Water – our new most valuable resource

“Water – our new most valuable resource” on “Southeast Green” on BlogTalkRadio.  Steve Williams, LEED AP of Water Management discusses the ins and outs of water conservation and why it’s so important for businesses

Water – our new most valuable resource 01/04 by Southeast Green | Blog Talk Radio.

40 Important Ways that Colleges Are Conserving Water

http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/2011/09/06/40-important-ways-that-colleges-are-conserving-water/

Water is a precious resource, and although it flows freely from the tap, it’s not infinite. Green campus lawns, clean cafeteria plates, and even air conditioned dorms don’t happen without using lots of water. As major institutions, colleges are serious users of water, and although some don’t yet recognize the need to conserve water, many of them do. In fact, college campuses are home to some of the most innovative ideas for water conservation, implementing water management technology, smart conservation policies, and more. Read on to find out about 40 great ways colleges are putting great minds to work on water conservation.

  1. Cal State-LA technology

    Using a wireless water management service, Cal State-LA was able to lower their water bills and reduce water usage by about 27 million gallons in 18 months. The system also saves valuable staff time and adjusts to weather changes, turning off water before it rains.

  2. A new low flow standard

    The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education reports that low flow showerheads and faucets, as well as low water volume toilets and urinals are standard practice for US colleges.

  3. Dual flush toilets

    In addition to low flow toilets, colleges like Harvard are also using dual flush toilets, which allow toilets to use less water unless deemed necessary by their users.

  4. Recycling rooftop rainwater

    Drexel University turns rainwater into a resource rather than waste. Instead of sending it down the pipes to treatment plants, Drexel collects rainwater for non-potable uses, including toilet flushing, landscaping, and gardening.

  5. Cutting back on car washing

    Colleges make use of many vehicles on and off campus, and those vehicles need to be washed, but not frequently. Schools like the University of Washington have cut back on car washing in their motor pools to save water.

  6. Using campus resources

    Large campuses may have access to creeks and wells on their land. At Stanford University, almost 75% of water used for irrigation comes from water sourced on Stanford’s own land.

  7. Going trayless

    Many colleges are ditching trays in their cafeterias, cutting food waste, conserving water, and even keeping the “freshman 15” off new students. At Williams College alone, the college is saving 14,000 gallons of water each year by eliminating trays at one of four campus dining halls.

  8. Landscaping with drought-tolerant plants

    At Saint Mary’s College, drought-tolerant plants have been put in place, including oleander, lavender, and nadina, with drought-tolerant plants making up about 95% of campus plants.

  9. Installing water misers

    Schools like Stanford have made use of water misers on autoclaves in the Medical School and research buildings. Instead of having water running 24 hours a day on the devices, misers sense when the water is needed and when it is not. This measure alone has helped to reduce water usage in these buildings by over 50%.

  10. Educating students

    At UC-Santa Cruz, students arriving on campus will learn about water conservation in their orientation meetings, and the campus offers dorm room usage audits as well.

  1. Removing bottled water

    Instead of allowing bottled water as an option at campus events and at dining facilities, colleges like Harvey Mudd College are selling or providing refillable water bottles to faculty, staff, and students.

  2. Recirculating systems

    Coolers and other equipment using once-through water cooling systems are being replaced with ones that reuse cooled water, saving not only water, but electricity and gas as well.

  3. Water Wise House Call

    At Stanford University, they have recognized that university water usage doesn’t end off campus. Faculty and staff have their impact in private homes as well. With the Water Wise House Call program, the university has been able to manage water usage off campus by providing information and resources to faculty and staff.

  4. The Living Machine

    At Oberlin College, students get involved in wastewater cleaning with The Living Machine. The machine processes wastewater into reusable greywater by relying on natural cleaning methods in wetlands, including plants and bacteria.

  5. Green campus grounds with reclaimed water

    At the University of California Santa Barbara, 90% of campus grounds are kept green using reclaimed water. This water is also used to flush toilets in some buildings. Reclaimed water is wastewater that has undergone a treatment process, but does not meet standards for drinking.

  6. Recycling carpet

    Carpet doesn’t sound like a big water waster, but at Oberlin College, they’ve calculated their savings from recycling carpet. By recycling 177,057 square feet of used carpet, they’ve saved 112,136.1 gallons of water, in addition to 1,227,418,143 BTUs of energy.

  7. Natural thawing

    Some schools previously thawed food using running water. Instead, colleges like Evergreen State have implemented better planning, and are able to thaw all food products naturally without the use of running water.

  8. Leak detection technology

    Some schools employ water conservation technology that includes leak detection, allowing them to identify and correct leaks that exist on campus.

  9. Updated laundry rooms

    Colleges are upgrading to high efficiency front loading washers, and becoming even more energy efficient by using technology that allows them to monitor the status of the machines. At Canisius College, 755,638 gallons of water have been saved since 2006.

  10. I Heart Tap Water

    UC-Berkeley’s I Heart Tap Water campaign promoted tap water as the beverage of choice for the campus. The university credits the campaign’s success to the testing of more than 450 water fountains on campus to ensure water quality. The program has reduced campus usage of plastic water bottles on campus by at least 25%.

  1. Using cisterns

    Colleges are using cisterns to harvest rainwater. At Harford Community College, they capture rooftop runoff in an 80,000 gallon cistern to use in an evaporative cooling tower.

  2. Leak reporting

    Dripping faucets can waste more than 600 gallons a year, and running toilets waste more than 131,000 gallons. On many college campuses, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to report any leaks that they see. Doing so can alert the maintenance staff to undiscovered sources of water waste that can be resolved easily.

  3. Hand sanitizer installation

    Duke University and many others have cut down on water used for sanitation purposes by installing hand sanitizers in bathrooms and other common areas. For quick sanitation purposes, a full hand wash using water is not needed, and alcohol-based sanitizer can be used instead.

  4. Smart flushing

    In addition to low flow and dual flush toilets, schools are updating with automatic eye flushers. These toilets flush according to the length of time a person is sitting on it, with a 1.1 gallon flush for less than 65 seconds, and 1.6 for 65 seconds or more.

  5. Laundry education

    Tufts reminds students to practice sustainable laundry techniques. Using a flyer, students are educated on using cold water options for washing clothing.

  6. Increased irrigation ponds

    At Duke University, they are taking advantage of more natural water storage by increasing the size of irrigation ponds on their golf course. This water can be used for toilets, landscaping, and more.

  7. Water free urinals

    Many colleges, including Vanderbilt University, are installing water-free urinals, which do not flush. Instead, the urinals use liquid chemicals and gravity, saving up to 40,000 gallons of water each year.

  8. Water use monitoring

    Enhancing awareness of water usage can help conservation efforts, making those who consume water more careful in their usage. Several colleges, including UC-Santa Cruz, have shared water use data publicly and within their community to spotlight conservation of water.

  9. Watering at night

    At lots of schools, watering was completed manually during the daytime, but more recently, colleges have implemented smart irrigation systems that water during the evening or early morning hours, saving evaporation, as well as overspray.

  10. Native plants

    Colleges like Centralia are switching to native plants, which need less water and maintenance due to their indigenous status.

  1. Rooftop vegetation

    To reduce the passage of rainwater into the sewer system, colleges are installing green roofs, which feature vegetation that consumes a large amount of water before running off. These systems also help to keep the top floor of buildings cooler during hot months, and insulated from cold temperatures and icy winds in the winter.

  2. Reduced power washing

    Everyone likes to see a sparkly clean college, but many schools are recognizing that they don’t need to power wash as often as they have in the past. At the University of Washington, power washing has been reduced to the removal of graffiti and slippery materials only.

  3. Simple reminders

    Using stickers, signs, and other awareness tools, schools are placing simple reminders in high water usage areas, such as busy restrooms. These reminders can help students be mindful about their water usage.

  4. Purchasing Energy Star equipment

    Dishwashers, washing machines, and other water-consuming appliances can make a big difference in water usage, especially on a college sized scale. Schools like Boston College are replacing their old equipment with new, more energy efficient machines, cutting water consumption by 50%.

  5. Updated facilities equipment

    Water cooled compressors, single pass chillers, cooling towers, and more often use water, and not always efficiently. Schools like the University of Washington have identified water wasting equipment and updated them, such as replacing water cooled compressors with air cooled ones.

  6. Drought-tolerant grass

    Schools are adopting the use of grass that doesn’t need to be watered or mowed often. At UC-Davis and UC-Riverside, a new strain of grass, UC-Verde, was created. This grass needs only 25% the amount of water used for typical turf grasses.

  7. On-demand hot water heaters

    Residential buildings may have their hot water heaters upgraded to tankless on demand models. At Dartmouth, these heaters are used to save water while students wait for the water to heat up.

  8. Removing lawn areas

    Maintaining lawn areas typically means keeping up with watering, but at Scripps College, they may not have to deal with it as much. The college is considering removing lawn areas where appropriate, reducing the amount of water needed to maintain campus lawns.

  9. Water coolers and taps

    With the use of water coolers, students, faculty, and staff can fill up reusable containers instead of buying bottled water. Schools like Dartmouth have employed the use of Brita pitchers and point of service units that dispense filtered (and sometimes even flavored) water.

  10. Water recycling washing machines

    At Middlebury College, soiled aprons and chef jackets go through to wash and rinse cycles, which ordinarily would be wasteful. But using a water recycler, the college is able to capture the rinse water for the next wash cycle.

Water conservation rebate programs Round Rock City and Pflugerville, TX

Water conservation rebate programs.

By Kathryn Eakens Friday, 02 July 2010

 

Though the summer is off to a wet start, weather patterns are difficult to predict, and a drought can happen at any time. The cities of Round Rock and Pflugerville both offer programs that not only encourage residents to conserve water, but can also save them money in the process.

Round Rock

The Round Rock City Council approved a resolution May 27 creating two new water conservation pilot programs—a toilet rebate program and an efficient irrigation program—which began June 1.

The toilet rebate program offers City of Round Rock residential water customers a rebate for replacing their existing toilets with a model off the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense list. Similar to the logo associated with the Energy Star Program, the WaterSense logo—a blue and green water droplet—signifies products that have been third-party tested and designated water efficient.

“The toilet is the No. 1 user of water inside the house. If you’re going to do one thing inside your house to save water, it should be to replace your toilet with a WaterSense label model,” City Water Conservation Specialist Jessica Woods said. “It’s the easiest thing to do and the most cost-effective thing to do.”

A resident can receive a rebate of up to $100 per toilet for replacing up to two toilets in their home, which must have been built prior to Jan. 1, 1996.

“In 1992, a national standard became effective saying all toilets have to use 1.6 gallons per flush or less, but all the manufacturers did was put less water in the tank so those early ’90s toilets were just awful,” Woods said. “By 1995, the industry had reconfigured how the toilets actually worked so anything built since 1996 has those second generation toilets that are better. That’s why I chose that as the cutoff date.”

To qualify for the efficient irrigation program, residents must also be City of Round Rock water customers—residential or commercial—and have an existing irrigation system.

“I’ll come out to the property and conduct an irrigation evaluation on their system to see how much water it’s using now and give my recommendations on what could help that system be more efficient,” Woods said. “If there’s anything I recommend that is on our rebate list, then they could get that work done and apply for a rebate.”

Residential customers can receive up to $300 in rebates, while the maximum for commercial and multifamily customers is $600.

Woods said both programs run through Sept. 30 or until funding—which comes from revenue generated by the city’s peak usage water rates—runs out. Applications are available at www.roundrocktexas.gov.

Pflugerville

The city’s Drop by Drop program, which has been in place for several years, offers City of Pflugerville water customers a rebate for landscaping their lawns with approved plants, trees, shrubs and grasses.

After filling out an application including a sketch of the current landscape and a list of planned improvements, applicants have until the end of June each year to implement the plan once it is approved by the city.

“Not only would you be reducing water, but ideally you would be reducing maintenance time in your yard so you wouldn’t be producing as many carbon dioxide emissions from lawnmowers and that kind of thing,” City Forester April Rose said. “Native plants usually need much less in the way of fertilizer so you’d be reducing not only the demand for fertilizer but the potential runoff into storm water. They also provide better habitats for birds and other wildlife.”

Participants can receive a rebate for half of their expenses, up to $500. As part of the Drop by Drop program, the city also sells rain barrels and composters to residents at cost—$40 for a rain barrel and $60 for a composter.

A demonstration garden showing some of the plants and grasses that qualify under the program is located at the Pflugerville Recreation Center, and applications are available at www.cityofpflugerville.com

Low-flow toilets at schools in Albuquerque Public Schools

http://www.aps.edu/news/aps-saves-water-taxpayer-dollars-through-district-wide-toilet-replacement

Albuquerque Public Schools and the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority have collaborated to install low-flow toilets at schools throughout the district, an effort expected to save more than $25,000 and 13.5 million gallons of water each year. Read more

City of Round Rock, TX Toilet rebate

City of Round Rock – Water Conservation info can be found here

The application can be found here.

Caroma’s contribution to community is remembered – Topix

Caroma’s contribution to community is remembered – Topix.

Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District’s 2010 high efficiency toilet or washing machine rebate program

Source

http://www.pagosasun.com/archives/2010/04%20April/040110/bspawsdrebate.html

PAWSD 2010 rebate programs kick off
By Sheila Berger
 
Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Are you thinking of replacing your washing machine or toilet? Are you looking for an easy way to save money and reduce your water footprint, year after year? Are you searching for a way to celebrate Earth Day on April 22?

You can do all of this by participating in the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District’s 2010 high efficiency toilet or washing machine rebate program. That’s right, PAWSD will pay you to replace your old, water-wasting fixtures. But, that’s not all.

The greatest water resource we have is the water we unnecessarily waste every day. Saving this water not only reduces your water bill, it reduces district water treatment costs and wear and tear on district infrastructure. This, in turn, keeps service charges down and extends the need to build new or expanded facilities. It also keeps water in the source (rivers and lakes), which is good for the environment.

From 2004 through 2009, the high efficiency toilet and washer rebate programs collectively saved the district and its participating customers over 16,218,000 gallons, or 50 acre-feet of water, which translates into a savings of nearly $200,000 in avoided treatment costs. In 2009, customers who used the toilet rebate program saved an average of 18,600 gallons per household while those who participated in the washer rebate program saved 6,100 gallons of water.

Ready to play? Participation in the program is simple, but is limited to residential or commercial PAWSD water customers with current and non-delinquent account(s).

The primary rules are that a new, high efficiency fixture must replace a low efficiency fixture. High efficiency toilets are defined as toilets that use 1.28 gallons per flush (gpf) or less and must replace existing toilets using 1.6 gpf or more. The high-efficiency clothes washer must replace an existing clothes washer using more than 27 gallons of water per load. The old toilet must be returned to the PAWSD facility at 100 Lyn Ave. for disposal or the participant must provide proof of proper disposal. Participants in the washer rebate must properly dispose of old clothes washers with the dealer or at the PAWSD facility, or provide proof of proper disposal. Proof of proper disposal ensures that water wasting fixtures are permanently removed from future use.

Unsure about the water use of your current fixtures? A couple rules of thumb are that, generally, homes built before 1994 have higher than 1.6 gpf toilets and, generally, most clothes washers built prior to 1990 have higher than 27 gallons per load water use. Also, the vast majority of top-loading washing machines use more than 27 gallons per load.

Rebates are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to availability of funds. To ensure a rebate, check with PAWSD before you make a purchase. High efficiency washing machines qualify for a $125 rebate. Toilets that use 1.28 gallons per flush or less qualify for $75 and if it is a dual flush, power flush, or flapperless model, it qualifies for $125 rebate. The program applies to products purchased from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 15, 2010.

Interested customers are encouraged to visit the Conservation page of the PAWSD Web site at http://www.pawsd.org. Here you will find general program information, 2009 program results and 2010 applications. Customers can call water conservation coordinator Mat deGraaf for further information or with inquiries

Charlotte County, FL flushes toilet rebate program

http://www.englewoodedge.com/2010/04/13/toilet-rebate-program-scrubbed-by-charlotte-co/

Broward County Public Works Department offers $100 toilet rebate

Source:

http://www.examiner.com/x-23222-Fort-Lauderdale-Green-Culture-Examiner~y2010m2d21-Broward-County-Public-Works-Department-offers-100-toilet-rebate

I know that some cities already offer a toilet rebate when a consumer purchases an EPA approved WaterSense fixture but this is the first that I know of for Broward County.

Considering that a toilet accounts for nearly 30 percent of residential indoor water consumption, it is critical to conserve our precious resource, water. If you are considering remodeling a bathroom, building a new home or need to replace an old, leaking toilet this will be the perfect opportunity to save both water and money.

The $100 toilet rebate is available for residents who have an active account with Broward County. Conditions for the rebate include buying and installing an EPA-approved WaterSense toilet. Per the application materials located on their website, customers must present a Toilet Rebate Program Application (available on online or in their office). Limit is maximum two toilet credits per residential unit.

Once you have submitted the completed application package and receipt for the toilet(s), a $100 credit per toilet will be applied to your account.

For more information visit their website at: www.broward.org/waterservices  or call 954.831.3250.

Broward County Florida  Public Works Department , Water & Wastewater Services  2555 W. Copans Road  Pompano Beach, Florida  33069

City of Ormond, FL toilet rebate program

more details can be found here

http://www.ormondbeach.org/finance/Low%20Flow%20Toilet%20Rebate%20Program%202010-03-03.pdf

Toilets account for approx. 30% of water used indoors. By installing a Dual Flush toilet you can save approx. 40% of water being flushed down the toilet, compared to a standard, modern 1.6 gpf (gallons per flush) model. If your toilet has been installed prior to 1994, you are using 3.5 gallons or more each single flush. The water savings you can achieve by upgrading to a Dual Flush toilet are substantial. By reducing your water usage, you are also reducing the cost of your water bill!!

If you are serious about saving water, want a toilet that really works and is affordable, I highly recommend installing a Caroma Dual Flush toilet. They offer a patented dual flush technology consisting of a 0.8 Gal flush for liquid waste and a 1.6 Gal flush for solids. On an average of 5 uses a day (4 liquid/ 1 solid) a Caroma Dual Flush toilet uses an average of 0.96 gallons per flush.  The new Sydney Smart uses only 1.28 and 0.8 gpf, that is an average of 0.89 gallons per flush. This is the lowest water consumption of any toilet available in the US. Caroma, an Australian company set the standard by giving the world its first successful two button dual flush system in the 1980’s and has since perfected the technology. With a full 3.5″ trap way, these toilets virtually never clog. All 47 floor mounted models are on the list of WaterSense labeled HET’s (High Efficiency toilets) http://www.epa.gov/watersense/pp/find_het.htm  and qualify for the various toilet rebate programs available in the US. They are available in round, elongated, regular height and ADA compliant “chair height” in white and biscuit. Please visit my blog https://pottygirl.wordpress.com/2008/08/01/what-you-should-know-about-toilets/

to learn more or go to http://www.caromausa.com to see where you can find Caroma toilets locally. Visit http://www.ecotransitions.com/howto.asp  to see how we flush potatoes with 0.8 gallons of water, meant for liquids only. Best regards, Andrea Paulinelli 

 

City of Fitchburg, WI approves toilet rebate program

please find program details here

http://www.city.fitchburg.wi.us/public_works/water_supply.php

Region and Rona, Mississauga, Canada offer toilet rebates

Simcoe Article: Region and Rona offer toilet rebates.

ecoTransitions Promotes EPA’s “Fix a Leak Week” March 15–21, 2010

Marietta, GA—Because minor water leaks account for more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year in U.S. homes, ecoTransitions is promoting “Fix a Leak Week,” March 15 through 21, 2010. Fix a Leak Week is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense® program as an annual reminder to Americans to check household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks.

“Leaks can add up to more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted at home every year—that’s enough to fill a backyard swimming pool,” said Andrea Paulinellli, CEO and President. “ecoTransitions is participating in Fix a Leak Week to help homeowners save money on their utility bills and to help save water in our community and for future generations. Atlanta may lose its rights to access water from Lake Lanier in 2012. If that is the case, Georgia must undertake the difficult — and costly — process of either living on less or finding more water. By replacing old, water-guzzling fixtures in our households, we can make a great start in reducing our indoor water use by up to 50 percent.”

To help consumers here in Georgia and across the country save water, ecoTransitions and WaterSense are promoting ways to identify and repair dripping faucets, running toilets, and leaky showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts pay for themselves quickly and can be installed by do-it-yourselfers, your favorite handy person, plumber, or WaterSense irrigation partner. Following are a few water-saving tips:

  • Reduce faucet leaks by checking faucet washers and gaskets for wear and, if necessary, replace the faucet with a WaterSense labeled model. 
  • Leaky toilets are most often the result of a worn toilet flapper. Replacing the rubber flapper is a quick fix that could save a home with a constantly running toilet up to 200 gallons of water per day. If the leaky toilet uses 3.5 gallons per flush, replace it with a High Efficiency Toilet and save hundreds of Dollars per year. 
  • For a leaky garden hose, replace the nylon or rubber hose washer and ensure a tight connection to the spigot using pipe tape and a wrench. 
  • Landscape irrigation systems should be checked each spring before use to make sure they are not damaged by frost or freezing. 

If homeowners have to replace a plumbing fixture, ecoTransitions reminds them to look for the WaterSense label. WaterSense labeled toilets, faucets, and (soon) showerheads have been independently tested and certified to save water and perform as well as or better than standard models. For more information on Fix a Leak Week, visit www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak.

 

 
 
 

 

About ecoTransitions Inc Located in Marietta, Georgia, near Atlanta, ecoTransitions is a supplier for WaterSense labeled Caroma Dual Flush toilets. These High Efficiency Toilets (HET’s) qualify for the $100 Toilet rebate available in most Metro Atlanta Counties.  On the Web: http://www.ecotransitions.com , Email: sales@ecotransitions.com, Phone: (678) 313-9260.

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WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water. For more information on WaterSense, and for a full list of labeled products and WaterSense irrigation and builder partners, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.

Caroma continues American Forests support

Source Hotelnetwork.com

HILLSBORO, OREGON  -– Caroma, the leader in dual flush toilets and stylish bathroom sinks, is pleased to continue its support of American Forests and the environment by donating trees to the Ham Lake rehabilitation project in Superior National Forest in Minnesota.

On July 4, 1999 a windstorm caused 1000 square miles of blowdown, with the main path passing through the Gunflint Trail. The Gunflint Trail is a State of Minnesota scenic byway that bisects the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and is historic because it follows Native American footpaths that are centuries old. It now serves a significant portion of Cook County residents and businesses. The area was struck again by disaster in May 2007 when the Ham Lake Fire occurred, the largest wildfire in the history of the Superior National Forest. Caroma is contributing to the planting of 134,000 red, white and Jack pine to benefit threatened, endangered, and sensitive species. This planting will be a part of Gunflint Green Up, which began in the summer of 2007 and involves public participation in reforesting after the fire. Volunteers included Girl Scout Troops, families, college students, senior citizens and friends and families of those who lost homes in the fire.

“We are pleased that Caroma continues to sponsor American Forests replanting programs,” states Deborah Gangloff, Executive Director of American Forests. “Their continued support of programs such as the Ham Lake rehabilitation project shows their concern for the environment and willingness to think beyond their primary business of water conservation. We look forward to their ongoing donations to environmental conservation.”

American Forests’ mission is to grow a healthier world with trees by working with communities on local efforts that restore and maintain forest ecosystems. Our work encompasses planting trees, calculating the value of urban forests, fostering environmental education, and improving public policy for trees at the national level. We have a goal of 100 million trees planted by 2020.

According to Derek Kirkpatrick, Caroma North America General Manager, “We are concerned with protecting the environment for our children and further into the future. Caroma promotes water conservation with high efficiency toilets and urinals, and we are extremely pleased to expand beyond water conservation by becoming a sponsor of American Forests and their environmental restoration programs.”

Toilet rebates flush with requests, but cash draining

Source National Post November 23, 2009, 4:30 PM by Jodie Shupac

The shift to all things green gains momentum, and certain cities are flush with requests for energy-efficient household alternatives.

Save Water While Saving Money—Georgia Sales Tax Holiday Features WaterSense® Labeled Products

If you’re planning to buy a toilet or bathroom sink faucet this fall, timing your purchase to coincide with Georgia’s sales tax holiday for WaterSense labeled products can help you save a little money. Between October 1 and October 4, 2009, customers will not have to pay sales tax on toilets and bathroom sink faucets and accessories that have earned the WaterSense label. Consumers can be sure that products with the WaterSense label have been independently certified to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) rigorous criteria for water efficiency and performance. 

Purchasing and installing WaterSense labeled products is a key way Georgians can save water. If just one out of every four households in Georgia would retrofit their bathrooms with WaterSense labeled bathroom fixtures, it could save nearly 10 billion gallons per year—enough for every Georgian to take a shower daily for about two months. 

Whether remodeling a bathroom, constructing a new home, or simply replacing older, inefficient fixtures that waste money and water, consider installing a WaterSense labeled toilet or bathroom sink faucet. 

As consumers shop for WaterSense labeled toilets during the sales tax holiday, they can be sure these fixtures use 20 percent less water than the current federal standard for toilets and that WaterSense labeled bathroom sink faucets and accessories will reduce a sink’s water flow by 30 percent or more. Because all products must be tested to meet EPA’s criteria before earning the WaterSense label, these water savings are achieved without sacrificing performance. 

The sales tax holiday on WaterSense labeled products will start Thursday, October 1 at midnight and will continue through the weekend until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 4.  Any WaterSense labeled product purchased for noncommercial home or personal use during the sales tax holiday will be Georgia state sales tax-free. 

For more information on the sales tax holiday, visit Conserve Water Georgia.

For more information on WaterSense, please visit www.epa.gov/watersense

For more information on WaterSense labeled, High Efficiency Toilets, please contact GA’s largest seller of the award-winning Caroma Dual Flush toilets, ecoTransitions. All of Caroma’s 47 floor mounted models also qualify for the $100 toilet rebate offered by most Metro Atlanta Water authorities. For more information, visit http://www.ecotransitions.com/ or contact them via email at sales@ecotransitions.com or by phone at (678) 313-9260. ecotrans_watersense_partner logo

The Origins of the Toilet

via The Origins of the Toilet.

Why do some people call a toilet a John?
According to countless resources the reason some people have tagged a toilet with the name John is simply because the first recorded inventor of flush toilet is John Harrington. John Harrington was a descendant of Queen Elizabeth the first.

What are the origins of the word toilet?
The french were the first to use the word toilet almost three centuries ago. The word like countless other words is Latin. The word derives from tela or plural tele which means cloth. French barbershops used the word toilette to describe the grooming activities typically associated with the barber shop. In the US the word later evolved into the device which we use to flush our waste in the bathroom. However it is not uncommon in Europe to hear the word toilet being associated with what we know as the bathroom as a whole.

What is a commode? Why is a commode associated with the word toilet?
Well commode a few centuries ago in France just meant a cabinet that is close to the ground or a chest with drawers. During the Victorian Era commode took on a whole new definition. The people of the Victorian Era had bedside cabinets that enclosed a chamber pot or in other words pot that was used for the basic needs of a toilet. Except of course it did not flush.

Why do some people call a water closet a toilet?
It is common to see the word water closet used on blueprints for homes. In this context it typically means a standard toilet. The word water closet simply means, “room with a toilet.” Water closets were originally separate from the bath room. Bath room originally meant a room with a bath in it. The first public water closet was a pay per use toilet. The customers were charged one penny to enjoy the luxury of a flushing toilet. This is where the motto “to spend a penny” came from.

What is a loo?
The origins of the word loo are not exactly known. However it is believed to come from the french. In the early days before flush toilets and indoor plumbing the French would dump their waste out the window, exclaiming, “Gardez l’eau”. This meant look out for water. The word l’eau sounds like the word loo.

Why do some people call a toilet, “a head”?
The word head is commonly used on boats. It is called a head because it was placed at the front of a boat. The front of the boat is where the most splashing from the seas occurs. This would allow the head or toilet to receive a well needed cleansing or flush.

Where does the term lavatory come from?
Lavatory, has it beginnings in Latin from the word lavare meaning wash. If you speak Spanish you know that lavarese means to wash. The word lavare evolved over time to mean lavatory which some consider a proper way to say bathroom. Bathroom which is commonly know to enclose a toilet as well a place where you can wash.

bathroom toilets can be a drain on your finances. A dual flush toilet saves a great deal of water resulting in a significant cost decrease in you water bill . Next time you buy a toilet, choose a water saving one.

Advertisement in Brazil encourages urinating while taking a shower to save water

Source http://www.greenlaunches.com/

An animated video ad has been released in Brazil encouraging people to urinate in showers to save water. It has been aired on TV and has many characters including, Mahatma Gandhi, King Kong, Statue of Liberty, an alien and many others relieving themselves behind a semi-transparent shower curtain. SOS Mata Atlantica commissioned this ad, which is a green group that is devoted to protecting the Atlantic rainforest of which presently on 12% is currently there. Check out the video here

Lack of money for rebates halts Inland distribution of water-saving toilets

Source http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_S_toilets02.48120c7.html

By LAURIE LUCAS
The Press-Enterprise

 
Western Municipal Water District’s participation in a program that this week will finish delivering 1,500 water-saving toilets at no cost to Riverside County homes, hotels and commercial buildings is in limbo because of doubt about whether Western will receive promised rebates.

In the past three months, the Mission Inn, UC Riverside and March Air Reserve Base received a total of 1,000 of the toilets, and 500 went to Corona, mostly to multifamily residences such as apartments.

One low-flow toilet will save about 2 gallons per flush or 4,800 gallons a year, according to Clay Monroe, water conservation coordinator with Riverside Public Utilities.

But the program was suspended because of the uncertainty of reimbursement from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, said Tim Barr. He’s the water use efficiency manager for Western, which covers 527 square miles serving 853,000 people in the Jurupa Valley, Corona, Norco, Riverside, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake and Temecula. Besides Riverside, the city of Corona also worked closely with Barr to promote the project.

Metropolitan’s blanket program, “SoCal Water$mart” was designed as a conservation incentive for the 26 cities and agencies that buy its water in six counties for 19 million people. Rebates on high-efficiency toilets and other equipment had been available to residents of areas that receive MWD water, including Eastern and Western municipal water districts in Riverside County and Inland Empire Utilities Agency in western San Bernardino County.

Barr said Western drew up its own marketing campaign touting low-flow toilets.

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William Wilson Lewis III / The Press-Enterprise
Michael Franchek, vice president of sales and marketing with Ecogreen Services, removes a 3.5-gallon toilet from an apartment in Riverside.

8,000 INSTALLED

Eastern installed 8,000 of the low-flow toilets this last fiscal year. The agency has shelved requests for another 1,500 until Metropolitan resolves its budget problems. Perris-based Eastern serves an area from Moreno Valley south to Temecula and east to Hemet and San Jacinto.

The Inland Empire Utilities Agency installed 4,256 low-flow toilets this last fiscal year. Chino-based Inland serves the cities of Chino, Chino Hills, Fontana, Montclair, Ontario, and Upland as well as the Cucamonga Valley and Monte Vista Water Districts and the Water Facilities Authority.

Initially, Metropolitan agreed to pitch in anywhere from $50 to $100 per toilet; Western would pick up the rest of the cost from its rate payers. But because Metropolitan didn’t have the money to cover the overwhelming demand for rebates, Western could be on the hook for anywhere from $65 to $110 per toilet, Barr said. “So Metropolitan is suspending its commercial program from three to six months until after an audit and they figure out how to go forward,” Barr said.

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Low-flow toilets save about 2 gallons per flush, or 4,800 gallons a year, conservation experts say.

MWD’s regional rebate program is $24 million in the hole. The program started with $20 million, which doubled last February. Those resources dried up in May and the board turned off the spending tap until an audit is complete. A report is expected at the next board meeting, July 14.

The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, the regional equivalent of Metropolitan, serving 700,000 water users over 350 square miles, might offer a similar water conservation program, according to Douglass Headrick, deputy general manager. “We’re watching to see how this will play out with Metropolitan,” he said.

PROGRAM WINDS DOWN

Meanwhile, Western’s program is winding down this week with toilet installations concluding in the Sandra Apartments on 7th Street in Riverside, said contractor Michael Franchek.

His Encinitas-based company, Ecogreen Services, contracted with Western Municipal in April to install 1,500 toilets at $165 apiece. Since April, Franchek has placed 80 percent of the new toilets in multi-family residences and the rest in hotels and commercial buildings.

Low-flow toilets look no different from their predecessors and cost about the same, according to Franchek.

“They flow a lot less because of their intelligent design,” he said.

The old fixtures use 3.5 gallons per flush while their replacements use less than 1.3 gallons per flush. Recyclers grind up the put-out-to-pasture toilets which are used as construction aggregate.

Russ Kitchen, director of the Mission Inn’s property operations, said he’s pleased with the 80 new low-flows, the latest in the hotel’s efforts to go green.

“We’re always looking for ways to conserve our natural resources,” he said. Management has retrofitted its cooling center to use less energy and replaced most lighting with fluorescent bulbs.

Reach Laurie Lucas at 951-368-9569 or llucas@PE.com

TO SAVE WATER

Take shorter showers

Turn off the faucet when brushing teeth

Water your lawn only when it needs it

Use a broom to clean driveways and sidewalks

Adjust sprinklers so they don’t water driveways and sidewalks

Wash only full loads of laundry

Run dishwasher only when full

Fix leaky faucets and toilets

Use a shut-off nozzle on your hose

Plant drought-resistant trees and plants

Source: Western Municipal Water District

 

 

The drought is officially over. We can go back to our old ways…

The drought is over. 

That’s the word from Georgia’s top environmental officials. After years of water restrictions and conservation programs, water levels across the state appear to be getting back to normal.

The state climatologist says Georgia experienced the wettest spring season on record in 115 years.  In fact, Governor Sonny Perdue says heavy rainfall in recent months helped the entire state emerge from the worst drought categories, prompting restrictions on outdoor water use to be lifted for the first time since 2006. 

So, should we still conserve water? Absolutely.

Why should we conserve water?

 There are many good reasons to conserve water.

Water conservation can help meet future needs.

Water is a precious resource – our lives depend on it. In Georgia, the average consumption (residential, commercial and industrial, not agricultural) is 168 gallons per day, 10% higher than the national average of 153 gallons a day. An adult needs less than a gallon per day for drinking purposes, but 101 gallons per day are used in residential applications.

(Source: http://www.p2ad.org/files_pdf/cwmbs.pdf

Georgia’s population growth is among the most rapid in the nation. In the last decade, the state’s population has increased by more than 1.7 million. If current trends continue, Georgia’s population will reach 11.9 million in 2025. A doubling of demand for water over the next twenty years is highly probable. Given that drought-prone Georgia already uses a relatively high share of its land for residential purposes, future population growth will have a meaningful impact upon the supply of fresh water. As more and more faucets drain the aquifers, or underground reservoirs, urban sprawl paves over the land and short-circuits its absorption properties. Georgia’s fast-growing cities face water shortages by 2020 unless local utilities find new supplies.

Saving water will save you money.

Conserving water saves you money! Not only will your water bill go down, but as you heat less water, your gas or energy bill will also decline. If your whole community conserves, you will also pay less fees for water-related services. Water conserving communities will not need to pay as much to develop new supplies and expand or upgrade water and wastewater infrastructure.

 The City of Atlanta has approved a 12.5% rate increase effective July 1, 2009 and another 12% increase in 2010.  

Approved Water and Sewer Rates City of Atlanta

Water conservation helps preserve the environment.

Quite simply, water is the essential component of all life. It comprises 70% of the Earth’s surface and 75% of the human body. Of that 70% of surface water, only 1% is actually drinkable. Water is needed to keep the ecosystem in balance. Clouds need water to make rain. Plants need water to grow. Animals depend on plants for the oxygen they produce and the food they provide. When one element of the chain is compromised, the entire system is thrown out of whack. Roughly 46% of America’s lakes are too polluted for fishing, swimming or hosting aquatic life. 1.2 trillion gallons of untreated sewage, storm water, and industrial waste are discharged into US waters annually.

 There are many obvious reasons for us to protect our water supply, but the most important point to remember is that water is absolutely essential to all living things. Educate yourself, dedicate yourself, and you can make a difference.

(Source: http://www.luminant.com/scholar/docs/EnvironmentWater.pdf)

A significant level of water conservation can be achieved without major changes in lifestyle. Simply watering landscapes properly and utilizing efficient plumbing fixtures and appliances in the home can reduce the per-capita water use by 25 percent.