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Save 10 Gallons of Water a Day

(From The Daily Green website)

The old folk wisdom that says place a brick in your toilet’s water tank is partially correct: It’s an effortless way to save water, but a brick isn’t the best choice of object. Use a plastic bottle filled with water instead.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to turn hippie and “let it mellow if it’s yellow” in order to save clean water — which is an increasingly scarce resource. Most toilets will flush perfectly well with a little less H2O. The average model uses three to seven gallons per flush. A bottle in the tank will displace enough water to save half a gallon to a gallon each use, or up to about 10 gallons a day in a typical home.

All you have to do is drop a little sand or some pebbles into a bottle, fill it with water, and put it in the tank, making sure not to disturb the toilet’s working parts.

What’s wrong with a brick? They have been known to disintegrate in toilet water over time, leading to damaged plumbing. If you are a mason or otherwise determined to use a brick, wrap it in a sturdy plastic bag first. Interestingly, some utilities in Europe give away special sachets, called Save-A-Flush, which were specifically designed to displace water in toilet tanks.

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One Comment

  1. Ross Donald says:

    Ah, yes. The great toilet debate! I don’t know what the average is, but an old toilet using 3-7 gallons per would be most unusual. Plumbing codes require the maximum water use to be 1.6 gallons per flush and there are 1.2 gallons per flush units available – and they are designed to use all that amount of water to work properly and forstall any blockage. However, if an after-market water saving measure is employed in a new toilet, I’ve never heard of a problem – that could be because people end up flushing twice, which defeats the whole purpose. ross@rnn.com