In a day and age of diminishing natural resources, we find ourselves asking what we can do to mitigate our impact on those natural resources. One way we can do that is through our bathroom fixtures. To find a water efficient fixture, look for the WaterSense label. WaterSense is a partnership program with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is an independent organization that reviews plumbing fixtures for water efficiency. Their certification is given to fixtures that are at least 20 percent more efficient without compromising performance. Over 7,000 gallons of water can be saved annually for an average bathroom remodel with WaterSense fixtures. That's enough water to wash six months worth of laundry!
Before you get concerned that these WaterSense fixtures won’t get the job done, all major plumbing manufacturers have incorporated technologies that control the speed, movement or droplet size, some which infuse air into the water stream, to give you a fuller water stream. I’ve gotten to try many different varieties and they are pretty fantastic.
Bathroom faucets: Getting a faucet with the WaterSense label can reduce your sink's water flow by up to 30 percent. Doing so will save the average home 500 gallons of water annually. And regardless of what kind of faucet you have, don't forget to turn off the faucet while shaving or brushing your teeth.
Showerheads: You don't have to give up a fantastic shower experience to save water. WaterSense understands that no one wants a wimpy shower spray, so all their approved fixtures tout a satisfactory shower while using just 2 gallons of water per minute or less.
Toilets: Flushing technology has come a long way and is pretty incredible. I’ve had the opportunity to tour the Kohler plant in South Carolina where many of their toilets are made. You’ve got dual flush technology, better finishing and great style that all make for satisfactory flushing. Most toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush. That’s amazing compared to the 3.5 gallons per flush toilets of years past!
Urinals: Residential urinals can make your lavatory fun for boys while conserving water. Some manufacturers, including Kohler, offer waterless urinals for even greater water savings.
Bathtubs: The luxury of a bath takes a lot of water — about 50 to 70 gallons per bath. When searching for a water wise tub, look for smaller tubs with a capacity of less than 60 gallons.
Still curious? Any plumbing salesperson worth their salt will be able to fully explain and show you fixtures that will fit your needs. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what changes you are planning to make.