Modern high-efficiency toilets use less than 1.6 gallons per flush, making them more than four times more efficient than the 7 gallons per flush models from the 1950′s. That amount of water usage, however, is still enough to make toilet flushing one of the home’s biggest water wasting culprits. That said, simple changes can reduce or eliminate water wastage that comes from toilet flushing.
Consider the following: You have a water conserving shower head that pumps out 6 gallons per minute, and you shower for 10 minutes per day. Using these numbers, 60 gallons of water per day are used to wash your body before going down the drain and out to the sewer. If you have an old toilet that uses 4 gallons per flush and you go to the restroom 6 times throughout the day, a total of 24 gallons of water are flushed daily.
What if you could use your shower water to flush the toilet as well? Makes sense right. This water doesn’t need to be perfect for you to pee into. With a storage tank and a pump, this idea can become a reality. A plumbing reroute allows water to be stored while a pump can be used to refill the toilet tank after each flush. Unless you have a problem with using your shower water to flush the toilet, this alternative will eliminate toilet water wastage in your home. Excess water can be routed to water the garden as well.
Gardeners know about the concept of composting, the conversion of organic waste to a high quality soil amendment for the garden. That same concept can be applied to human waste by using a composting toilet. These systems work by dehydrating and decomposing waste over time to produce humanure, a valuable soil additive that can be used to fertilize plants and trees. The benefits are many. The environment benefits from reduced water usage, the elimination of effluent released into lakes and oceans, and the prevention of raw sewage from leaking into the groundwater via deteriorating pipes. The consumer benefits from lower water bills and the ability to compost other household waste products such as food scraps and paper.
As water becomes scarcer in the coming decades, home modifications such as these will become the norm. Get ahead of the curve and start saving today.