How washing your hands with 'toilet water' cut my water bills in half

How washing your hands with ‘toilet water’ cut my water bills in half

It’s hard to be jaded about the Sink Twice. I don’t want to oversell a plastic sink that sits over a toilet tank, but this ingenious and relatively inexpensive device could help save the world.

Why? Because it saves water. This saves money. This motivates children and adults to wash their hands. It’s a great conversation starter. And his really fun, which in itself makes the Sink Twice worth the $83.99 price tag.

I therefore reject here any claim of neutrality. Truth is, once I installed it in my guest bathroom, I loved it so much that I immediately bought another one on Amazon for my other toilet.

I had low expectations when I bought the device to test out The Times 2022 Gift Guide. From the photo, it looked like a flimsy plastic device, the kind that malfunctions and breaks a few weeks after installation.

But I measured the top of my toilet tank as instructed, ordered the recommended size, and waited a few days for it to arrive. I wanted to install it immediately, but the instructions confused me. I had never dealt with toilet mechanics before and was suddenly worried about a terrible outcome. So I called the company’s toll-free number for help.

I expected someone overseas to read a script. Instead, to my amazement, the man who answered was Sink Twice owner and inventor Culver Van Der Jagt of Louisville, Colorado, who spent a good 30 minutes telling me about the setup.

It really wasn’t that hard once I got over my fear of disaster. Basically, the sink comes with everything you need except a sharp pair of scissors. You just need to fix the faucet and some pipes inside, place the sink on the tank and soyou are ready to rinse and wash.

Van Der Jagt didn’t know I was a journalist. He was patient and sorry the instructions weren’t clearer. And its only reward was my excited laughter when I flushed the toilet and, as promised, a stream of water poured from the faucet onto my hands.

I rinsed a plot that first day and I practically dragged the whole neighborhood into my bathroom to check it out. Most people were thrilled, but a few backed off. “Do you wash your hands with Cologne?!” one of my guests stammered.

Actually no. As Van Der Jagt and Metropolitan Water District water efficiency specialist Krista Guerrero explained, the water that flows into the toilet tank is exactly the same as the water we use to take a shower or wash our hands at the bathroom sink.

“It’s not gray water or sewage until it goes through the toilet bowl,” Guerrero said. “The substance that enters the tank is only drinking water.”

This information kind of blew me away because I had always been disgusted by the water in the tank. It looked and smelled perfectly clean, but it still felt nasty by association with the toilet bowl.

Van Der Jagt jolted me out of this misconception with some statistics: when it comes to wasting water, toilets are among the biggest culprits, accounting for around 30% of overall water consumption in our household.

We use the toilet at least six to eight times a day per person, flushing at least 1.6 gallons of clean water down the drain each time, according to the Alliance to Save Energy, a Washington, DC-based bipartisan coalition that advocates for federal energy efficiency policies. And if your toilet was installed before 1994, it probably uses twice that amount of water for flushing.

Then, while the toilet flushes, we walk a few steps to the sink to use another few gallons of water to wash our hands with the exact same water that fills our toilet tanks.

So if we skip the trip to the bathroom sink and let the water fill the toilet tank do double duty, each person in your household could save at least three gallons of water a day, which is a cause for celebration, Guerrero said. “We are supporters of anything that saves water, so we’re happy to see all of these innovative devices on the market and happy to see them being used in people’s homes.

Once you do the math, that brings us back to saving the world, because that’s really how Van Der Jagt started. In 2015, he was a divorce attorney in the Boulder, Colorado area, helping battered women out of abusive relationships.

But the work was dangerous, he said, and had an emotional impact. Even his then 5-year-old daughter Brooke knew that, something he learned the day he taught her to ride a bike. Van Der Jagt encouraged her as parents do, saying, “You can do whatever you decide.”

The frustrated 5-year-old replied, “Dad, that’s not true. You need to stop saying that, because if it’s true, why are you doing a job you don’t like? »

Brooke had learned about water shortages with her kindergarten class and was hyper aware of the drought. So when a stunned Van Der Jagt asked her what he should do instead, she had a ready-made answer: “Why don’t you stop California from running out of water?”

He accepted the challenge by installing a toilet with sink in their bathroom. “It was made from a pie pan, masking tape and cardboard. Honestly, it was awful, but it saved a lot of water,” he said. “And I realized it instantly increased handwashing at home. My two kids loved it. I think it was the only faucet in the house that my 3-year-old son, Preston, could reach on his own.

A year and several improvements later, Van Der Jagt began selling its sinks on Facebook. He expected a few friends to sign up out of solidarity. Instead, it has received a huge response from customers in Mexico who rely on water tanks to keep water flowing in their homes. The Sink Twice helped extend the water in their tanks for at least another day, he said.

I can not believe. Since I installed the Sink Twice in early September, my water bills have been nearly half of what I paid in 2021.

Pro tip: Follow Van Der Jagt’s instructions to only use unscented foaming soap, or you’ll have foam floating around in your toilet tank and fruity flavors seem to promote mildew. I used leftover lemon scented soap in a bathroom, and after a few months I discovered mold on my plastic tube (just wipe it down with bleach, advise Van Der Jagt). No problem in the other bathroom, where I used the only scented foaming soap he recommends: Method’s Sea Minerals Hand Soap.

So if you’re looking for a unique Christmas gift under $100, this is exactly what you need. Because, honestly, folks, how many times can you save the world and have fun at the same time?

#washing #hands #toilet #water #cut #water #bills

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