The toilet is one of the most water-intensive fixtures in your house, accounting for almost 30 percent of your household water consumption. Toilet flushing makes up about 80 percent of your toilet’s water usage, meaning if you want to save water, you first need to target your flushing habits.
Toilet Water Conservation Tips
Here are several simple tips to help you reduce the amount of water you use while still maintaining good hygiene.
1. Flush with a Purpose
When you flush the toilet, think about what you’re flushing down. If it’s just urine or solid waste, there’s no need to flush twice! If you’re going number two, try to rinse before you flush to prevent waste from getting stuck on the toilet bowl.
Frivolous flushing wastes gallons of water per day, so make sure you’re only flushing when absolutely necessary.
Make sure that you’re properly disposing of trash as well. Feminine hygiene products, like tampons and pads, must be disposed of in the trash, not the toilet. Improper disposal can lead to disastrous clogging, expensive repairs, and potential health hazards.
2. Install a Low-Flush Toilet
Low-flush toilets use less than half as much water as older models; nowadays the US federal maximum standard for toilets is 1.6 gallons per flush, compared to older models whose water usage could reach up to 6 gallons per flush.
EPA Water-Sense certified toilets are a great choice for cutting down water usage as they tend to use at most 1.28 gallons per flush.
You can also install a dual-flush toilet, which uses less water for liquid waste than solid waste. Typically, dual-flush toilets will use 1 gallon per flush for smaller waste loads, and 1.6 for larger ones, averaging about 1.28 gallons per flush overall.
3. Wipe with a Towel
Toilet paper manufacturing generally requires twice as much water as other paper products.
Therefore, another habit for a more eco-friendly bathroom experience is swapping toilet paper for reusable cloths. Reusable cloths, or wipes, reduce your toilet paper usage by half, saving you both money and water. These wipes can also be gentler on your skin and even be homemade from leftover materials in your house.
4. Use Less Toilet Paper
You don’t need to use a full sheet of toilet paper every time you go to the bathroom. A single sheet can be enough for many people, especially if you use a bidet or wash with soap and water instead of relying on toilet paper alone.
If you do want to use two sheets, consider switching to two-ply paper, which uses about half as much paper per sheet as single-ply paper does.
5. Put a Brick in the Tank
If you have an older toilet with an exposed tank as opposed to being concealed inside the wall, consider putting a brick or other object in the tank to reduce its capacity and force you to flush less often. This will also help prevent overflow accidents if someone overfills the bowl by mistake.
6. Fix Leaks Immediately
If you notice that your toilet is leaking, make sure to fix it right away. This can be done by shutting off the water supply valve behind your toilet tank or in your home’s main line using an adjustable wrench or pliers.
Flush your toilet repeatedly until the tank refills completely with water to check for leaks. If there’s still a leak, you may need new parts or tools to repair it properly.
7. Fix Fixtures that Don’t Work Properly
You might think that it doesn’t matter if your toilet or sink isn’t working properly because they only use a little bit of water at a time — but they still use more than they should if they aren’t working properly!
If there’s something wrong with one of these fixtures, fix it as soon as possible so that you don’t waste any more water than necessary.
There are a lot of ways you can save water in your home, from leaving the tap off while you brush your teeth to turning off the shower when you’re done.
Focusing first on your toilet usage can help eliminate bad habits and save you more money and water in the long run.