Toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home, accounting for approximately 30 percent of residential indoor water consumption. Toilets also happen to be a major source of wasted water due to leaks and/or inefficiency. WaterSenseSM, a program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is helping consumers identify high-performance, water-efficient toilets that can reduce water use in the home and help preserve the nation's water resources.
Under federal law, toilets must not exceed 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf). High-efficiency toilets (HETs) go beyond the standard and use less than 1.3 gpf. The Water Sense label will be used on HETs that are certified by Independent laboratory testing to meet rigorous criteria for both performance and efficiency. Only HETs that complete the third-party certification process can earn the Water Sense label.
Over the course of your lifetime, you will likely flush the toilet nearly 140,000 times. If you install a WaterSense labeled HET, you can save 4,000 gallons per year and your children can save as much as 300,000 gallons during their lifetime.
Additionally, if a family of four replaced a 3.5 gpf toilet made between 1980 and 1994 with an HET, they could save more than $90 annually on their water bill, and $2,000 over th lifetime of the toilet. Savings could be three or four times that amount if the model being replaced is a leaky toilet or pre-19080 model that uses 5.0 gpf or more.
With these savings, a new WaterSense labeled HET can pay for itself in only a few years. Additionally, many local utilities from California to Florida offer substantial rebates (ranging from $25 to $175) for replacing old toilets with HETs.
Unlike first generation 'low-flow" toilets, Water Sense labeled HETs will combine high efficiency with high performance. Design advances enable Water Sense labeled HETs to save water with no trade-off in flushing power. In fact, many perform better than standard toilets in consumer testing.
Look for WaterSense Labeled HETs!
Whether remodeling a bathroom, starting construction of a new home, or simply replacing an old leaky toilet that is wasting money and water, a WaterSense labeled HET is a high-performing, water-efficient option worth considering. Look for the WaterSense label on toilets in 2007. If every home in the United States replaced one old toilet with a new HET, we would save more than 900 billion gallons of water per year, equal to more than two weeks of flow over Niagara Falls!