Indoor Water Use in the United States
The average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day. On average, approximately 70 percent of that water is used indoors, with the bathroom being the largest consumer (a toilet alone can use 27 percent!).
Indoor Water Guzzlers and Tips to Fix!
Standard toilets use 1.6 gallons per flush, while older toilets can use as much as 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush.
- TIP: Replace older models with a WaterSense labeled toilet. They use 1.28 gallons per flush or less, are certified to be high performing, and can reduce the amount of water a family uses for toilets by 20 to 60 percent.
- TIP: Be sure to check for leaks! A running toilet can waste about 200 gallons every day.
Standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons per minute and also require energy to heat the water.
- TIP: Shower Better by replacing showerheads with WaterSense labeled models; replacing just one showerhead can save the average family 2,900 gallons of water, the amount of electricity needed to power its home for 13 days, and more than $70 in utility bills. WaterSense labeled models are certified to be high performing, available in many styles and price points, and some utilities even offer rebates.
A bathroom faucet generally runs at 2 gallons per minute.
- TIP: Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving; that alone can save a person more than 200 gallons of water per month.
- TIP: Replace faucets and aerators with WaterSense labeled models to save even more.
Outside the bathroom, there are many opportunities to save water. Here are some common water efficiency measures, along with a few solutions to those problems you may not have known existed:
- High–efficiency washing machines can conserve large amounts of water. Traditional models use between 27 and 54 gallons of water per load, but new, energy—and water—conserving models (front–loading or top–loading, non-agitator ones) use less than 27 gallons per load.
- Washing the dishes with an open tap can use up to 20 gallons of water, but filling the sink or a bowl and closing the tap saves 10 of those gallons.
- Keeping a pitcher of water in the refrigerator saves time and water instead of running the tap until it gets cold.
- Not rinsing dishes prior to loading the dishwasher could save up to 10 gallons per load.
- Still looking for more tips? We have more on how to save indoors AND outdoors here.
WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, seeks to help families and businesses realize that they can reduce water use by 20 to 30 percent by doing just a few simple things, such as upgrading to higher quality, more efficient products. For more information, visit the WaterSense website.