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Your everyday water usage adds up - quickly

Did you know that the average family of three uses about 165 gallons of water per day? And that's just inside the home. Outdoor water usage at certain times of the year - such as watering lawns in the summer - can really increase the amount of water you use.

Indoor Water Usage

How is it that the typical three-person family uses 165 gallons of water every day? It's not hard when you consider this chart:

Activity

Gallons Used

Toilet Flushing (older models)

3.5 gallons per flush*

Shower (water running)

25 gallons per 5 min. shower

Bath (full tub)

3.6 gallons per day

Laundry Machine

more than 20% of all water in home

Dishwasher

4-6 gallons fully loaded

Faucet

26.3 gallons per day

Brushing Teeth

4 gallons (tap running) per use

Washing Hands

2 gallons (tap running) per use

*The rate of consumption for water-saving devices or products significantly varies. Please check the plumbing fixture package to determine the item's efficiency.

Outdoor Water Consumption

When warm weather arrives - and you water the lawn and garden, let the kids run through the sprinkler or fill up their kiddie pool - your water usage can really spike, as you can see from this table:

Hose Size

LBS. Pressure Per Sq Inch

Time

Gallons Used

1/2 Inch

60

1 Hour

630

5/8 Inch

60

1 Hour

1,020

3/4 Inch

60

1 Hour

1,860

Keep in mind that WSSC Water’s rates are based on a customer's average daily consumption. As your consumption increases, your rates also will increase.

Irrigation Systems

On average, a pop-up station of a lawn irrigation system uses approximately 16 gallons of water per minute. Here is an example of how to calculate how much water is being used per month:

Number of Minutes x Number of Stations/Zones = Total Minutes
Total Minutes x Gallons per minute = Total Gallons used per watering cycle
Total Gallons per cycle x Number of days per month you water = Total gallons used per month

If your system has eight stations, and you water twice per week, and each station runs for 15 minutes, then you are using 1,920 gallons each day you water, or 15,360 gallons per month.

Sprinklers

Watering with a typical sprinkler using a standard 5/8" garden hose for one hour uses about 1,020 gallons of water; if you water three times per week, that's about 12,240 gallons per month. If you run the sprinkler three times per week during a 90-day billing cycle, you will add about 36,000 gallons of water to your usage.

Product

Duration

Frequency

Gallons Per Month

Irrigation System

15 min (with 8 zones)

2 times/week

15,360

Sprinkler

1 hour

3 times/week

12,240

Know Your Household Water Usage

If you're familiar with your household's typical water consumption, it will be easier to notice big changes to your home's Average Daily Consumption. That's why you should always review your bill and check the amount of water used, to spot potential problems as soon as possible. (Need to review what's reported on your bill? Visit "How to Read Your Water Bill" for a quick refresh.)

While higher water usage shown on your bill can occur with a longer billing cycle, it might also be a sign of water leaks or other problems. To look for and head off possible problems, check these tips for finding leaks around your home

NOTE: The Coronavirus pandemic has kept us home much more than usual, meaning a lot more water usage than usual - which of course has resulted in a higher average daily consumption.

High Bill Adjustment Regulation

As of March 2018, single-unit residential customers can request a high bill adjustment every three years, if certain criteria are met. This change represents a $2 million investment by WSSC Water toward improving service to our customers.

Customers and/or property owners are responsible for maintaining all plumbing on private property and paying for water that registers on the meter, including water lost due to leak(s).

Need help with your bill?

WSSC Water is committed to making your water and sewer bills more affordable. We’ve enhanced our Financial Assistance Programs and payment plans to provide help to more customers. Eligible residential customers may request a payment plan to make their water and sewer bills more affordable. If you have questions or need to speak to someone, please contact Customer Service at 301-206-4001 (press option 5).

We have several ways to assist when you experience high bills:

Last Modified: July 19, 2021, 2:57 pm EDT