Low Flow and Dual Flush Alternatives
According to the American Water Works Association, the average daily indoor water use per person is just under 70 gallons. The top three water guzzlers are toilets (26.7%), clothes washing machines (21.7%), and showers (16.8%). Two easy ways to conserve water (and save money!) in the bathroom are by installing low flow or dual flush toilets and low flow shower heads.
Designing a new hotel? This is a great opportunity to start out right with money saving and water conserving appliances in the bathroom. Got an established hotel? Start replacing your current toilets and shower heads. It requires an initial investment, but in the long run you’ll save money. And water.
We’ve all heard of low flow toilets, haven’t we? Terry Love of LOVE Plumbing & Remodel in the Seattle area produces an excellent review of low flow toilets. He’s got a quote on his review site from George Whalen that says: “Switching to water-efficient plumbing fixtures could save the average household as much as $50 to $100 [USD] a year on water and wastewater bills.”
Multiply that by the number of rooms you have in your hotel. Does that sound good? And all that as you save water. Old toilets consume as much as 7 gallons per flush (GPF). The newer low flow toilets consume as little as 1.6 GPF. Do the math. That’s a lot less water. You don’t need a composting toilet to make your hotel greener.
An even better option for toilets is the dual flush system, also mentioned in the Love review. These toilets use either .8 or 1.6 GPF, depending on the waste that needs to go down the drain. It’s estimated that these toilets can save 67% more water than 1.6 GPF single flush toilets.
Moving on to shower heads…older shower heads can use as much as 4 gallons per minute (GPM) of water. The newer low flow heads use between .5 and 2 GPM. Again, it doesn’t take long to calculate water savings. A five minute shower with a 4 GPM head will consume 20 gallons of water. The same shower with a .5 GPM head will consume just 2.5 gallons. That’s a major difference.
Next, multiply that by the average number of guests you have each year in your hotel. Let’s say you have a year-round average of 100 guests per day, your hotel is open 365 days each year, and let’s assume each guest showers once a day. The 4 GPM heads will consume 730,000 gallons per year. The .5 GPM heads will consume just 91,250 gallons. That’s a difference of 638,750 gallons each year.
Impressed? Metaefficient has a great review of low flow shower heads. This is a quick and easy change for any hotel, and it produces excellent water savings.
Do you have low flow or dual flush toilets in your hotel? How about your home? And what about low flow shower heads? Are there any brands that you recommend?