Avalon is the Founder of Conserve It Forward which can be followed on Twitter @conserveitforwa or Facebook at www.facebook.com/ConserveItForwardWithAvalon
Have you ever thought about re-using your bath water? I am not talking about for another bath, but for something else that you use every day in your bathroom. If you guessed toilets, you are right! We are going to talk about how you can flush your toilet by re-using bath or shower water.
Did you know that the average flush for one toilet can use over 3 gallons of water? If you have a newer toilet, it may use about 1.6 gallons per flush, though there are some toilets that use even a little less water. If there are 4 people in a home, and each person flushes the toilet 5 times per day, that would be 20 flushes per day. Even if you have a 1.6 gallon per flush toilet, that is 32 gallons of water per day.
A bath uses about 50 gallons of water. Even if you only filled it halfway, that is still 25 gallons. A shower uses about 2.5 gallons per minute, so a 10 minute shower uses approximately 25 gallons of water. If you saved water from just one person’s bath or shower each day, you could use it to flush your toilet, instead of having it just go down the drain. Your toilet won’t need to use new water each time to do its job!
Here is one simple way to recycle your bath or shower water. Make sure to keep the drain plug closed so the water does not escape. Keep a bucket near your bath. Scoop a bucket of water and pour it into the toilet. Everything will go down the drain, just like your usual flush. Helpful hint: You might want to keep a small towel to hold against the bucket as you lift it from scooping. That way no water drips on your floor when you are carrying the bucket from the bath to the toilet.
I challenge you to reuse your bath or shower water for just one day each week. If your family uses 32 gallons of water to flush toilets in one day, and you re-use bath water for one day per week, then you will save at least 128 gallons in only a month! This amount might not seem so big, but the more people that do this, the more gallons of water saved!
For more information about how much water you use at home, please visit http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/sq3.html.
Thanks to Laura S. in Olympia, Washington for giving me a tour of your great green home, so that I could learn this tip and share it with others!
Safety note: If you have little children in your home, please use caution since standing water can cause injury or accidental drowning.