Seven Common Water Wasters

Keep your water usage under control by keeping an eye on these common household tasks.

Living Green

According to the EPA, the typical water usage for a family of four is 400 gallons of water each and every day. Let's try to slow this down. Keep an eye on these top water-wasting culprits.

1. Brushing your teeth. An unchecked faucet during your morning teeth clean can use up to five gallons—and this is only the first half of the day.

2. Shaving. Each leg takes roughly three minutes or eight gallons during shower time. Turning off the water in between intervals can save a boatload—and the same rule applies for guys when shaving their faces!

3. Showering. Speaking of showers, the typical shower water usage runs at a rate of three gallons per minute. So after ten minutes, 30 gallons has gone down the drain. Imagine what you can save by cutting your shower time down to five.

4. Hand washing dishes. Scrubbing and rinsing costs you about 20 gallons. Leaving the water running during that time can consume twice the amount.

5. Dishwashing. Even the most energy-efficient dishwashers take up to four gallons per cycle. To get the most out of each and every load, make sure your dishwasher is full.

6. Washing your car. Washing your car in the driveway with a hose wastes 80–140 gallons each time. Taking your car to the car wash reduces water usage down to 30–45 gallons a visit.

7. Watering your lawn. This is the biggest wrongdoer. Two-hundred-and-sixty-five gallons an hour can pump through your sprinkler to hydrate your lawn. Don't let this run full blast. To keep more water, stick to a morning watering schedule. This way the water won't evaporate.

Ryan Homes Question: What are some other ways you try to save water around the house?