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'Tackle the Toilet' (and save water, money)

Save water and money with the “Four Rs” this winter.

We have just ended college bowl season, with the Super Bowl looming. As you prepare your home for game-day parties (or other events), you might want to think about another bowl: the toilet bowl.

According to the EPA, 10 percent of homes in the U.S. have leaks that waste 90 or more gallons of water a day. Toilets are one of the most common culprits — and also one of the easiest to detect and cheapest to fix.

Many homeowners don’t know when their toilet isn’t working properly — but toilet troubles add up, affecting both the environment and your water bill. Surprisingly, one leaky toilet can fill an entire swimming pool with water after just one year.

That’s why the Regional Water Providers Consortium wants you to “Tackle the Toilet.” With toilets using more water than any other appliance in the home — nearly 27 percent of indoor water use — addressing toilet troubles is the first step to conserve water, save money and protect the environment.

Use these “Four Rs” to tackle your toilet and start saving water and money inside your home:

Remember: Remember to check your toilet for leaks twice a year. Tying the schedule to easy-to-remember annual events (like the Super Bowl in the winter and the Fourth of July in the summer) is a great way to ensure it gets done. To check for leaks, add 10 drops of food coloring inside your toilet tank. After 10-15 minutes, if your toilet bowl water changes color, you have a leak.

Repair: Learn how to fix leaks. Most leaks can be fixed by do-it-yourselfers using inexpensive replacement parts. Visit the Regional Water Providers website to view a short how-to video on repairing a leaky toilet: conserveh2o.org/how-to-videos-water-conservation.

Retrofit: If purchasing a new toilet is not possible, you can retrofit an older toilet (those that use 3.5 gallons of water per flush or more) so that it uses less water each time it flushes. Two options include installing a toilet tank displacement bag or a fill cycle diverter; many local water providers offer these to their customers for free.

Replace: Replace older toilets with a WaterSense high-efficiency toilet. Older toilets use up to four times more water per flush. Many local water providers in the Portland metro area provide rebates for replacing inefficient toilets. Contact your local water provider (conserveh2o.org/consortium-members) to learn more about available tools and assistance

From Feb. 1 through mid-March (while supplies last) the Regional Water Providers Consortium will offer free indoor water-saving kits to customers who reside in the consortium service area (find out if you qualify at conserveh2o.org/consortium-members). The kits include a bathroom faucet aerator, kitchen faucet aerator, showerhead, shower timer, toilet leak-detection dye tablets and a toilet fill-cycle diverter.

To request a free kit, send an email after Feb. 1 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your mailing address and the name of your water provider.

Regional Water Providers Consortium




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