It’s shocking to think that the average toilet uses between six- and nine-litres per flush, with some older cisterns using up to thirteen-litres. Imagine that quantity of plastic mineral water bottlesÂ stacked up and it’s even more shocking. This is, after all, drinking quality water, and actually accounts for around 30% of the total water usage in a household.
There are around 45 million toilets in UK homes, using an estimated two billion litres of fresh water every day. Of course, there are some really simple ways to reduce the water flow, such as using a Water Hippo. Cistern displacement devices (CDD) like these could save up to 5,000 litres a year (based on the average 5,000 flushes a year for each toilet). That’s a pretty significant saving.
If your refurbishing your bathroom then changing your toilet could make a big difference to your water consumption. The ES4 siphon flush toilet combines ‘ergonomic Swedish design and innovative British leak-free flushing technology. The ES4 is robust and easy to fit, and with a four-litre flush and dual flush option, it’s a really great way to keep water usage down.’
Of course, for a really cutting edge design, why not invest in this water recycling toilet and integral washbasin? The combined basin and WC represents ‘innovation, design and sustainability, all in a single solution’. The cistern is refilled with reused water from the basin. It’s such a simple idea I’m amazed no one has thought of it before.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to go to the expense of ripping out your old toilet and replacing it, Save-a-Flush is another simple, cost-effective way of limiting consumption. It swells over a five or six hour period to displace about a litre of water, saving you money every time you flush.
Part of the problem with toilets is that very often they continue to flush even after the waste has gone. By flushing only what is needed, you could save huge amounts of water. Retro-fitting a Saver-Siphon allows you to control how much water is actually flushed. And with an â€˜everlasting trap doorâ€™ diaphragm, this might be the last adjustment youâ€™ll ever need to make.
You can also convert your toilet into a dual flush using MJSIâ€™s Drop-In Dual Flush Converter. It uses up to 70% less water and installs without tools in five to ten minutes. It also works with all standard flush valves.
This publication Â in Â â€œecological sanitationâ€Â by Sida -a Swedish Organization, also caught my eye. Â It talks about Sanitize-and-Recycle, which isÂ basicallyÂ addressingÂ urine separation in toilets and excreta recycling. Urine is rich in phosphorous, which is currently in short supply, so there’s an emerging market for it as a fertlilser. Separating urine from other waste could turn the toilet as a guzzler of energy into a net producer, an activity that is already quite popular inÂ SwedenÂ and similar procedures have been widelyÂ practicedÂ in China and Japan since the 12th century. If you’re interested then check out Â ‘The Big Necesity’ a bookÂ writtenÂ by Rose George, former editor of the COLORS magazine; its had some great reviews, and even been called “great fun”! Worth a peek it seems.
We all have to flush the toilet but that doesn’t mean we should just accept things because that’s how they’ve always been. Just a few simple and cost-effective measures could save you thousands of litres a year. If your flush is wasting water, you could be quite literally flushing money down the toilet.