- Shut off faucets whenever possible; and
- Make sure your faucets don’t drip or leak.
Faucet water use accounts for 15-18% of the overall water consumption inside the typical household of four persons. An average American household of 3 uses between 18.1 and 26.7 gallons per day for all faucets (bathroom, kitchen, and utility sink). This amounts to between 6,600 and 9,750 gallons per household per year for faucet use. The main difference between a house that uses 9,750 gallons and 6,600 gallons per year is the flow rate of installed faucet aerators. Reduce the faucet flow rate; save water.
Reduce Flows, Save Water and Energy
The aerator (the screw-on tip of the faucet nozzle) restricts the maximum flow rate of water from the faucet. New kitchen faucets are usually equipped with a 2.2 gpm aerator. Bathroom faucets can have aerators that restrict flow to 1.5, 1.2, 1.0, or 0.5 gallons per minute (gpm). Basic bathroom faucet aerators start at about $1 each and prices go up depending on the features you select. Because hot water is frequently drawn from faucets, reducing flows also reduces hot water use which means energy savings.
Low Flow Bathroom Aerators = Water and Energy Savings
A basic bathroom faucet aerator is inexpensive and one of the most cost-effective water efficiency measures. It is always a good idea to bring your old aerator (and any associated washers) to the store with you when you purchase a new one to ensure that the new aerator will fit on your faucet fixture.
The water, wastewater, and energy saving benefits you get from installing new faucet aerators is primarily determined by your current aerators. But since faucet aerators are cheap and the water savings are well documented, it’s a safe bet that you will pay for your aerator investment in less than two years.
Take Care in the Kitchen
Reducing the faucet flow rate in the kitchen below 2.2 gpm is easily accomplished by replacing the aerator, but the water savings may be somewhat limited. Many faucet uses in the kitchen are not discretionary. For example, filling a pot with water to make pasta. Regardless of the faucet flow rate, the volume of water needed to fill the pot is the same. Reducing the flow rate of the kitchen faucet saves water and energy, but also results in longer wait times to fill fixed volumes and can also reduce effectiveness for hand-washing to dishes.