It may be known by a multitude of names, including the loo, can, head, john, privy, potty, throne, latrine, outhouse, commode, lavatory, washroom or personal library. But whatever you choose to call it, Americans use their toilets an average of six times daily and spend three years of their lives atop their personal stool. It’s hard for those in developed nations to imagine life without it- but that’s the reality for 2.6 billion people. Forty percent of the world’s population does not have access to plumbing infrastructure.
To highlight this growing problem, the World Toilet Organization (WTO) of Singapore declared November 19 World Toilet Day. The advocacy group calls its approach, “a unique mix of humor and serious facts.” The WTO has partnered with dozens of global organizations to create more awareness during the 2011 celebration, including The Gates Foundation, Unicef, International Federation of Red Cross, World Vision and Habitat for Humanity.
Eighty-five percent of leaks in residential plumbing systems are found in toilets. One leaking toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day, or 73,000 gallons a year. On average, leaks can account for 10,000 gallons of water wasted in one home every year, which is enough to fill an average backyard swimming pool.
“Don’t flush money down the drain by ignoring a leaky toilet,” says Bill Palmer, president of American Leak Detection. “Just like homeowners change the battery in fire alarms once a year, we encourage them to use the food coloring test to determine if their toilets are leaking and wasting water. Responding to leaking toilets can save up to 25 percent on water bills annually.”
One way to learn if you have a toilet leak is to place a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes without flushing, you have a leak. But make sure to flush immediately after this experiment to avoid staining the tank. Contact your local American Leak Detection location for more information or for a complete home plumbing inspection.