Understanding Residential Water UseWater Consumption for Various Household Activities:
The average person flushes a toilet about 7-9 times per day, and
larger capacity toilets consume up to 6 gallons per flush (gpf).
That means one person can use over 1,600 gallons per billing cycle,
from toilet use alone. Ultra low flow toilets (ULF), using a maximum
1.6 gpf, can save up to 1200 gallons per
billing cycle for each person in your
household; that means a lower
water bill. Toilets are the most common source of leaks. A leak of
only 1 cup per minute into the toilet bowl will waste 90 gallons per
day or 2,700 gallons per billing cycle. That will cost you about $20
in water, and may also increase your sewer bill. For more
information, check out: Identifying and
Repairing Toilet Leaks or call 781-7217 or 781-7213.
Old shower heads can use 3-8 gallons per minute (GPM), while a shower
with a low flow head uses a maximum of 2.5 gpm.
A 10 minute shower with an older head can easily use 50 gallons of
water, while a low flow head will use only 25 gallons.
The standard for faucet aerators is now 2.2 gpm.
A faucet without a flow restricting aerator can use up to 5
gpm. Even a mildly dripping faucet can
water a lot of water, so be sure to repair all leaks!
Current models consume 5.5 to 11 gallons; older models use 9.5 to 14
gallons. Please wash full loads only.
When doing dishes, you can save water by filling the basin, rather
than allowing the faucet to flow. And remember to repair any leaks!
The most common models today are top loaders. Most use about 40
gallons per load, although there are a few models that use slightly
less. Front loaders are the most water efficient, and some use as
little as 17 gallons per full load.
If a partial load is
necessary, adjust the water level accordingly. The better models have
automatic water level adjustment. Some models have “cool down” cycle
or extra rinse cycles that may use an extra 40 gallons of water; these
cycles should be avoided.
The City is currently offering a
on the purchase of qualified washing machines.
A good practice is to use only full loads.
Water Use Problems
Average Water Use:
Please keep in mind that your bill includes charges for water and
sewer service, and the billing period is 30 days. One water “billing
unit” is equal to 748 gallons or 100 cubic feet.
Single Family Residence (SFR):
The average household of three, with moderate landscaping, consumes
about 75-80 gallons per person, per day, or about 9-10 units per
billing cycle. During winter months when irrigation is turned off,
water use can drop to 2 units per person per month.
Multi-family Residence (MFR):
average apartment or
condominium, with three residents, with only indoor water use,
consumes about 45-50 gallons of water per person per day, or about 5-6
units per billing cycle.
Storm drains flow into creeks and then to the ocean. Keep oil,
fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and other contaminants out of
storm drains. Dispose of responsibly and avoid runoff from yards.
Utility Billing Adjustment Committee (UBAC)
The UBAC is an appeals committee formed to help resolve water and
sewer billing disputes that might arise between the customer and the
City. If you have questions about your utility bill, email us at:
More information is available on solving your
water use problems. If you need to speak with someone, call the
Utilities Conservation Office at 781-7217 or 781-7213.