• C. Scott Learned MS, MBA, PE, LEED AP.

Water Consumption in Animal Care Facilities

Updated: Nov 13, 2020

Animal care facilities require a great deal of water. Even with water restrictive fixtures, the normal operations of kennel washing, floor cleaning, animal bathing and laundry can drive water consumption to over 1,000 gallons per day.


Adding to this consumption is the complication of simultaneous use. Unlike other types of facilities, animal care operations tend to simultaneously clean the facility, the animals and perform laundry functions once in the morning and occasionally once in the afternoon. This operational reality causes the water consumption and particularly hot water requirements to have significant peaks.


We have reviewed the typical water requirements for a number of facilities over the years. We have found that the water consumption calculations suggested by the Plumbing Code are usually insufficient. We see many facilities where available cold water supply, hot water production and overall plumbing pipe sizes are too small.


Typical fixture demands in terms of staff or animals are:

Lavatories 2.6 GPD/employee

Tank-type Water Closets 6.8 GPD/employee

Kitchen Sink 0.9 GPD/employee

Janitor's Sink 0.1 GPD/employee

Pressure Wash 3.2 GPD/dog

Dog tubs 13.5 GPD/grooming

Washing Machine 10.0 GPD/grooming

Dishwasher 0.4 GPD/dog

Hose Bibbs 0.2 GPD/dog

Trench Washdown 3.2 GPD/dog


This excludes any lawn irrigation or showers and results in a typical estimate of 10 gallons per day (GPD) per employee plus about 8 GPD per animal boarded plus typically 24 gallons for every laundry load or dog washing.

As an example, a 40 dog boarding facility with 5 employees, 10 groomings with bathing per day and 3 laundry loads per day would require about 675 to 700 gallons of water per day.

These are estimates and in all cases must be compared to the Plumbing Code requirements to be sure they meet or exceed the minimum flow rates.


Copyright 2020 C. Scott Learned and Design Learned, Inc.


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