Saltwater Toilets Save Fresh Water Around the World – And Other Ways to Conserve Water

Contrary to popular belief, the flush toilet was not invented by John P. Crapper. In fact, he did not exist. However, Thomas Crapper made improvements to the flush toilet created more than 200 years before his birth. He also made improvements to current indoor plumbing with products sold by his company, Thomas Crapper & Co., Ltd.

The expression “using the John” and the term “crap” do not originate from Crapper’s name. The term “John” originated from Sir John Harrington, who is claimed to have been the flush toilet’s original inventor. The slang term “crap” is derived from Middle English, Dutch, and old French. The reference to the toilet as “the crapper” originated with returning US soldiers who saw the company name stamped on Crapper’s products at that time.

The use of the modern toilet proposes a problem for the freshwater supply.

As coastal populations and the water demand rise, researchers are concerned about releasing toxic by-products along the coastal areas from seawater treatment with chlorination. The opposite opinion of a new study suggests that this helps conserve freshwater and protect marine ecosystems wildlife.

What is the answer?

A thing of the future, an eco friendly toilet design, saltwater toilets may soon begin preserving freshwater around the world due to a newly found Red Sea bacteria. The Red Sea has proven to be a resource in helping to save water on the Earth. A research team from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) may have found a way to preserve freshwater using saltwater for toilet flushing.

Less than 1% of the world’s water is fresh and therefore drinkable. Because water is scarce and the population is continuously growing, it makes good common sense to use other water sources for daily bathroom habits.

The KAUST researchers found a salt-tolerant bacterium cultured from the Red Sea. It removes nitrogen effectively from salty wastewater, which could then be used to treat sewage from eco friendly toilet designs that use seawater for flushing instead of freshwater.

The flushing of toilets accounts for about 30% of the world’s demand for total domestic water. Using freshwater for this cannot remain sustainable, which is why seawater in eco friendly toilet designs could alleviate that pressure on freshwater resources.

Thanks to a separate water distribution system set up in the ’50s, 80% of Hong Kong residents already flush their toilets with seawater. This conserves the scarce freshwater resources and has been adopted by Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Singapore.

Next to air, water is our most important element for preserving life. Water is a finite commodity. If not appropriately managed, it will result in shortages. The conservation of water will go a long way to help slow down these impending shortages.

Tips to help conserve water

  • Check your toilet for leakage.
    • Put drops of coloring in the tank of your toilet. There is a leak if, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the toilet bowl. It could be wasting more than 100 gallons of water a day. This leak repair or an eco friendly toilet design could save you a lot of money.
  • Do not use your toilet as a wastebasket or ashtray.
    • Every tissue or cigarette butt you flush uses up to seven gallons of water.
  • Place a plastic bottle in the tank of your toilet.
    • Put a small amount of sand or little rocks in the bottom of a one-liter bottle to weight it. Then fill the rest with water and put it in your toilet tank away from the mechanism.
    • The average home could save five gallons or more of water every day without harming the toilet’s efficiency by using this bottle.
  • Check your hot water heater for leaks. Water heaters are great for water sanitizing.
  • Shorter showers.
    • A typical shower uses five to ten gallons of water in a minute. Conserve by limiting shower time to however long it takes to soap up, wash down, and rinse off.
  • Purchase water-saving showerheads or flow restrictors.
    • Your plumbing supply or hardware store will stock inexpensive items like this that will cut your shower flow to about three gallons a minute instead of the usual five to ten. They are easy to install, and will you still be clean and refreshed. If you consider a bathroom or shower remodeling or a complete bathroom renovation, tell any plumbers you consult with your water conservation concerns.
  • Take baths.
    • A partially filled bathtub uses less water than all but the shortest shower.
  • Turn the water off while brushing your teeth.
    • Wet your brush, then fill a glass with water for rinsing prior to brushing.
  • While shaving, turn off the water.
    • Put warm water in the bottom of the sink to rinse your razor.
  • Check pipes and faucets for leaks.
    • A small drip can waste up to 50 or more gallons of water a day.
  • Only wash full loads when using your automatic dishwasher
    • Each time you run your dishwasher, it uses 25 gallons of water.
  • Only wash full loads when using your automatic washing machine.
    • Your automatic washer uses 30 to 35 gallons of water per cycle.
  • While cleaning vegetables, do not let leave the faucet on.
    • Fill your sink or a bowl with clean water to wash your vegetables.
  • Keep drinking water in the refrigerator.
    • If keeping a bottle of water in the refrigerator, it will stop the wasteful practice of running water to cool it.
  • If hand washing dishes, don’t leave the water running to rinse.
    • If you have two sinks, fill one with hot rinse water. If you have only one sink, put all washed dishes in a dish rack, then using a spray device or pan of water to rinse them.
  • Are you doing a kitchen renovation?
    • Most appliances today are energy and water-efficient.
  • Check pipes and faucets for leaks.
    • Wasted water from a leak can occur 24/7. An inexpensive washer purchased at the hardware store can stop them.
  • Only water your lawn when it needs it.
    • Don’t water on a regular schedule. Cool spells or rainfall reduces the need for watering. Step on the grass. If it springs back up after your foot is moved, it does not need to be watered.
    • If it is within the budget, resurface your lawn with an artificial grass installation.
  • Soak your lawn.
    • When you water your lawn, do it long enough for water to seep down to the roots where it is needed. A light sprinkling on the surface will evaporate and is wasted.
  • Water at cool parts of the day
    • Early morning is the best time to water, rather than dusk, because it helps prevent fungus growth.
  • Don’t water your gutter.
    • Position your sprinklers in such a way that the water lands on the lawn or garden, not the street, driveway, sidewalk, or patio. Also, avoid watering on windy days, when water could be blown to where it is not needed.
  • Use drought-resistant plants and trees.
    • Many beautiful plants, trees, and flowers thrive without irrigation.
  • Use mulch around trees, plants, and flowers.
    • Mulch will slow the evaporation of moisture.
  • To clean hard surfaces, use a broom.
    • To clean the driveway, sidewalk, patio, or steps, use a broom rather than water. A hose can waste hundreds of gallons of water.
  • Don’t let the hose run while washing your car.
    • Soap your car down from a pail of soapy water. To rinse it off, use a hose.
  • Hose and sprinklers are not toys.
    • Tell the kids not to play with the hose and sprinklers. It is fun on hot days for kids to play under the hose or sprinkler, but this practice is very wasteful and should be discouraged.
  • Check for outdoor leaks in hoses, pipes, faucets, and couplings.
    • Leaks outside the house can remain unseen as they don’t mess up the floor or keep you up at night. But they can waste more than inside water leaks as they occur on the main water line.

A water treatment company serves municipal and industrial companies. Their goal is to use treatment systems to provide quality water solutions for their customers. They also help the industrial and municipal companies to meet regulatory and environmental compliance, and most importantly, increase water usage efficiency.

Is your current water source an old well? Do you need to hire a well drilling service provider? It can be challenging to decide who to use with so many options available. It is a large project, so there are questions you should ask to make an informed decision, such as:

  • Are they insured and licensed?
    • They are not qualified to drill your well if they do not have a license.
  • What is their reputation?
    • Get the references of the company. Ask friends and neighbors about the company if they have hired them. If they have been in business for a long time, chances are they have a greater chance of delivering the quality work you desire.
  • What is included in the contract?
    • Find out the details of the contract. Man-hours, costs, etc., and see if they offer any satisfaction guarantees. It will show you if the service provided is within your budget and help you know precisely what to expect.
  • How much water do you need?
    • Each well is different. A good well drilling company should know what your job requires. The size of your home, the number of residents, and how much water is necessary to care for your property should be discussed. A knowledgeable and experienced well drilling company should be able to estimate how much water you will require.
  • What type of well do you need?
    • Generally, there are three well types for residential use. They are shallow and bedrock. Bedrock wells have large amounts of clear water. They are drilled deep to hit the water in the Earth’s bedrock.
    • Wells that are shallow are not drilled but dug. Water is drawn from a hollow water table. These wells will provide enough water if drilled in the proper location.
    • There is a third type of well used on farms or large properties that require irrigation. Irrigation wells work with watering systems for gardens and lawns. This system saves you money in the long run because it conserves water.
  • How do you prepare for this change?
    • Those building new homes may need to prepare before the well is drilled. Ask if trees need to be cleared and the ground leveled prior to the drilling. Depending on the location, you may need to build access roads.
  • Know where they can drill.
    • There are many legal guidelines and local ordinances that must be adhered to. Wetlands, other buildings, property lines, etc., need to be discussed relative to the well’s location. An experienced and knowledgeable well drilling company will be aware of local regulations and ordinances. Make sure the well drilling company has a pump large enough to reach the location of the well.

Water conservation is a good practice regardless of how much water you have at your disposal. If it is incredibly scarce or has immense amounts of water available, conservation of water has a financial impact on your bottom line. It is a good practice to minimize consumption. Using a eco friendly toilet design is one way to do that.

There are procedures to fix and diagnose well pump problems or lousy water pressure. You can retain a pump service to help you with bad or no well water pressure, intermittent well water pump cycling, short cycling, or a well water pump. Ensuring that your mechanicals are in good repair will help to conserve water and energy.

As we move forward, it will become more and more evident that the conservation of water is necessary. If you are remodeling your home, building a new home, or are just concerned about water conservation, consider installing an eco friendly toilet design, like a saltwater toilet. It will save you money and will conserve water for your children and future generations.

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