brush your teeth and leave the water on however, you are using nearly eight times as much at about two gallons.
Taking a Shower: Taking a shower with full water power uses twice as much water if you go light. A five minute high pressure shower uses about 20 gallons of water and a light pressure shower about half of that.
Toilet Flush: Toilets can use as much as eight gallons per flush however newer toilets generally only use about three. Toilets are responsible for the bulk of water usage in a home – about 25 percent – and can leak which will cause additional waste.
Washing Machine: Washing machines use the most water per usage than any other appliance or fixture in the home. In one month the washing machine can account for nearly 20 percent of our water consumption. Older models use about 27 to 54 gallons of water per use and the newer, more energy efficient models use less than 27 gallons per use.
Dishwasher: Dishwasher’s can use as much as 10 gallons of water per load. However, it is considered to be better practice to use a dishwasher than it is to wash dishes by hand.
Watering the Lawn with a Hose: Watering the lawn with a hose instead of using a sprinkler system can use up to 140 gallons per hour.
It can be surprising to see how much water we use in our day-to-day lives. Some of these areas may be easier to change than others such as turning off the water while brushing and reducing the pressure of our showers. In addition to these cost-saving options, consider saving water the following ways:
Water can be saved in almost every fixture or appliance in the home by either reducing our waste or investing in newer, more efficient fixtures or appliances. Using the information above as reference, how much water do you think your family uses each day and are their ways you can cut down on your water usage?