How Much Water Do We Waste in a Year?


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average home wastes 90 gallons of water per day. That adds up quickly — 10,000 gallons of water per household per year, and over 1 trillion gallons if you tally the national average. That may seem extreme, but once you understand where water waste comes from, you’ll begin to understand that you’re wasting water in ways you don’t even realize. 

Electricity, air conditioning, and internet access might seem like important trappings of civilization, but from the dawn of humanity, we’ve been defined by water. It’s why so many major cities — Sacramento included — sprung up close to sources of clean, freshwater.

How Much Water Are We Wasting in Sacramento?

If recent years have taught us anything, however, it’s that our water supply is precarious, and it’s getting worse. Understanding how much water is wasted every day, how much water is wasted every year, and how to conserve it for future generations isn’t just about saving a few dollars on Sacramento plumbing service or a utility bill; our very survival depends on it. 

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Identifying the Sources of Water Waste

Where is all of this water waste coming from? Taking too long in the shower, zoning out while you wash your hands, or absentmindedly leaving the faucet running because you were interrupted by a phone call certainly don’t help, but that’s not even the worst of it. Among the worst culprits:

  • A leaky toilet loses 60 gallons of water per day
  • A kitchen faucet that drips once per minute loses five gallons of water per day
  • An old shower head that drips ten times per minute results in a loss of 500 gallons of water yearly
  • Hand-washing is far less efficient than using a dishwasher for the same number of dishes
  • Overwatering lawns, using high-flow fixtures, or having an antiquated toilet also result in higher-than-average water use

Some water waste is obvious, but how do you catch water waste you can’t even see? Start by evaluating your water use; a family of four should average about 12,000 gallons per month, and if your use is higher than that, it’s time to evaluate your usage patterns and your plumbing alike. It also helps to monitor your meter when you’re not using water; if your eyes tell you you’re not using water and the meter tells you otherwise, you’ve got a problem that calls for a Sacramento plumber. Finally, check your toilet, fixtures, appliances, and sprinklers regularly.

Preventing Water Waste

Once you’ve identified the problem, how can you go about solving it? 

  • Get your family on board with water conservation. 
  • Make sure connections and fixtures are tight.
  • Get new plumbing fixtures and new low-flow toilets; they use less water to do their jobs, saving water and money. 
  • Check for the WaterSense label, which denotes more water-efficient products.
  • Check for wet floors and other signs of a slab leak caused by a water main leak.
  • Remember that temperature swings and hard water can degrade fixtures; ask Ace Plumbing about water softening and water quality solutions. We’ll help you source and install them.
  • If you have an irrigation system installed, make sure it’s watering correctly, and replace timers with water sensors.
  • Don’t forget, a family of four can save about 16,000 gallons in water waste — about $2,000 per year off their water bill, on average — by staying on top of plumbing repairs and replacements. Puts the cost in perspective, doesn’t it?

Save Your Plumbing, Save Water, and Save the Planet

At the end of the day, water conservation is much more than saving water or saving money. It also helps to ensure there’s enough for everyone. Your home, your wallet, and your grandkids will thank you. And you don’t have to go it alone; from leak repairs to low-flow showerheads to efficient toilets and fixtures, Ace Plumbing is here to help. Call 916-455-4548 us today!

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