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Toilet Tips

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Tackle the Toilet Bowl!

Some of us look forward to the college bowl season to cheer on our favorite team. Even more of us watch the Super Bowl, although admittedly for some people, it’s more about the commercials than the game itself. But whether you are a football fan or not, there’s one bowl we should all have a stake in: the toilet bowl.   

Most of us don’t think about whether we have a leaky or running toilet. However, these common toilet problems can waste lots of water over time, affecting the environment and your pocketbook. According the Environmental Protection Agency, addressing easy-to-fix leaks can save homeowners more than 10% on the water portion of their utility bills.

It can be tricky to know if your toilet has a leak. That’s how the Hillsboro Water Department and the Regional Water Providers Consortium — a group of more than 20 local water providers plus the regional government Metro — can help. Use these “Four Rs” to tackle your toilet, and start saving water and money inside your home:

  1. REMEMBER to check your toilet for leaks twice a year. Tying the schedule to easy-to-remember annual events (like the Super Bowl in the winter and the 4th of July in the summer) is a great way to ensure it gets done. To check for leaks, put 10 food coloring drops into your toilet tank and wait 10 minutes. If the dye color appears in your toilet bowl, you have a leak.
  2. REPAIR leaks that can be fixed by do-it-yourselfers using inexpensive replacement parts. Watch a how-to video on the Regional Water Providers Consortium website to learn how to repair a leaky toilet.
  3. RETROFIT an older toilet (those that use 3.5 gallons of water per flush or more) so that it uses less water. Two options include installing a toilet tank displacement bag or a fill cycle diverter.  Fill cycle diverters are available at Hillsboro Water for free.  Do not put a brick in your tank!  Bricks have been found to crumble over time and create leaks. 
  4. REPLACE older toilets with a WaterSense high-efficiency toilet. Older toilets use up to four times more water per flush.  HW offers residential WaterSense® toilet rebates of $75 per toilet replaced – up to two toilets per household. Find additional details, program terms, and conditions online.

Tackling toilet issues early will turn a losing situation into a winning game as you start saving water and money!