Household Water Usage

What is average?
The water industry estimates that an average person uses 3,000 gallons of water monthly, so a family of 4 would use 12,000 gallons, for bathing, cooking, washing, recreation and watering. But a lot of factors come into play when calculating average use so, in reality, one person's usage may be a lot higher or lower than another person's. Here are some things to think about, if you suspect your water bill is too high.

  • Households with backyard swimming pools are likely to see a spike up in water use in months when the pools are filled and filtered.

  • Households with lawns or gardens must factor in the amount of water sprinkled on grass, flowers and vegetables. Outdoor watering uses 5 to 10 gallons per minute. So in 10 or 20 minutes, you may use 100 gallons – the amount industry experts estimate is used by an average person each day for all personal water needs! If the climate turns unseasonably dry, expect to use even more water to keep your garden alive and your grass green.

  • The number of people in the household is an important factor. Water use generally rises if your family grows, if Uncle Harry moves in for a week or if you host a birthday party for 20 guests.

  • A family with fashion conscious teen-agers probably washes more clothes more often than an older person who lives alone. More water is used per load when the machine is set on high.

  • If you take a tub bath, you will use about 36 gallons of water, compared with the 25 to 50 gallons required for a shower. New showerheads, however, reduce the water used in an average shower to just 2 gallons per minute versus 5 or 6 gallons that spurt out of older showerheads.

  • One toilet flush will use 5 to 7 gallons unless it is in a new home where 1.5 gallon commodes are required.

Find out more about reading your water meter