A young boy from Africa once said, “You people from America have so much clean water that you flush drinking water down the toilet”. The young boy later explained that he usually misses school because he must walk 3 hours to collect drinking water for his family. So why is it that we Americans use more water per day than any other person globally? Is it just bad water usage habits, or perhaps there may be other reasons for excessively water usage. Could America’s deteriorating water and sewer infrastructure which experiences a high volume water loss during transit from water station to residence be the culprit, or could it be that American manufacturers of household fixtures are primarily focused on sleek designs and less concerned with water efficiency, or is it that the average American is unmotivated to cut back on water usage because they have been spoiled by historically low water rates?
After closely examining the statistics, there appears to be a combination of factors contributing to America’s high rate of water usage. One fixture that is responsible for the largest percentage of indoor water usage is the toilet and the American people are not to blame for the inefficiencies of this water guzzling fixture. In 1994 the Federal government declared that all toilets sold in the U.S. must be low-flow (1.6 gallons per flush), however government officials should have opted to mandate usage of the dual flush toilet design. U.S. toilet manufacturers were not prepared for this low- flow toilet mandate and did not possess the proper toilet design which would allow for effective flushing using only 1.6 gallons per flush. Flushing performance of low-flow toilets was so pitiful that the toilet needed to be flushed 2 to 3 times to clear the bowl of waste, thus the term double flushing was born. The low-flow toilet debacle left Americans hating the idea of water saving toilets. America spoke out and demanded that the Federal Government get out of their bathroom, but it was too late and low-flow toilet was here to stay. Some American’s hated low-flow toilets so much that they drove across the border into Canada where low-flow toilet were not mandated, so they could purchase the water guzzling 5-gallon per flush toilets they had grown to love. Ten years after the introduction of the low-flow toilet, plumbing specialists took notice of a major design flaw was that caused low-flow toilets to use as much as 300 percent more water than designed. Numerous Metropolitan Water Districts analyzed the problem of excessive water usage of low-flow toilets and reported that when the typical homeowner is faced with a leaky toilet flapper, a generic flapper is used for flapper replacement causing water usage to skyrocket from 1.6 gallons per flush to as much as 4.6 gallons per flush.
America is now on the cusp of embracing the dual flush toilet, which provides two different flush options, a small flush for flushing liquid waste and a large flush for solid waste. Dual flush toilets have been in use for decades throughout Asia, Australia and many parts of Europe and now dual flush toilets are popping up in America’s greenest airports and commercial buildings. America has an estimated 225 million home toilets in use, and that’s a lot of non-biodegradable porcelain that may end up in landfills if we all opt to dump our old toilet for a new dual flush toilet. Instead of dumping your old toilet to conserve water there is an eco-friendly alternative called a dual flush conversion kit that can transform a standard 5-gallon, 3-gallon or low-flow toilet into a dual flush toilet. Several dual flush conversion kits are now being sold, however one conversion kit called the Tap-n-Flush* is the #1 Best-Seller on Amazon due to its ability to fit with every toilet and install in minutes without the need for tools. For less than twenty dollars you can help the planet, conserve water and save money without replacing your toilet. With the national average water and sewer rate nearly doubling since the year 2000 and 36 U.S. states expected to enter drought conditions this year, dual flush converters are a fast growing trend in America.
*Full Disclosure: This article was sponsored by Tap-n-Flush.