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LINK to the Fixitips Store Since 1963, Metropolitian Industries, Inc. has specialized in the installation of specialty hardware in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia Areas. MI does everything from a simple shower door replacement, a total bath remodel to residential or commercial building & remodeling.
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Water Conservation


You can save water and money for your participation in existing water conservation rebate programs in the U.S. and Canada that encourage the retrofitting of inefficient plumbing fixtures and fittings with their equivalents to lower their average water consumption. provides a map showing all the cities in the U.S. and Canada where rebates programs are available. Click on a marker to learn more about toilet rebates in that particular city or state. The rebate program rules in Savannah, GA require the replaced toilets to be taken to the Dean Forest Landfill within 30 days for recycling. Recipients who fail to bring back their old toilets will be billed for the new ones. The old commodes will be crushed and recycled as road fill.

Fixing Leaks Can Be Elementary,
My Dear Watson

Learning about water efficiency can be as easy as 1-2-3 with WaterSense’s recently released Fix a Leak Week curriculum. WaterSense has developed lessons for grades 3 through 5 that focus on saving water through finding leaks.

Nationwide more than 1 trillion gallons of water leak from U.S. homes each year. In fact, the average home can waste 11,000 gallons of water per year, enough to fill a backyard swimming pool. But students can learn about saving water and conduct fun science experiments by sleuthing out leaks where they live and helping parents find ways to fix them.

The free resources offer step-by-step instructions for teachers and include ready-made worksheets for students. Parents and water conservation outreach coordinators may also find these materials and a corresponding family pledge to save water useful.

While the curriculum is designed to be taught during Fix a Leak Week (March 15–21, 2010), the concepts are timeless and worthy of teaching any time of the year. Learn more about Fix a Leak Week 2010 and the teacher’s curriculum.

Using Water Wisely

Decorative Water Drop Icon

For many people conserving water is not a concern until there's a prolonged drought, but as this new century begins, the costs of water will become the driving force for an increased emphasis on water conservation by everyone. As thousands of acres of forests and woodlands burned in the worst fires ever in Southern California in the fall of 2003, grapevines were dying of thirst in France after the hottest summer in memory. According to the World Conservation Union (WCU), about 115,000 square miles of the European Mediterranean is turning to desert because of mismanagement and exploitation.

U.S. Drought Map

According to the National Drought Mitigation Center at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, "...tracking drought blends science and art. No single definition of drought works for all circumstances, so people rely on drought indices to detect and measure droughts. But no single index works under all circumstances, either. That's why we need the Drought Monitor, a synthesis of multiple indices, outlooks and news accounts, that represents a consensus of federal and academic scientists. This map will be refined over time as we find ways to make it better reflect the needs of decision-makers and others who use the information."

U.S. Drought Monitor

Lake in S.C. Lake Hartwell, from a rest area on I-85 north (mile 20), near Anderson, South Carolina, January 16 2008. Photo courtesy of Alan Raflo, Virginia Water Resources Research Center. From the Drought Photo Gallery

The Future of Plumbing

Logo Green Plumbers

GreenPlumbers® is an innovative, national training and accreditation program that assists plumbers in understanding their role in the environment and public health. The organization’s goal is to train and deploy a green army of thousands of plumbers to promote the benefits of water conservation and the reduction of GHG emissions. The focus is on changing consumer and plumbing behavior through the use of energy efficiency and water saving technologies. As a grassroots effort, the plan is a voluntary one that can be implemented quickly without legislation or regulation. How can we expect the homeowners and business people of America to be serious and knowledgeable about water and energy conservation unless the plumbers that bring the water and energy to their houses are not equally serious? The GreenPlumbers® goal is nothing less than complete culture change for the plumbing industry.

GreenPlumbers® training consists of a five-course, 32 hour, accreditation in environmental and technical issues including Climate Care (8 hrs), Caring For Our Water (8 hrs), Solar Hot Water (4 hrs), Water Efficient Technology (8 hrs), and an Inspection Report Service(4 hrs).

To find an accredited GreenPlumbers® in your area go to GreenPlumbers® .

Did you know

All tissue is not created equal?

EPA Recycle Logo

According to Greenpeace, Americans could save more than 400,000 trees if each family bought a roll of recycled toilet paper—just once. Greenpeace has published a "Recycled Tissue and toilet paper Guide" that ranks toilet tissues as: recommended, can do better, and are to be avoided. The Tissue Guide evaluates toilet tissue, paper towels, paper napkins, and facial tissues.

Water Rate Increases Make Headlines.

Headline news for residents in the Washington, D.C. area on 16 February 1996 was "District to Seek 70% Increase in Sewer Rates". Actually, the Water Authority only approved a 42 percent increase. But it was a taste of things to come. In December of the same year district residents learned they would pay and additional 5 percent under a proposed increase approved by the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority. Just three years later in April 1999, The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority proposed another rate hike. This time for 20 percent. And so it goes, every year another reason for water rate increases. On 16 January 2008 headlines in suburban Maryland papers read "...bills to rise 50 percent" to pay for updating aging water mains and pipes that ruptured at record levels last year."

These kinds of increases will be hard to ignore. Water is a finite resource, and conservation is one means for consumers to do their part to preserve the resource for following generations.
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There is lots that can be done to conserve water, but the very first is to make sure all plumbing fixtures are in good working order. Leaking toilets are notorious for being responsible for high water usage and the resulting bills. A DYE TEST should be performed on every toilet a couple of times a year.

Water Use Wheel

The American Water & Energy Savers, Inc. site has a great list of 49 ways to save water. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has an interesting Water Use Wheel. And here is a niffy Drip Calculator to help you measure and estimate water wasted due to leaks. As an example, I tried one of the two calculators and plugged in numbers that my faucet drip fills an 8oz. cup in 1 hour (or 3600 seconds); if it were true, I'd be wasting 1.5 gallons a day; 45 gallons a month, or 547.5 gallons a years. Just picture 547 gallon milk jugs sitting on your driveway ... all from one tiny little drip.

Water conservation programs in many areas are paying off. On a recent trip, I visited the Japanese garden at the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant (photo above) that serves the San Fernando Valley in Southern California. Reclaimed wastewater from the treatment plant is so clean it is used to fill the garden lake and to maintain the six and one-half acres of landscaping at the reclamation plant as well as irrigation for several surrounding public golf courses. The garden tour begins first with a tour of the treatment plant. The docent conducting our tour pointed out to our group that several of the huge holding ponds were empty due to the reduction in waste water since the state mandated the 1.6 toilet plumbing codes.

Decorative Waterdrop Icon Toronto , Canada is tackling the problem of old style toilets that use too much water with a simple inexpensive solution that anyone can try. Pour an inch of gravel in the bottom of a 2 litre soft drink plastic bottle, the fill the bottle with water and screw the lid back on. Place this bottle in the bottom of the toilet tank so that moving parts will not touch it. This idea won't work for every toilet so if you have to flush the toilet more than once to clear it, try a smaller container or remove it altogether.

Canadians take water conservation seriously. One Canadian resident is doing a great job of promoting water conservation on the Web with the slogan to REDUCE, REPAIR & RETROFIT.

Here's a note regarding water conservation from M.A. of the University of Texas: " Hi Kay! You might consider adding a link to Waterless Company Online from Toiletology 101. We have one just down the hall (a waterless urinal), and it works fine. Ultimate in water conservation."

History of Water Conservation in American Toilets
By R. Bruce Martin

Prior to 1970, there was little concern for water conservation in the United States. Only when shortages started to become significant did actions to conserve start. Two kinds of shortages appeared -- insufficient water availability, and where water was not short, inadequate waste treatment capacity. In North America, the typical 1970-style water closet used between 5 1/2 and 8 gpf. One-piece toilets typically used as much as 12 gpf. Water closet designers, at that time, paid little attention to consumption. Their dominate concern being adequate extraction and drainline carry. R. Bruce Martin, of Intertech Corp., is the inventor of pressure flush technology. For the complete article see Plumbing & Mechanical Magazine

Plumbing systems & design Magazine

The Water-Efficiency Industry
Russell and Thomas Horner

Water efficiency saves both resources and money—making it a common ally of environmentalists and business owners, according to authors Russell and Thomas Horner. In this article, they explain why wastefulness is the common enemy and examine the plumbing industry’s current and future impact on water efficiency and conservation.

Conservation Programs,
Directories, Newsletters & Reports

Water Management, Inc.
A Toiletology 101 sponsor since 1998


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