Water conservation is a hot topic these days. One of the most wasteful places that we use water is the bathroom. I’ve posted thoughts and calculations on wasting water in the bath and shower, but I’ve never discussed one of the other fixtures that uses a lot of water. The toilet.
“Flushing your money down the toilet.” is a fairly common phrase for wasting money. In some ways, it is literally true. I don’t condone anyone making it a habit to not flush the toilet, even though some people do. Even if that habit is meant to save money and promote water conservation, it’s still kind of gross. However, we can look at just how much water is used when you hit the handle and how much money that costs per flush.
To figure this out, we first need to find out how much water is actually used to flush a toilet. Many toilets have a different amount of water that is used per flush. This rating is usually tagged somewhere on the fixture. Some new toilets are designed with water conservation in mind. These units will have fewer gallons per flush ratings than older models. The toilet in my house uses 1.6 gallons per flush.
Now, we need to know how much the costs are for not only water service to your house, but sewer service also. My most recent water bill charges a price of $20.00 for up to 2,500 gallons of water per month. Every 1000 gallons of water over that is an additional $4.72. The sewer costs are also set at $20.00 for up to 2,500 gallons of water and $4.72 for every additional 2,500 gallons.
As long as my total water and sewer usage is under 2,500 gallons per month, my combined cost of water and sewer together is $.016 per gallon.
So, if my toilet flushes at a rate of 1.6 gallons per flush, and my cost per gallon is $.016, then multiply the two numbers to come up with $.0256 per flush. Just under 3 cents to flush the toilet.
So the next time someone tells you that you’re throwing your money down the toilet, you can tell them how much it truly costs to flush that money away and lecture them on the importance of water conservation.
I know it’s dirty math, but someone has to do it.
For more on how to calculate volumes, flow and pressure, try some of the online calculators at CalcuNATION.