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How Much Water do you Use?

The average person uses from 80 to 200 gallons of water a day.  To translate that into cubic feet you would divide by 7.5 which calculates to 11 to 27 cubic feet per day.  For a billing quarter it equates to 990 to 2,430 cubic feet per person. 

Typical Water Usages

  Non-Conserving Conserving Activities
Shower (5 minutes) Regular Shower head
30 gallons / 4 cu. ft.
Low-flow shower head 
15 gallons  / 2 cu. ft.
Toilet Flushing Conventional toilet
4-7 gallons per flush
.53-.93 cu. ft. per flush
Ultra-low flush toilet
1.5 gallons per flush
.2 cu. ft. per flush
Tub Bath Full
20–50 gallons
2.66-6.66 cu. ft.
Minimal water level
Less than 20 gallons
Less then 2.66 cu. ft.
Shaving Tap running
2 gallons or more
.26 cu. ft.
Fill basin
1 gallon / .13 cu. ft.
Washing Hands/Face Tap running 
2 gallons or more
.26 cu. ft.
Soap and rinse
1 gallon / .13 cu. ft.
Dishwashing Tap running 
30 gallons / 4 cu. ft.
Wash and rinse in sink
5 gallons / .66 cu. ft.
Automatic Dishwasher Full Cycle
20 gallons / 2.66 cu. ft.
Short Cycle
11 gallons / 1.46 cu. ft.
Washing Machine Full cycle, top water level
40 gallons / 5.33 cu. ft.
New efficient clothes washers
16-25 gallons / 2.13-3.33 cu. ft.

If you have internet access you can go the United States Geological Survey site and fill in the answers to calculate the amount of water used in your household per day.  The site is

Outside Water Usages

Annual Water Usage Needs
Lawn 2.35 cubic feet per square foot
Other Landscaping 1.0 cubic foot per square foot
Swimming Pool (evaporation) * 2.35 cubic feet per square foot of surface area
*Without pool cover, 1 c.f. One cubic foot or 7.5 gallons

What About Leaks?

An average of more than eight percent of residential water use is lost through leaking fixtures or pipes.  You can check to see if you have any leaks by turning off all water fixtures both inside and outside the house and check the reading on your water meter.  Wait one hour, making sure that no one uses water, then check the meter reading.  If the meter number has increased you have a leak somewhere.  You can also call to have the Keyport Department of Public Works come out and do a flow finder to check for leaks.

How much water is lost through leaks?  If the leak is 1/16” you can lose 655 gallons per day (87.33 cubic feet).  Or you can count the number of drips from the leak per minute.

30 drops per minute 54 gallons per month (7.2 cubic feet)
60 drops per minute 113 gallons per month (15.06 cubic feet)
120 drops per minute 237 gallons per month (31.60 cubic feet)
½” stream of water 1,014 gallons per month (135.20 cubic feet)
1½” stream of water 2, 202 gallons per month (293.60 cubic feet)

Faucet leaks are a constant distraction.  They also can waste up to 20 gallons (2.7 cubic feet) of water per day.

Toilet leaks are a common and potentially large source of water loss.  It can range from a small to a very large leak.  A stuck or open flapper can translate to 200 gallons (27 cubic feet) of water per hour or 4,800 gallons (640 cubic feet) of water per day.  In Keyport at the 5/8” rate a quarterly bill with a toilet leak would be $3,854.83  You can check for a leaky toilet by adding food dye to your toilet water tank and then don’t use it for a few hours.  If the color becomes lighter you have a leak.

How Can We Save Water? 

Repair water leaks immediately. 
You can use cooking water, once cooled, to water plants. 
Water plants and lawns only in the coldest times of day.  This will cut down on the water lost to evaporation. 
Use mulch around plants to lock moisture into the ground. 
Turn faucets and showers on only when you need to rinse. 
Get a low-flow shower head and toilet. 
Stop using your toilet as a trash can for bugs, cigarettes, etc. 
Don’t hose down concrete to clean it, use a broom. 
Buy a nozzle for your hose so water won’t run unless you pull the handle of the nozzle.

Sources: How To Do Aqua Managers, Inc. Maryland Department of the Environment Cornerstones Municipal Utility District, Texas United States Geological Survey Newnan Utilities