More than 45% of water use in the average American home occurs in the bathroom, with nearly 27% being used by toilets, 2% used for baths and 16% used for kitchen & bathroom faucets. With this understanding, it is clear that the bathroom is an ideal place to curb water use or to practice water conservation.
Where to Begin?
The amount of water that gets flushed down a toilet can vary. Older toilets can use between 3.5 and up to 7 gallons per flush, so if you have a toilet that was installed prior the federally mandated 1992 plumbing standards, it is time to start looking into a low flow toilet or a high efficiency toilet. The low flow toilets can use only up to 1.6 gallons per flush and the high efficiency toilets, which are a result of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense Program must use no more than 1.28 gallons per flush. Many bath & plumbing manufacturers have participated in the WaterSense Program and since its inception in 2006, more than 8,600 different models of toilets, faucets, showerheads and flushing urinal have earned the WaterSense label.
If you have an older, conventional toilet, you can displace water that comes into your reserve by placing an object, like a plastic bottle full of water to reduce the amount of water that gets flushed or deploy the motto: “Yellow is mellow, brown you flush down.” My suggestion is to get a new toilet. There are many models at different price points and you’ll be doing your part to conserve water.
At the Sink
Federal Plumbing Standards required that the bathroom faucet use no more than 2.2 gallons/minute (gpm). A big culprit for water waste is a leaky faucet. A leaky faucet that drips at a rate of one drop per second can waste more than 3000 gallons of water a year. Another way to conserve water is to replace the aerator, the screw-on tip of the sink faucet. A change in your bathroom routine can help conserve water, like turning off the faucets, when your brush your teeth or shave. Again, the manufacturers of bathroom faucets offer a wide variety of styles that meet or exceed the Federal Plumbing Standard. A local showroom is a great place to start for product information and water conservation standards.
In the Shower
By installing a low flow showerhead, you can reduce the water used by showering by 40%. WaterSense showerheads use no more than 2 gallons /minute (gpm). Showering uses less than water than taking a bath and shorter showers minimize water waste. It is also recommended that a showerhead should be replaced every 10 years. This is an effective low cost way to decrease your overall household water consumption.
In the United States, we have create the necessary infrastructure to bring fresh water directly to our homes and on a daily basis, we go about our daily routines with very little concern of our water use. If we want to conserve this precious resource, we must make some changes in our daily bathroom routines and the products that deliver us water. The Ultimate Bath Stores are a great place to get educated about water conservation and the right products for this endeavor.