Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate
555 Walnut Street
5th Floor Forum Place
Harrisburg, PA 17101-1923

Phone: 717-783-5048 or toll free 800-684-6560
Fax: 717-783-7152


Consumer Tip for August 2004

Toll Free Number


 (PA only)


Most consumers use more water in the summertime than any other time of year. Water is a precious natural resource that is necessary to sustain life. It is in everyone’s interest to use water wisely.  Following are a few interesting facts about water use and conservation.

According to a recent study by the American Water Works Association Research Foundation (AWWARF):

Ø     In households not using water-efficient fixtures, toilets used the most water on a daily basis (20.1 gallons per person per day). Clothes washers were the second largest water users (15 gallons per person per day) and showers were third (13.3 gallons per person day).

Ø     In households that did use water-efficient fixtures, clothes washers assume the role of top water user (15 gallons per person per day), followed by faucets (10.9 gallons per person per day), showers (10 gallons per person per day), and toilets (9.6 gallons per person per day). Toilet manufacturers now must follow a federal mandate to make toilets using no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush.

Other AWWARF Water Facts:

Ø     Typically, households consume at least 50% of their water by lawn watering. Inside, toilets use the most water, with an average of 20 gallons per person per day.

Ø     The average five-minute shower takes between 15 to 25 gallons of water.

Ø     An automatic dishwasher uses about 9 to 12 gallons of water, while hand-washing dishes can use up to 20 gallons.

Ø     Only 1% of the earth's water is available for drinking water. Two percent is currently frozen.

Ø     There are more than 56,000 community water systems providing water to the public in the United States.

Ø     Public water suppliers process 38 billion gallons of water per day for domestic and public use.

Ø     Approximately 1 million miles of pipelines and aqueducts carry water in the United States and Canada. That's enough to circle the earth 40 times.

Ø     About 800,000 water wells are drilled each year in the United States for domestic, farming, commercial, and water testing purposes.

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