We use large quantities of water inside our homes. The average family of four can use 400 gallons of water every day. On average, approximately 70 percent of that water is used indoors, according to the EPA.
The bathroom is the largest consumer of indoor water. The toilet can use 27 percent of household water, showers 17%, and faucets 16%. Almost every activity or daily routine that happens in the home bathroom uses large quantities of water. So to conserve water and do your part this winter during the Madison Pipeline repair, consider one of your bathroom’s largest water guzzlers.
At 27% of your household supply every year, your toilet is by far your home's largest water user. The Federal government now mandates that new toilets use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, but older toilets can use two to three times that much. Many are 3.5 gallons per flush (gpf) or more.
(See the City of Gillette’s Toilet Rebate Program)
When buying a new toilet, look for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense label. To receive the label, toilets must be independently tested to show that they use, at most, 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf). Dual-flush toilets, those that have a full-flush mode for solids and a reduced-flush mode for liquids, use about 1.6 gpf and .8 gpf respectively. The Home Depot™ store in Gillette sells WaterSense low-flow and dual flush toilets.
Tips for finding leaks
Toilets with leaky flappers can cost you money, and waste a substantial amount of water. To determine if you have a leaky flapper, drop special dye tablets provided by the City or a little food coloring into the toilet tank. If the color appears in the toilet bowl, you probably have a leaking flapper. It's important to replace your toilet flapper with the right model for your toilet. Find the correct style and learn how to replace flappers.
Wait about 10 minutes for the dye tablet to get to the bowl (if there is a leak) and to be sure and flush after so it doesn't stain the bowl.
What do you save?
By replacing 3.5-gallon toilets with 1.6-gallon (or less) models, the average family of four would save about 14,000 gallons of water per year.
What Else Can I Do?
Replace standard showerheads with low-flow versions. Again, look for EPA’s WaterSense label and flow rates of 0.5 to 2 gallons per minute (gpm). (See the City of Gillette’s Water Conservation Rebate Program)
A bathroom faucet generally runs at 2 gallons of water per minute. By turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving, a person can save more than 200 gallons of water per month. Replace with low-flow sink aerators 1.5 gpm or lower.