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Toilet

Fact: Toilet flushing accounts for 45% of indoor water use, or approximately 32,000 gallons per year for a family of four using 5-7 gallons-per-flush toilets. You can:

  • Reduce the amount of energy used to pump, heat, and treat water.

  • Cut daily water use 34% per toilet.

  • Save the typical household 7,900-21,700 gallons of water per year per toilet, cutting both your water and wastewater bills.

  • Help maintain aquatic habitats; restore wetlands and fisheries.

Best Features: By law, replacement or new construction toilets are restricted to flush a maximum of 1.6 gallons rather than the 3.5-7 gallons used by older toilets. Specific model choices are a question of preference, size, and rough-in limitations, and desired performance. Options include:

  • Gravity-fed flushing (uses natural force of the water when it drops from the tank to the bowl).

  • Power-assisted or pressure-assisted toilets (separate flushometer tank system utilizes air pressure to move the water).

  • Elongated oval bowls (offer greater support for your legs).

  • Compact, wall-mounted European model with a concealed tank.

  • Buy low profile, one-piece toilets (available in round and elongated styles) with an integrated tank and bowl.

  • Two-piece toilets, which sit higher and are more comfortable on the knees.

  • Composting toilet for minimal water use and maximum conservation opportunities.

Save Money: Toilets installed prior to 1994 use 3.5-7 gallons (13-27 liters) of water per flush and as much as 20 gallons (76 liters) per person per day. In addition, an average of 20% of toilets leak, wasting up to 200 gallons a day. You can save a significant amount of water and reduce your utility, wastewater, and water bills, by doing the following:

  • Install an ultra low-flow toilet that requires only 1.6 gallons (6 liters) per flush.

  • Consider a pressurized model for optimal performance when installing a low-flow toilet in the basement.

  • Check toilets periodically for leaks, and repair them promptly.

  • Reduce tank capacity by placing a one-gallon plastic jug of water or gravel, or two one-quart bottles in the tank.

  • Install a "dam" that partitions off a section of the tank so it can't fill with water.

  • Don't use the toilet as a trash can.

Parsons, Dave/NREL PIX 05482

Figure 45

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