Water Use In Your Home

Piechart of how much water we use in our homes.

Pennsylvania is home to more than 12.4 million residents, 10 million of which rely of a public supply system to provide their water. To meet these needs, Pennsylvania has more than 2,100 community water supply systems. Although the water source for the majority of these systems is ground water, surface water also plays an important role, especially in the larger metropolitan areas.

Each one of us uses about 60 gallons of water per day in our homes, or about 700 million gallons every day statewide. This pie chart, based on national averages, illustrates the percent of total daily water used for each water-using fixture or appliance. Using this information as a guide can help you plan your route to reducing water consumption at home.

What Can You Do in Your Bathrooms?

Nearly 50 percent of a household’s water consumption takes place in the bathroom. Repairing leaky fixtures and installing efficient toilets, faucets, and showerheads can significantly reduce your household’s water use.

What Can You Do in Your Kitchen?

To reduce water use in the kitchen, install a water-efficient faucet and dishwasher. An even simpler, less expensive way of reducing water is to install efficient faucet aerators. Efficient aerators are available in a range of flow rates less than the current standard for faucets (2.2 gallons per minute). Replacing an aerator can be as simple as unscrewing the old one and screwing on a new, more efficient aerator.

  • Install efficient faucets
  • Install water-efficient dishwashers
  • Use your garbage disposal sparingly because most require running water. Compost vegetable food waste instead.

What Else Can You Can Do?

Additional Resources

Programs

  • WaterSense makes it easy to find water-efficient products and services that meet efficiency and performance criteria set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. WaterSense labeled products are backed by independent third-party testing and certification.

Publications

  • The Pennsylvania State University College of Agriculture Cooperative Extension published Household Water Conservation (PDF), a booklet detailing facts and tips for water conservation around the home, as well as Testing Your Drinking Water (PDF), a fact sheet explaining why water testing is important, what to test for, and how to have your water tested.
  • The California Urban Water Conservation Council published the Practical Plumbing Handbook, which provides an overview of preventive maintenance as a tool for water conservation.

Web Sites

  • H2ouse was developed by the California Urban Water Conservation Council to promote water conservation and efficient household water use.

Tools

  • Use the WaterSense calculator to learn how much water you can save by installing WaterSense labeled fixtures.
  • Southwest Florida Water Management District's highly interactive Power of 10 calculator estimates how much you can save by altering your water-use practices.
  • The AWWA Drip Calculator estimates how much water is leaking from your dripping fixtures.
  • The H2ouse Water Budget Calculator gives you an indoor and outdoor water budget that tells you how much water you should be using and how much water you could be saving.
  • The H2O Conserve Water Footprint Calculator is an interactive tool designed to help you calculate how much water you use, how you use it, and how you can use less.

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