Household Water Use

In 2018, the Town of Cochrane Water Treatment Plant produced 2755 million litres of water — approximately 1756 million litres was consumed in residential homes.

The average residential home used 417 litres/day during the winter and 524 litres/day during the summer. On a monthly basis, this works out to an average consumption of 12.3 cubic metres and 16 cubic metres respectively.

Examples of household water use:

  • A 10-minute shower with a low-flow shower head (7.6 litres/min) equals 76 litres per person
  • One dishwasher load uses 40 litres
  • A load of laundry in a high efficiency machine uses about 45 litres of water; an older inefficient machine would use 140 litres
  • Toilet flushing uses 48 litres per day (assuming four uses per day per person at 4.8 litres/flush) 

How does your home measure up?

Concerned about your water use? 
Things to check in your home:

  • A leaking toilet can be very costly. Check for leaks by putting food colouring in your tank. If the colour runs into the bowl, you have a leak. Colour tabs are also available from the Town of Cochrane. 
  • Check your furnace humidifier. If the water supply valve is fully open, the flow may be too high.  A flow-through humidifier should only use about 45 litres/day. The easiest way to check the flow is to monitor the flow out of the drain line when the furnace is running.  
  • Do you have a water softener? Check that it is not stuck in the regenerate cycle.
  • Irrigation systems should be checked for leaks during the irrigation season. Always ensure the system has been winterized and the inside control valve is closed at the end of the season.
  • Family habits and behaviour. Does someone in your family like long showers or daily baths? Did you have company for more than a few days? Were the kids home from school? Changes to your regular routine can have an impact on water use. If you're going away, remember to shut your water off!

Check out this complete guide on household water use published by CMHC.

The Town of Cochrane uses two different types of water meters to measure the water consumed at your house. Meters installed from mid 2011 until now are called iPerl (below); meters installed before mid 2011 are called SRII and have a simple analog dial read out on the meter head.

iperl with radio_Labelled

Approximately 10,000 homes are equipped with radio transmitters (left) that are used to collect monthly meter reads. 70 percent of the radios are equipped with the function of storing hourly meter readings for 35 days.

Overnight Test
To help track down a water leak in your home, complete an overnight test:

  • Just before bed, read your water meter. Your water meter is located in your basement, near the furnace or hot water tank.
  • In the morning, before using any water read the water meter again. Calculate the amount of water used overnight.

The iPerl water meter has a digital display that reads water use to the mililitre; for billing purposes the Town of Cochrane reads the meter to the litre.

Glen meter display_Labelled

The SRII meters are typically read to whole cubic meters.

Contact Us

  1. Questions about water use in your home?

    Ph: 403-851-2590

    Operational Services Office

    124 Griffin Road
    Cochrane, AB

    Mailing Address

    Cochrane RancheHouse
    101 RancheHouse Road
    Cochrane, AB T4C 2K8


    Monday - Friday