ways to conserve water

5 Toilet Tricks You Need to Know

Finding ways to cut your domestic water use saves you money, and helps keep your community from going dry.

5 Toilet Tricks You Need to Know

Next time you're on the throne, consider what you're flushing away.

From record flooding to debilitating droughts, climate change is expected to create more and more severe weather events. To help prepare for water shortages in your area and to do your part to conserve this precious resource, the first place to start is in your bathroom. Seem weird to combat the effects of climate change using your commode? It actually makes perfect sense, considering toilets account for roughly a quarter of the 70 gallons families typically use on a daily basis in the home. To give you some perspective on that, you drink just half a gallon of water every day if you follow the 8 glasses-of-water-per-day rule. Every drop that you flush may bring your community closer to its next drought, not to mention cost you money you don't need to spend. Fortunately, there are lots of solutions, none of which requires the return of the outhouse.

#1: Fix leaks. A leaky toilet can cost you 9.5 gallons of water per day—nearly half the amount you probably use doing your daily business. Food dye dropped in the toilet tank can help you find leaks; if you put a few drops in the tank and the dye appears in the bowl, you've got a malfunctioning flapper. It's easy to fix; just get to the hardware store and follow the directions that come with the replacement.

#2: Use the brick-in-the-tank trick, without a brick. Displacing water in your toilet tank is one of the easiest, and usually cheapest, ways to conserve water. But an actual brick is the worst thing to use; as it sits in water all day, the clay starts to break apart and the resulting sediment will clog up your tank. Instead, use a plastic milk jug filled with sand or rocks. This will save you about half a gallon per flush, or about 2.5 gallons per day.


Published on: September 23, 2009

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Your audience would be better

Your audience would be better informed if you presented more accurate information:

1) WaterSense toilets use only 1.28 gallons per flush (GPF), or less.

2) There are many different flush volumes for the dual-flush toilets. The only enforced standards are a) the full-flush cannot exceed 1.6 GPF; and b) the WaterSense labeling requires a combined average of 1 full-flush and 2 half-flushes cannot exceed 1.28 GPF.

2) The federal standard requiring 1.6 GPF or less was enacted in 1992, but did not become effective until 1994. Many 92 and 93 homes still had 3.5 GPF toilets installed

3) Composting toilets for inside homes are not new, they have have been around for more than 30 years.

4) A toilet can leak MUCH more than 9.5 gallons per day. Hidden leaks can easily waste more than 200 gallons per day. In fact, a small leak of 9.5 gallons per day would not even turn the dials on the water meter.

5) Do not put a jug or brick in a toilet using less than 2 GPF; it will severely impair the performance of the toilet to flush solid waste.


Great articla but I coulsd have done without that particular photo.

If it's yellow...

As they say in the Southwest:

If it's yellow,
let in mellow
If it's brown,
flush it down


In this land of wind and sun
We don't flush for number one!

and while I'm quoting the great bathroom poets, I can't resist this one too:

We aim to please...
You aim too please!

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