Over half the water use inside a home takes place in the bathroom. Toilets: Use a leak-free, high efficiency toilet, and use a wastebasket, not a toilet, for trash.  Toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home — nearly 30 percent of all indoor residential water consumption. Use 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) toilets: Single flush toilets, on average, represent about 25% of domestic water consumption. Pre-1993 toilets use anywhere from 3.5 gallons per flush (gpf) to 8 gpf (pre-1980). Since 1993, regulations require that toilets use only 1.6 gpf. At an average of about five flushes per day per person, that represents a savings of 14,000 gallons of water per year for a family of four (compared to a 3.5 gpf toilet). Early 1.6 gpf toilets were prone to blockages resulting in double flushing (or worse), but current designs have largely eliminated those problems.Better yet are dual flush toilets, which offer both the standard, 1.6 gallon flush, and a reduced “liquids only” 0.8 gallon flush. A recent study in the Seattle area, indicated an additional water saving of up to 20% over a 1.6 gpf toilet. Sink: Turn off the water while shaving or brushing teeth. Savings for this effort alone can be up to 4 gallons a minute, or up to 200 gallons a week for a family of four! When washing your hands, turn off the water while you lather. Low flow faucets — Since 1992, Federal regulations have required faucet flow rates of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) or below. Reduced flow aerators for your faucets may be one of the most cost effective water conservations steps you can take. Aerators are inexpensive, and easy to install. 1.0 gpm aerators provide satisfactory flow for bathroom faucets. In the kitchen, 1.5 to 2.0 gpm is preferred.  A recent study in Seattle indicated that a family of four could save 1,700 gallons per year by installing low-flow aerators in kitchen and bathroom, of which 1,300 gallons would be hot water, with related energy savings. Showers and Tubs — Take short showers instead of baths — showers use less water. If you keep your showers to under 5 minutes you’ll save up to 1,000 gallons a month. If you do take a bath, be sure to plug the drain right away and adjust the temperature as you fill the tub. Low Flow Showerheads — Standard showerheads deliver 2.5 gpm (pre-1992 showers use as much as 5 gpm!). A 10 minute shower uses 25 gallons of water. Replacing existing showerheads with a 2.0 gpf head with an on-off switch (allowing you to turn the water off while you soap up) could save eight gallons of water per shower, or 11,000 gallons of water per year for a hygienic family of four! Seventy-five percent of that water will be hot water, so there’s a significant energy saving, too.

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