Conserving Water Through Toilets: A Sustainable Choice
When it comes to water usage in our homes, toilets take the crown as the biggest culprits. In fact, a staggering 27% of residential water consumption is attributed to toilet flushing. If your toilet was manufactured before 1992, you have a great opportunity to save both water and money by upgrading to a more efficient model.
In 1992, the Energy Policy Act, signed by President George H. W. Bush, revolutionized several aspects of energy and resource management. Among its provisions was a requirement for manufacturers to produce low-flush or low-flow toilets, limiting the water usage per flush to 1.6 gallons (6 liters). In comparison, older toilets used more than twice that amount, with some using as much as 6 gallons per flush. Replacing an outdated toilet with a low-flow option not only conserves thousands of gallons of water but also translates into over $2,000 in water cost savings throughout the toilet's lifespan. This means that the expenses incurred for purchasing, installing, and maintaining the new toilet are easily covered.
Today, consumers have convenient options to choose from to promote water conservation in their homes. Toilets meeting the 1992 efficiency standards are widely available, while those labeled with WaterSense certification go a step further. To earn the esteemed WaterSense label from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a toilet must be at least 20% more water-efficient than standard models, using less than 1.28 gallons per flush.
For those seeking to take their water-saving efforts to the next level, dual flush toilets provide an excellent solution. These toilets feature separate handles for solid and liquid waste, utilizing 1.6 gallons for solid waste and only 1.1 gallons for liquid waste.
Alternatively, composting toilets offer a unique option for consumers aiming to minimize water usage, reduce pollution, and even create usable compost for gardening purposes. Although commonly found in remote and off-grid locations, composting toilets can also be utilized in residential settings if permitted. These toilets utilize little to no water in their operation. Through aerobic and thermophilic breakdown processes, waste volume is reduced, and pathogens are eliminated. Composting toilets are even more efficient than typical municipal treatment facilities, resulting in compost that amounts to just 10% of the original waste volume, which can be utilized in agriculture if local regulations allow.
By exploring these water-conserving toilet options, we can make significant strides in conserving water resources, reducing our environmental footprint, and embracing a sustainable future for generations to come.