Federal law requires that new faucets not exceed 2.2 gallons per minute, but older faucets can emit 3 to 6 gallons per minute. Michelle calculates that the average homeowner can reduce her annual water usage by two-thirds if she installs a 1-gallon-per-minute aerator—that's nearly 15,000 gallons a year saved (enough to fill a 16-by-32-foot swimming pool).
Judging from Silvia's teal toilet, tub, and tile, the bathroom hasn't been touched since the house was built in 1951. Toilets made before 1980 can use up to 5 gallons per flush, while post-1994 models are required to use no more than 1.6 gallons (many states offer residents a rebate to replace toilets; see SaveWaterAmerica.com ). By switching to low flow, Silvia could save 6,000 gallons of water a year. For now, she can use a Niagara toilet tank bag ($1.50; ConservationMart.com ) to save 0.8 gallons with every flush.