Water & Drought

Showers vs. baths: Which use less water?

Q: What uses more water – a 10-minute shower or a full bath?

– Sam Vargas, Lancaster

A: The answer depends on the size of the tub, the depth of the water and the efficiency of the showerhead. But usually, the shower will use less.

Most people use about 30 gallons of water for a bath, according to industry estimates. When filled to capacity (just below the overflow), a standard bathtub holds 42 gallons, but some of that water will be displaced when you get into the tub. So, the tub is rarely filled to capacity before taking a bath.

A low-flow showerhead uses about two gallons a minute, or 20 gallons for a 10-minute shower. A standard showerhead uses 2.5 gallons a minute, or 25 gallons for 10 minutes. Either way, the shower saves water – as long as you don’t go past 10 minutes. The shorter the shower, the greater the savings.

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