How Much Is the Average Water Bill?

There’s more to consider when you’re budgeting out your housing expenses than just your monthly rent or mortgage payment amount. And unless you’re planning to live totally off the grid, these extra expenses include your utility costs — including your water bill.

The average water varies by location, but knowing the general scope of what you can expect to pay will help you set your budget and figure out what you can afford. It will also help you avoid any unwanted surprises when you get your first bill.

The average single-family American home spends at least $2,200 a year on home utility bills, which include electric, water, and gas, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That’s nearly $185 a month that needs to be set aside for utilities, though depending on your usage it could be even higher. (There are quite a few ways though to save on utilities and keep your costs down, especially when it comes to your water bill — more on those later.)

So what should you anticipate spending on water each month? Below, we’ve broken down what you need to know about the average water bill and how it’s determined. We’ve also shared a few smart tips for maximizing efficiency in your home so that you can reduce both your environmental footprint and your monthly bill. Let’s get to it.

Cost of the Average Monthly Water Bill

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American uses around 82 gallons per day per person in the household. That means a family of four would use around 10,000 gallons per month.

This number goes up or down depending on usage. If you heavily water your grass, have a pool, or have more than four people living in your home, your monthly bill will likely be quite higher than the average.

As of 2023, the average monthly water bills in the United States varied considerably by state. For example, West Virginia was the most expensive U.S. state regarding water rates, with an average monthly bill of $91. It was followed by California ($77), Oregon ($76), Washington ($75), and New Jersey ($72).

The five states with the lowest average monthly water bills are Vermont and Wisconsin (both $18), followed by North Carolina ($20), Louisiana ($21), and Mississippi ($23).

Cost of the Average Monthly Water Bill

What Determines the Cost of Your Water Bill

There are two major factors that determine the amount you spend on your water bill:

  1. Your total water usage.

    This one is probably a no-brainer: The more water that you use in your home, the higher your average water bill is going to be. Beyond personal consumption habits, other factors that affect this variable include the size of your house and the water efficiency of your appliances.

  2. The cost of water in your area.

    The cost of the average water bill varies depending on the state, but also on zip code and region. For that reason, your bill might change after moving, even if your monthly usage stays the same.

    Per EPA, “usage varies a great deal across the country, mostly because of differences in weather patterns. For example, water use tends to be higher in drier areas of the country that rely more on irrigation for outdoor watering than in wetter parts of the country that can rely on more rainfall.”

    You generally won’t have a choice when it comes to your water provider, so there’s no use trying to shop around. The best thing that you can do if you want to bring your average water bill down is to take steps to reduce your usage. And fortunately, that’s actually a lot easier to do than you might think.

Easy Ways to Lower Your Water Bill

The average monthly water bill is based on 100 gallons of water per day per person in a family of four — about enough for each person to fill a standard bathtub two and a half times. And while it might be hard to imagine yourself using that much water each day, it’s surprisingly simple to use more water than you think you are. The good news is that means it’s simple to cut back, too.

Here are some super easy ways to reduce your water usage each day and month so you can lower your monthly water bill.


  • Cut back your shower time

    We get it, standing under the hot water stream can feel like heaven after a tough workout or a stressful day on the job, but traditional showerheads use about five gallons of water per minute, and that adds up fast. So although a 10-minute shower might not seem that long, that alone will get you to half of the average 100-gallon per day per person usage.

    Every minute you can cut back will make a difference, so aim for five to six-minute showers and ditch 10+ minute showers for baths, which use about 42 gallons. While you’re at it, switch to a low-flow showerhead, which only uses about 2.5 gallons of water per minute instead of five.

  • Turn off the water when you brush your teeth

    Leaving the water running while you brush your teeth wastes about 900 cups of water a week — the equivalent of 56.25 gallons — and it’s something that 42% of Americans admit to doing. By taking the simple step of turning off the faucet while brushing instead of keeping the water going a family of four can save 11,000 gallons a year, which is more than a month’s worth of water off your bill. Additional tips: Consider turning off the water while you scrub your hands or wash your face as well.

  • Use a low-flow toilet

    Flushing the toilet takes up the most water usage in an average household. If you don’t have an energy-efficient toilet you can still save money by converting your existing toilet to operate at low flow. A low-flow toilet uses about 1.6 gallons per flush, versus the seven gallons per flush a standard toilet uses. Retrofitting your toilet to operate more efficiently is a pretty easy home upgrade to take on, and doesn’t cost much by means of supplies. Follow these directions on how to do it.

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Laundry Room

  • Keep up with washer and dryer maintenance

    Optimize the efficiency of your laundry room appliances by keeping up with regular washer and dryer maintenance. This includes cleaning out the lint trap and running a clean cycle in your washing machine to keep the appliance bacteria-free.

    If the appliances are under warranty, you should be able to schedule an appliance cleaning and maintenance check to fix any existing leaks or any other parts that aren’t working properly. We also recommend having your dryer vent ducts inspected and cleaned at least once a year. This can prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and fires from occurring.

    For more advice, check out “Tips All Homeowners Should Know About Washer and Dryer Maintenance.”

  • Purchase high-efficiency laundry detergent

    Energy Star washing machines operate most effectively when combined with the correct type of detergent. This high-efficiency (HE) laundry detergent creates less suds and requires less water.

  • Wash full loads and don’t use hot water when you can

    Today’s washing machines are much more energy-efficient than they used to be, but making some small changes in how you wash your clothes can make a big difference in your home’s energy consumption. Wash and dry full loads instead of small loads, and wash on cold instead of hot. About 80% to 90% of the energy used by washing machines is for heating water.


  • Use a fridge pitcher for cold water

    Do you drink tap water? If yes, it might be a good idea to fill a pitcher with it and keep it in the fridge. This would avoid sending more water down the drain than necessary. And you’ll have cold water on hand!

  • Use your dishwasher

    This might seem counterintuitive, but using your dishwasher is actually a whole lot more efficient when it comes to water usage than washing your dishes by hand. That’s because a standard dishwasher cycle will use just six gallons of water — or four gallons of water, if your dishwasher is Energy Star rated.

    Meanwhile, you’ll use 2.2 gallons per minute to run your faucet and hand wash your dishes. If it takes you 15 minutes to wash the whole bunch, that’s 33 gallons, which is the equivalent of five and a half dishwasher cycles.

  • Wash only full loads of dishes

    Avoid running multiple half-full loads of dishes, period. We recommend running the dishwasher once a day max and ensuring it is full. This will maximize the energy efficiency of the dishwasher. Of course, don’t overload it with too many dishes as they won’t get cleaned properly.

Wash only full loads of dishes


  • Rethink lawn maintenance

    About 30% of the water a family goes through each day is devoted to outdoor uses—the lawn in particular. This varies throughout the year and depends on the climate, but that still means a lot of water is going to your lawn. There’s a lot of potential for waste there.

    To cut back, try watering your grass less frequently and be more aware of when you turn the sprinklers on and off. While you’re at it, aim to water your lawn early in the morning or in the evening when you’re less likely to waste water through heat evaporation.

  • Use a pool cover

    Avoid frequent refills by covering your pool. Not only the water evaporates in the sun but you’ll also keep your pool cleaner by protecting it from debris, dirt, rainwater, and animals.

Additional Tips on How to Lower Your Water Bill

  • Aerate your faucets

    Consider making another quick but impactful change: adding aerators. These tiny faucet attachments push air into the water stream to reduce the flow volume, in turn allowing each faucet to run a lot more efficiently. Aerators are about $10-$20 each and can be picked up at any home improvement store, so make the upgrade and reduce water waste right at the source.

  • Fix that leaky faucet

    While we’re talking faucets, a tiny drip coming from a leaky faucet can’t count for much, right? Well, as it turns out, a leaky faucet releasing just one drop of water a minute is going to waste 1,440 drops in a day and 34 gallons in a year.

    No use wasting that water if you don’t have to, so fix any leaks and save yourself the money. Most leaky faucets simply require a new seal to be put in, which is a quick fix that anyone can do on their own.

  • Invest in Energy Star appliances

    Energy Star-certified appliances use less energy than conventional models. For example, an Energy Star-certified dishwasher saves, on average, 3,870 gallons of water over its lifetime and only costs $35 a year to run, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).

    In addition, Energy Star-certified refrigerators are 9% more energy efficient than conventional models, and Energy Star-certified fridges are at least 10% more energy-efficient than the minimum federal standard, according to the DOE.

  • Upgrade your water heater

    If you have an older water heater, you may be able to save a lot of money by switching to an energy-efficient one. If the upfront cost of upgrading your water heater is too high, you can reduce hot water usage in other ways, such as investing in low-flow shower heads, toilets and faucets, and using cold water for things like brushing your teeth and washing your face as well as doing laundry. Experts recommend keeping it at 120 degrees for maximum efficiency.

Upgrade your water heater

Frequently Asked Questions About the Cost of an Average Water Bill

  • What is the average monthly water bill in my state?
    You can look up your state in the “Average monthly water bills in the United States as of 2023, by state” report.
  • How much is the average water bill in the U.S.?
    The average American water bill varies by state, but Americans use an average of 82 gallons of water a day at home. The best way to see how much water you’re using is to look at the breakdown of charges on your water bill.
  • What appliance uses the most water in a house?
    The largest use of household water is flushing the toilet, followed by taking showers and baths. Toilets account for nearly 30% of an average home’s indoor water consumption. Older, inefficient toilets can use as much as three to six gallons per flush.

    The good news, per EPA, is that recent advancements have allowed toilets to use 1.28 gallons per flush or less, which is 20% less water than the current federal standard of 1.6 gallons per flush.

  • How much water is used in a shower?
    The average shower lasts about eight minutes. Since the average showerhead has a water flow of 2.1 gallons per minute, each shower uses more than 16 gallons of water. According to the EPA, across the United States, we use more than one trillion gallons of water each year just for showering.

The Bottom Line

Keeping your average water bill down is as easy as being aware of how and when you use water and making basic changes to cut down on usage as you can. There’s no such thing as being perfect all of the time, but little changes now can lead to big savings over time on your bill.

We recommend that you start with the tips that are easiest to implement. As you begin to see results, you’ll get more motivated to make the major changes that result in major payoffs.

Moving soon?

It’s time to start planning your move. Fortunately,’s extensive network of reputable and reliable movers makes it easy to find and book the best moving company for the job. All relocation companies in our network are licensed and insured, so you can rest assured that your move will be in good hands. Best of luck and happy moving!

How Much Is the Average Water Bill?
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