When we use less water, there's less wear and tear on our pumps, pipes and treatment systems; maintenance costs are lower, our equipment lasts longer, and we can delay expensive infrastructure upgrades. Please note that the presented costs in the table are the average costs.

Household Water Costs



Average Volume (m3)


Toilet Flush - low flow

per flush


$ 0.08

Toilet Flush - standard

per flush


$ 0.22

Bath Fill - standard

per fill


$ 1.53

Bath Fill - oversized

per fill


$ 2.73

Washing Machine

per full load


$ 2.19


per load


$ 0.55

Shower - low flow head

10 minute shower


$ 0.98

Shower - standard head

10 minute shower


$ 3.01

Lawn Sprinkler - low flow

per hour


$ 10.39

Underground Irrigation System

per hour


$ 29.75

Outdoor Water Use

Most household's outdoor water consumption accounts for 30% of their water use.

Tips to reduce water consumption outdoors

  • Use a rain gauge on your lawn. Your lawn only needs 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water a week to flourish.
  • Use a rain barrel, equipped with a mesh screen to prevent mosquitoes from breeding, to collect rainwater for the garden.
  • Aerate the lawn in the spring to allow water to reach grass roots and retain organic material.
  • Select drought tolerant and/or native plants for your garden.
  • Place mulch and bark around the base of shrubs and trees to help retain moisture.
  • Use a soaker hose to direct water to the roots of plants.
  • Compost to add organic content to the garden and allow soil to retain moisture.
  • Wash your car with a sponge and bucket and sweep driveways and patios, instead of using the hose.

To learn please view Ontario Clean Water Agency Water-Efficient Landscaping guide.

Sprinkler Systems

  • Have your sprinkler system checked for leaks and optimized to ensure you're not overwatering your lawn
  • Install a rain sensor to prevent unnecessary watering during and after a rainfall
  • Run your system manually by only turning it on and off when your lawn needs it

Pools & Hot Tubs

  • Use a cover on your pool or hot tub to reduce the amount of water lost due to evaporation
  • This means that you will spend less time and water topping up your pool or hot tub
  • On average, swimming pools lose about a quarter of an inch of water each day
  • Variations in wind, humidity and sunlight can impact water loss
  • A properly maintained spa or pool cover can reduce evaporation and water wastage by as much as 95%
  • Water Conservation Recommendations from the Pool & Hot Tub Council of Canada

Indoor Water Use

A typically Canadian households indoor water consumption accounts for 70% of their water use. The kitchen is where 15% of all water is used at home. This water is generally used for drinking, cooking and cleaning. Below are some great tips to reducing your water consumption not only in the kitchen but other areas of high water use.


  • Keep a jug of drinking water in the fridge instead of letting the tap run cold for a drink
  • Install low flow aerators on kitchen taps
  • Do not rinse dishes before putting in the dishwasher; most dishwashers do a thorough job of cleaning them
  • Select the lowest possible cycle each time the dishwasher is used and wait until a full load is ready
  • If washing dishes by hand, do not let the water run continuously; use one sink for washing and the other sink for rinsing
  • Check for and fix any leaking faucets
  • Clean fruits and vegetables in a partially filled sink or bowl, then rinse them with quick blasts of water


The bathroom is the largest water consuming area in the home. 65% of water used is in the bathroom. The toilet represents nearly 30% of all water used in the bathroom. The shower, bath and tap combined consume about 25% of water used in the bathroom.

  • Install a dual flush (6L or 3L), HET High Efficiency Toilet (4.8 L) or 3L toilet for efficiency and savings
  • Do not use the toilet to dispose of garbage
  • Turn off the water while brushing teeth, washing hands or shaving
  • Take a five to eight minute shower instead of a 20 minute shower
  • Low flow toilets can efficiently flush a bowl using only 6 litres (1.3 gallons) of water
  • Undetected leaks can waste several hundred litres of water per year and can easily be stopped by replacing or repairing fixtures.
  • Depending on your toilets' volume, you may want to install a toilet displacement bag or toilet dam into the toilet tank; the amount of water that the bag holds is the amount of water that is saved during each flush.
  • Switch to a low aerator on the bathroom sink faucet that uses less water, such as one with a 1 - 1.5 gpm (gallons per minute) flow.
  • Switch to a low flow showerhead.
    • Average showerheads use 9.5 L of water per minute (2.5 gallons), while a water efficient showerhead uses only 6.4: L of water per minute (1.7 gallons) without decreasing water pressure or performance.

Estimated savings from switching one regular toilet to a low flow toilet:

Average Toilet

Water Efficient Toilet

Average Savings


13-20 L/Flush

6 L/Flush

7-14/ Flush

13,405 L (13 m3)

Laundry Room

Washing machines represent over 20% of all water used inside the home. High Efficiency (HE) washers use between 30%-40% less water and as much as 70% less energy than standard (non-HE) top loading machines.

  • If possible, always wash with a full load of laundry
  • Use the shortest washing cycle available to save water
  • Use an HE washer
    • HE washers are considered to be gentler on clothes
    • They are more efficient in their spinning mechanisms
    • Laundry takes less time to dry
    • Cost to buy a HE washer is usually higher than top loading washers, but you save more money with the decreased use of water, detergent and energy

Estimated savings from switching an HE washing machine:

Average Washing Machine

Front Loading Washing Machine

Average Savings


175.5 L/Load

121.5 L/Load


2,429.5 L (2 m3)

Water Heaters

  • Insulate hot water pipes so when taps are turned on, less water is wasted waiting for the water to heat up
  • Insulate the few feet of piping that extends from the heater to keep the hot water warmer for longer
  • Contact your manufacturer or rental company or refer to the hot water tank manual for maintenance instructions on hot water tank flushing
  • If replacing your hot water heater
  • Install heat traps in your water heater to keep hot water from rising out of the heater and prevent cold water from getting in.
    • Heat traps stabilize water temperatures and reduces the amount of water waste while you wait for the water to become the right temperature.